Macfarlane Retains in Front of Hawaiian Home Crowd
With the energy of a home crowd in her native Hawaii, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane retained the Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship, submitting Valerie Letourneau in the third round of the Bellator 213 main event.
The opening round was fairly quiet, more of a feeling-out process, with the only highlights coming from a Macfarlane strike to the head after a failed takedown attempt, and a strong combination from Letourneau late in the round. But Macfarlane secured a takedown on Letourneau right away in the second; however, Letourneau countered and got the defending champion locked in guard.
Macfarlane managed to break free and stacked Letourneau up before attempting to get full mount, landing strong elbows on the ground. But Letourneau managed to get up and engage a clinch battle against the cage wall.
Macfarlane attempted a takedown early in the third again and managed to get it after some struggle against the cage wall. After some transition, she managed to get Letourneau’s back. After some struggle to get a choke in, Macfarlane transitioned into an armbar attempt and then went transition-against-transition with Letourneau as she moved into a triangle choke. Macfarlane added punches to the submission, and despite Letourneau’s efforts to get Macfarlane off, the challenger is forced to submit for the first time in her professional career.
The Bellator card in Hawaii also saw the promotional debut of Lyoto Machida, who scored a split-decision win against former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho. In a battle of unbeaten prospects, which also served as a Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix opening round bout, Neiman Gracie scored a fourth-round submission win against Ed Ruth. This grants Gracie a spot in the semifinals, and his side of the bracket means he will be in line for a title shot against the winner of the Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch opening round bout.
Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary scored a third-round knockout over Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, and Nainoa Dung stopped Kong Oliveira in the opening bout.
Bellator 213 Results:
Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship: (c.) Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Valerie Letourneau via submission (triangle choke) (Rd. 3, 3:19)
Middleweight Bout: Lyoto Machida def. Rafael Carvalho via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal Bout: Neiman Gracie def. Ed Ruth via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 4, 2:17)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Liam McGeary def. Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal via KO (Rd. 3, 0:53)
Lightweight Bout: Nainoa Dung def. Kona Oliveira via TKO (Rd. 3, 2:05)