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Former Bellator champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane reveals plans to retire after contract expires: “I’ve already accomplished a lot in my career”

Former Bellator flyweight champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane is getting close to hanging the gloves up.

‘The Ilimanator’ has been out of the ring since her decision defeat to Justine Kish in April. The bout was a massive upset and was the second defeat in a row for MacFarlane. She had previously lost her flyweight title to Julianna Velasquez in December 2020.

Beyond the losing streak, the 32-year-old has experienced a lot over the last few years. MacFarlane has suffered from recent knee, and neck injuries. The latter played a role in her defeat to Kish earlier this year, as she landed in the hospital after the loss.

Now, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane has discussed her future career plans in an interview with MMAJunkie. The flyweight contender revealed she has four fights left on her contract with Bellator. She plans to be the champion when those bouts are completed.

Beyond that, she plans to retire. In the interview, she revealed her plans to become a mother as one of the reasons for her exit from MMA. MacFarlane also reflected on her career accomplishments and noted she’s proud of her career.

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane Hawaii
Image: Bellator on Instagram

“I might possibly start having babies after this, so I just want to get through my contract as fast as possible. Right now, I say I want to stop fighting so that I can [raise my kids], because I say, ‘Where would I have the time to be a mom and be running the gym? And will I have time to train?’ But then you also see badasses like Miesha Tate coming back after having two kids and coming out of retirement. I think everything is possible.” (h/t MMAJunkie)

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