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Ilima-Lei Macfarlane eyes retirement fight against friend and mentor Liz Carmouche for the belt: “I have four fights left on this contract and that will be it for me”

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will be looking to return to the win column in a big way at Bellator 284.

Macfarlane ended her nearly year-and-a-half layoff back in April in Hawaii and suffered a decision loss to Justine Kish. After the loss, Macfarlane told Bellator she wanted to return as soon as possible and got her wish as she will face Bruna Ellen on Friday night.

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“This is actually the fastest turnaround I have had in my career. It was an adjustment but I think I’m making up for lost time,” Macfarlane said to BJPENN.com. “I had worked so hard to get the weight off after having such a long layoff so I worked really hard to get it off in a healthy way so I didn’t want to throw all that out the door.”

Ellen ended her two-year layoff back in November with a decision win over Desiree Yanez. Although Ellen is an unranked opponent, Macfarlane believes that is due to her time off as the Hawaiian knows she is a dangerous opponent.

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane Hawaii
Image: Bellator on Instagram
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“I am pretty familiar with Bruna she has fought like everyone I’ve fought. She fought Veta Arteaga, and Julianna Velasquez, and was also part of that first wave of women to fight in Bellator’s flyweight division,” Macfarlane said. “I’m surprised we are only meeting each other now, like she’s good, she is super under-the-radar because she’s not ranked which is only because she didn’t fight during COVID. She’s very good and has been in Bellator for a long time, she’s super tough and durable. All of her fights go the distance and it will be a very fun fight.”

Against Bruna Ellen, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is hoping to make a statement and finish the Brazilian for the first time in her career.

Macfarlane says she likes to hand a lot of fighters their first and is hoping to do the same at Bellator 284.

“I do like being the fighter to deliver the first for a lot of fighters,” Macfarlane said. “For example, Emily Ducote, I’m the only person to finish her, she’s the former Invicta champ and now in the UFC. I like having that notch, so why not go for that exclamation point and be the first person to finish her.”

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If Macfarlane gets her hand raised she isn’t sure where that puts her in the division. Yet, the plan is to fight out her contract and hopefully, the final fight will be for the belt against her friend and mentor in Liz Carmouche which will serve as the Hawaiian’s final fight.

“It was awesome to see the belt get wrapped around her waist as she was one of the people that mentored me and put in so much hard work. But, I’m just really looking forward to the day we finally stand across from each other in the cage and get paid to beat each other up… We have agreed to fight each other and it will happen. My ideal fight with Liz is my last fight, my retirement fight for the belt. I have four fights left on this contract and that will be it for me.”

Do you think Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will beat Bruna Ellen at Bellator 284?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM
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