Bellator announces return to Hawaii featuring Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and A.J. McKee

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane
Image: Bellator on Instagram

Bellator MMA is headed back to Hawaii, and they’re bringing two of their bright young stars with them. KHON2 in Hawaii was first to report that Bellator will be returning to Hawaii on December 21st at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Oahu, Hawaii.

The card will feature Bellator’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane who will attempt to defend her flyweight title against Kate Jackson who has a 11-3-1 record in her professional career, and is also a former competitor of The Ultimate Fighter Season 23. Jackson is riding a two fight winning streak and is 3-1 since joining Bellator.

For the champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, this will be her 10th fight with Bellator, 11th overall in her professional career, and she is currently riding a 10-fight winning streak. Macfarlane won the flyweight title back back in 2017 at Bellator 186 in the inaugural title fight for the women’s flyweight division.

This will be another homecoming for the flyweight champion who is from Honolulu, Hawaii and defended her title in her hometown at Bellator 213 in what will be just over a year when she returns to Hawaii. Bellator has shown that they will go all in with Macfarlane representing Hawaii and Hawaii has given right back to their champion, proclaiming September 17 as “Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day”.

Earlier this year Ilima-Lei Macfarlane told BJPenn.com in an exclusive interview that she welcomes another title defense in her home state of Hawaii, and Bellator has given her just that.

Also announced in the report from KHON is the co-main event, which will be a Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinals matchup between A.J. McKee and Derek Campos.

The matchup of McKee and Campos was made official following a selection show that was held during Bellator 228, where Campos had a choice of fighting three different opponents in either December, January, or March, and he chose McKee who was slated to fight in December.

In his last fight at Bellator 228, McKee needed just eight seconds to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals when he defeated Georgi Karakhanyan in the opening round of the Featherweight World Grand Prix.

Derek Campos advanced to the quarterfinals when he defeated former champion Daniel Straus by unanimous decision at Bellator 226 in September.

There have been no other fights announced for the promotion’s return to Hawaii, but they’re bringing two of their young superstars to headline on December 21, 2019 in Oahu, Hawaii.

Are you excited for Bellator’s return to Hawaii?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/3/2019