Bellator Fights To Make: Liz Carmouche – Ilima-Lei Macfarlane

Liz Carmouche Bellator

Over the weekend, Bellator 294 and Bellator 295 took place in back-to-back nights in Hawaii. The first event was headlined by a flyweight title fight between champion Liz Carmouche (19-7) and DeAnna Bennett (13-8-1).

Now, this fight did have some controversy behind it and a little bad blood due to weigh-ins. Bennett missed weight which meant that she lost the ability to challenge for the title. Carmouche still put her title on the line which meant that if she lost, the title would be vacated.

Through three rounds, it looked really rough for her. Bennett looked great wherever the fight went and all three judges had her up 30-27 heading to the fourth. Of course that meant that Carmouche was going to need some dominant rounds or a finish to retain her title.

In the fourth, that’s exactly what she did. Carmouche was able to get to a dominant position on the ground and she locked in an arm triangle choke. After trying to fight for a second, Bennett was forced to tap and Carmouche retained her title while moving to 6-0 in Bellator.

Bellator’s next title fight to make

The next night featured another big time fight in the flyweight division in the co-main event of Bellator 295. Former flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (13-2) took on Kana Watanabe (11-2-1). Now, this fight had a lot of controversy due to the result.

After three rounds, the fight was pretty close. However, the general feel was that Watanabe was going to win the decision. Macfarlane didn’t look confident at all as the scores were getting ready to be read. However, even I felt a little more confident in her winning.

Whether anyone wants to say it or not, Bellator 295 was happening in Hawaii. Macfarlane is Hawaiian and you just had the feeling that if the scores were close, she’d ultimately win. In the end, two judges did give her the fight and she won. The media were divided 3-3 on scoring the fight despite the stats favoring Watanabe.

At the end of the day, it was close and there’s a definite argument to be made for Macfarlane winning the fight. With this latest win, she’s won her second straight fight after losing back-to-back fights. The 33-year-old has discussed retirement to start her family, but she wants to get her Bellator title back.

Scott Coker said that the promotion wants to book this fight before the end of the year. Not sure if they can make it work, but my guess is that they’d like to come back to Hawaii for that one. Could be a storybook fight for Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.