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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Back in Win Column with Split Decision Against Bruna Ellen

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Bruna Ellen, Bellator 284 Ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Bellator MMA

Former Bellator women’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has two fights and needs a win at Bellator 284 on Friday night.

While the Hawaiian has recently considered retiring, nothing heals the blues like a big win, and a bout with young featherweight Bruna Ellen offers that possibility, six years after making the cut. Still only 26 years old.

Macfarlane saw things get complicated as she missed the weight of the race, however, gaining 3 pounds. Note that this doesn’t seem to slow down her combat.

During McFarland’s opening minute against Allen, the two remained standing and swapped centers a few times. Neither seemed willing to back down. Allen did more circles and McFarlane flashed an uppercut. Allen showed good hand speed and the former champion was with her. Near the end of the ground, McFarland would re-wrestle, pushing Alan against the fence. Ellen defends with a whizzer, but the champ pulls her legs out of her and places her on her back in the final seconds of the round.

After success at the end of the first round, McFarlane returned to her wrestling ring early in the second round. She chased her legs over the fence and was blocked by Allen, who was able to knock her back. That said, the former champion is consuming control time. Allen trailed at the halfway mark of the round.

The third round played an important role in the outcome of the battle. The third round saw Allen turn things around on McFarland. The former champion was knocked out early, but Allen got back on his feet. The Brazilian then grabbed McFarlane on the guillotine, jumping back. McFarlane was in a tough situation, not hyperactive, apparently counting on Ellen to burn her arm. Macfarlane would end up defending, to his relief, but it was unbelievable that Ellen would hold out until the last minute or so. That’s when McFarlane finally made room to land some ground in a frenzy.

Come to the scorecard, it’s close – but McFarland was able to make the decision with two judges.

Official result: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Bruna Ellen by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)


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