Macfarlane Interested in Flyweight Grand Prix
Over the past few years, Bellator MMA has implemented the Grand Prix bring in some new life to multiple divisions. The Heavyweight and Welterweight Grand Prix’s were raging successes while the Featherweight Grand Prix is expected to be the best of the three. Bellator President Scott Coker has shown interest in a women’s Grand Prix at some point.
One of the top champions in the company is all for the idea.
Bellator Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has held onto the title since Bellator 186, when she became the inaugural champion. Since then, she has defended it four times, her most recent win a unanimous decision over Kate Jackson at Bellator 236. Always one to look for more competition, Macfarlane told MMA Junkie about when her next fight would be, and if there would be a theme.
“We said that I would probably fight in the fall, somewhere around there,” Macfarlane stated. “And there’s still talks about possibly doing a tournament for the flyweight division. So obviously my next fight depends on that, whether or not they go through with that. But we said that the timeline should be expected sometime around the fall or winter, which some people would consider as a long layoff – almost a year. But I’m cool with that.”
Some of the top names that could be in the tournament include Alejandra Lara, Liz Carmouche, Denise Kielholtz and Bec Rawlings. With Macfarlane signing a long-term deal with Bellator, she is hoping to continue to be champion. Her influence has resulted in Bellator cards in Hawaii and a sharp focus on women’s MMA.
All fights in the Grand Prix’s are five rounds, whether for a championship or not. Macfarlane has an idea that could help save her from losing the title, scout her competition and spice up the format.
“I almost want to say that … only my fight should be five rounds,” Macfarlane went on to say. “Because I don’t want those girls to like get the advantage of being able to fight five rounds (to prepare for me). So I’m thinking more from like a strategic point of view. … But I think I would prefer an eight-woman tournament, because that just means less fights to get that million dollars. I’m thinking of it more from a most efficient way possible to get a million dollars.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is unknown when Macfarlane will be fighting next. The Welterweight Grand Prix is currently on hold, with only A.J. McKee and Darrion Caldwell in the semi-finals of the tournament.