Bellator’s Flyweight Division Shines as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Becomes Breakout Star

(Photo courtesy Bellator)

It was hero’s welcome as Bellator Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane went down the escalator at the Pechenga Casino and Resort this past Friday in front of her crowd of family, friends, and fans.

The champ estimated a good sixth of the crowd was there to cheer her on in the first defense of her recently won title. Many women were wearing her signatire flower in their ears to show support. The live fans were not alone in their support, as Bellator announced nearly 800,000 people watched the fight from the comfort of their own homes. Continue reading Bellator’s Flyweight Division Shines as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Becomes Breakout Star

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Leslie Smith Talks Future; Championing Fighters’ Rights Movement

It has been a few months since Leslie Smith was let go of her contract from the UFC. The reasons why this happened is one of controversy.

For those who don’t know the story, Smith was scheduled to face Aspen Ladd at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City, New Jersey in April, but Ladd missed weight. Smith saw this as a break, since her contract with the UFC would be up if she fought Ladd. Smith would agree to fight Ladd at a catch weight if the UFC would extend her contract for one more fight after Ladd, so she could negotiate a new multi-fight deal. The UFC decided to simply drop Smith and pay her out. Continue reading Leslie Smith Talks Future; Championing Fighters’ Rights Movement

Leslie Smith: “A Union Would Benefit the UFC”

With it being the mid point of 2018, Project Spearhead has made some major progress.

The first goal of the organization is to determine the status of the UFC fighters as employees or independent contracts. By definition, there is mounting evidence that they are employees, due to the Reebok fight kits (essentially uniforms), the adherence to a code of conduct, the use of UFC equipment, and a set schedule. Another point is fighters are exclusive to the UFC can cannot fight elsewhere.

If found that fighters are employees, they can organize and form a Fighters’ Association or union, similar to other top sports such as the NFL and MLB.

With the exit of Leslie Smith from the UFC led her to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board that she was let go from her contract over heading Project Spearhead pushed the timetable up to render a decision. Continue reading Leslie Smith: “A Union Would Benefit the UFC”

Bellator Weigh-In Results: Title Match Official; One Fight Canceled

Photo courtesy Bellator

Friday night at the Pechenga Casino in Temecula, California Bellator will have its 201st offering that will air on the Paramount Network and the Bellator App.

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The main event features Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defending her title for the first time against Colombian Alejandra Lara. Both made weight for the title fight with Macfarlane tipping the scales at an even 125 and Lara at 124.6.

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The second bout of the main card could see the next title challenger as Valerie Letourneau (126)  faces Kristina Williams (125.4).

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The only preliminary female bout sees the return of Keri-Anne Melendez (116) face Hawaii’s Tiani Valle (114.5) in a strawweight tilt. This will stream on the Bellator App.

There was to be another preliminary fight between the undefeated Kristi Lopez and Paola Ramirez, but  Ramirez came in at 9.67 pounds over the flyweight limit, and the match was scrapped. Lopez weighed in officially at 125.5 pounds. She will most likely keep her fight purse.

Video – Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Defends on Home Turf; Talks Female Fighter of the Year Nomination

Photo Courtesy Bellator

It has pretty much came full circle for champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane as she has come back to the place she started her Bellator career.

The undefeated flyweight will defend her title against Colombia’s Alejandra Lara Friday night at Pechenga Casino in Temecula, California. The champ is expect a huge crowd of supporters, as she is within striking distance of her home gym in San Diego.  Continue reading Video – Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Defends on Home Turf; Talks Female Fighter of the Year Nomination

Video – Valerie Letourneau Disappointed in Not Getting Title Shot; Wants Bellator Canadian Return

It seemed inevitable that new Bellator star Valerie Letourneau would be fighting the champion next, but that wasn’t the case.

Instead of facing Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, Letourneau is now facing young newcomer and upset queen Kristina Williams at Bellator 201 Friday night in Temecula, California. Continue reading Video – Valerie Letourneau Disappointed in Not Getting Title Shot; Wants Bellator Canadian Return

Video – Colombia’s Alejandra Lara Talks MMA Growth in Latina America; Dancing in Mid Air

With a win Friday night, Alejandra Lara could have the distinction of being the first person in Colombia to be a world champion in MMA.

Lara will be in her first main event at Bellator 201 in Temecula, California against champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, and has been preparing with Mexico’s Team Grasso.

Lara talked to the media Thursday about her camp, representing Colombia, and her talents as an aerial and pole dancing.

Video – Keri Melendez on Balancing Family & Training

It has been a year since Keri Melendez fought, but she is ready to get back into action. as she faces Hawaiian Tani Valle at Bellator 201 in Temecula, California Friday night.

Having fought both in the Bellator cage and the Bellator ring, the striker is looking to take more opportunities in MMA and hopes Bellator brings in a strawweight division soon. Continue reading Video – Keri Melendez on Balancing Family & Training

Video – Kristina Williams Talks Meteoric Rise; Role as Underdog

Kristina Williams has had some tough challenges, and conquered most.

The Bellator star will look for what will be her biggest challenge to date in veteran Valerie Letourneau at Bellator 201 on Friday night in Temecula. The fight will serve as the featured contest on the main card. Continue reading Video – Kristina Williams Talks Meteoric Rise; Role as Underdog

EBI 16 Results: Beatriz Mesquita Takes Bantamweight Crown; Strawweight Tournament Announced

Photo courtesy EBI Facebook

It was the second time the female graced the EBI tournament and it didn’t disappoint.

The bantamweights took center stage Sunday night in San Diego, California for the Eddie Bravo Invitational’s 16th outing. Stars from the world of BJJ amd MMA took part in the tournament, with current ADCC and IBJJF champion Beatriz Mesquita taking home the title. Continue reading EBI 16 Results: Beatriz Mesquita Takes Bantamweight Crown; Strawweight Tournament Announced

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