TEMECULA, Calif. – Belly Flieschampion of World Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane started her debut in Hawaii after successfully defending her title against Valerie Letourneau at the Bellator 201.
After a third round of Alejandra Lara (7-2 MMA, 1: 1 BMMA) in Friday's headlining at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California, Macfarlane (8-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) said she would like to have her next fight held in her native Hawaii. She continued that pressure as she talked to the media after the fight, but realized it was no easy task.
"I've talked to the staff of Bellator, and of course everyone wants to go to Hawaii," Macfarlane told reporters MMAjunkie, during their post-fight crush. "I think it all depends on logistics, everyone wants to find out, the tourism office is having problems, the UFC has tried, so I think it just depends on logistics, and I have no doubt everyone is a Bellator Hawaii So we just have to find a way to make that happen. "
Bellator President Scott Coker talked about Macfarlane's wishes for the event. He said he was very impressed by how the champion prevailed in the victory over Lara and wanted to give her the platform she wanted. It's something he just can not do on a whim because the operational details are complex when it comes to broadcasting an event from here.
"The amount of talent that comes from Hawaii is pretty impressive," Coker said. "We've always wanted to go there, it's just the time frame that's a challenge, you have it on a Friday, and now you have to promote it at 3 in the afternoon – that's hard, but if there is a way, it We'll find a way to do it. "
Whether it's Hawaii or not, Macfarlane knows who she's facing when she steps into the cage next time. Former UFC defending champion Letourneau (10-6 MMA, 2: 0 BMMA) clinched her second consecutive win at Bellator 201 and unanimously beat Kristina Williams for a game.
Between Macfarlane and Letourneau after the fight, and they exchanged courtesies backstage. Macfarlane said she believes that the Canadian will give her a difficult task, but she says she already sees a possible path to victory.
"One thing I think Valerie has not been challenged yet is an opponent who does that very well on the ground," Macfarlane said. "She has not turned against an opponent who keeps the fight on the ground, so that should be interesting."
For a full description of the Bellator 201, see the MMA Events section of the page.