Bellator 254 goes down tonight from the Mohegan Sun Arena in n Uncasville, Conn. The event will be the promotion’s final show of 2020.
In the main event, Bellator flyweight queen Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-0) puts her title on the line again Juliana Velasquez (10-0) in a battle between two undefeated fighters. Macfarlane, who has defended her title four times, comes into this fight as a betting underdog.
One of these fighters was bound to lose her undefeated record. Velasquez had all of the confidence tonight and it showed. She outstruck Macfarlane for the majority of the fight as well as controlled the fight tempo. She won the first three rounds with what seemed to be relative ease. And while Macfarlane mounted a strong comeback in the championship rounds, it wasn’t enough as Velasquez ended Macfarlane’s flyweight dominance.
In the first minute Macfarlane spent a lot of time trying to feel out the distance of her opponent. Velasquez landed the first couple of head strikes within the first half of the round. Macfarlane is still trying to find her distance with Velasquez. It was a very slow first round. Velasco has probably landed more strikes in this round. Vazquez has excellent striking here in the first round. This round has to go to her.
Mcfarlane spent the second round trying to get in on Velasquez. Velasquez has started to maintain her distance and her striking again in this round. McFarlane went in for a shoot and ended up with her back against the cage. There’s a lot less striking in this round and a lot more posturing against the cage. The fight went to the ground in the last minute of round two. Velasquez came out with top position so you have to think that she has won round two as well.
Macfarlane is trying to get big strikes on Velasquez in the third round before going for a shoot that she missed. McFarlane trapped the knee for a bit but got cut in her eye in the process. Velasquez’s posture in this fight has a lot more confidence. McFarlane hast to know that she’s lost the first two rounds. Velasquez lands a jumping knee at the end of the round.
Mcfarlane is not controlling the pace of this fight. She is losing and it is showing. McFarlane got her first takedown of the night. Now she’s really in a hurry Up mode trying to finish this fight on the ground. With the takedown and the shots landed this might be the first round that she won.
Macfarlane is trying to use pressure for these last two rounds and so far it is working. Macfarlane is looking to get Velasquez to the ground here but she can’t and she knows that time is running out. Velasquez got top position when Macfarlane went for a takedown. From here Velasquez just cruised in the final minutes of the round to take the victory and the belt.
Juliana Velasquez def. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane via decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)