Aloha, Bellator! Hawaii’s Macfarlane to defend world title in Honolulu this December

Local Sports

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is returning home to defend her world championship in Honolulu.

KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello has confirmed through multiple sources close to the event that Bellator will make its first-ever trip to Hawaii on Dec. 15 for an event at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center that will be headlined by the Punahou graduate.

The undefeated Macfarlane will defend her flyweight title against UFC veteran Valerie Letourneau in an event that will be televised on DAZN Network.

An official announcement is expected to be made as early as Wednesday.

Macfarlane, a Nuuanu native, successfully defended her flyweight title for the first time with a third-round submission of Alejandra Lara in the main event of Bellator 201 on June 29 in Temecula, Calif.

With the victory, Macfarlane, the organization’s first ever women’s 125-pound champ extended her Bellator records for most wins, longest active winning streak, and most stoppage wins among female fighters.

Macfarlane will enter her hometown event with an 8-0 overall record, with five of her last six victories all coming via submission.

Letourneau is 2-0 under the Bellator banner after going 3-3 in the UFC, where the Canadian fought for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship in 2015.

Bellator’s arrival in Honolulu comes on the heels of negotiations that fell through between the UFC and the Hawaii Tourism Authority for Aloha Stadium to host UFC 227 in August, which would have been headlined by featherweight champion, Waianae’s Max Holloway.

Hawaii has not hosted a major mixed martial arts promotion since EliteXC: Return of the King was held at the Blaisdell with Kona native KJ Noons defeating Yves Edwards in the main event on June 14, 2008.

UFC veterans Nick Diaz, Russell Doane, and Bubba McDaniel were also on that fight card 10 years ago.

Stay with KHON2 on-air and online for the latest regarding Bellator Hawaii.

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