According to a report from Rob DeMello of KHON 2, Bellator MMA is headed to Hawaii. The promotion is expected to take over Honolulu’s Neal S. Blaisdell Center on December 15. The card will be headlined by a Bellator women’s flyweight title fight between Hawaiian champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and former UFC strawweight title challenger Valérie Létourneau.
The promotion has yet to officially announce this card, but that official announcement could be coming as early as today.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will enter this exciting title fight with a flawless, 8-0 record. The seven most recent of those wins have occurred in the Bellator cage. Macfarlane won the inaugural Bellator flyweight bout in November of 2017, when she submitted Emily Ducote with a fifth-round triangle armbar. She has since defended her title with a third-round armbar of Alejandra Lara.
Canada’s Valérie Létourneau, meanwhile, is 10-6 overall. After losing consecutive bouts to then champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Joanne Calderwood, and Viviane Pereira, she was released from the UFC. Since then, she’s gone 2-0 in the Bellator cage, defeating Kate Jackson and Kristina Williams, both by decision. The former UFC title challenger is easily the toughest test of Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s impressive career thus far.
Bellator’s upcoming debut in Hawaii represents an exciting power move for the promotion, as the UFC has been struggling to bring the Octagon to The Aloha State for years — especially amid the recent reign of UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.
Are you surprised Bellator beat the UFC to Hawaii? Who do you think wins this exciting Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Valérie Létourneau title fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/12/2018.