Hawaii, Bellator Hawaii, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane

Bellator MMA books fight card in Hawaii before UFC, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane headlines

The UFC’s history of mixed martial artists from Hawaii is rich, however, the top ranked MMA promotion will not be the first major organization to hold a fight card on the island.  It looks as rival promotion Bellator MMA, led by Scott Coker, will make the first move the 50th state.

According to report from ESPN, Bellator MMA will head to Honolulu later this year to have champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defend her flyweight title against Valerie Letourneau, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Macfarlane, a native of the island, has been pushing for a fight there for quite some time.

The fight card in Macfarlane’s hometown is set for December 15 and will take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

Macfarlane (8-0), who now fights out of San Diego, became Bellator’s inaugural 125-pound women’s champ last November with a fifth-round submission of Emily Ducote. The 28-year-old successfully defended her title on June 29 with another submission win, this one against Alejandra Lara.

At that same June event in Temecula, California, Letourneau (10-6) defeated Kristina Williams by unanimous decision. It was her second straight victory since joining Bellator following a stint with the UFC.

Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states.