Hawaii's Ilima-Lei Macfarlane ahead of 2019 Bellator Hawaii card
Bellator MMA's first trip to Hawaii was by all means a success. The fight organization brought two nights of sold out events to the Neal Blaisdell Center, capped by a successful title-defense by a home-town favorite Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in December of 2018.
And while Bellator President Scott Coker did mention he wanted to make Hawaii an annual stop for his company, it was not guaranteed Punahou-graduate Ilima-Lei Macfarlane would headline every card on Oahu. We now know the 2019 fight card will be held on the weekend of December 21st and Macfarlane will fight number one contender Kate Jackson in the main event.
"I don't know if I can do Bellator Hawaii every time cause it's so crazy but of course I'm so happy that they did decide to put me on this Bellator Hawaii card", said Macfarlane three days after that fight was announced. She continued, "finally, it's official. I can breathe now. I can start camp, and I can feel good about everything".
Macfarlane's performance at the inaugural Bellator Hawaii event impressed from the second she took the stage for her walkout. Fans chanted "I ku mau mau!" as the "Ilimanator" stepped out before her home crowd. The oli was then followed by an equally audience-involved rendition of "All Hawaii Stand Together". This year, Macfarlane says her walk out will be inspired by songs performed recently atop Mauna Kea. Ilima recently joined ki'ai or protectors of the mountain, standing in protest of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope construction.
"If the audience would like to participate in this next walk out, I hope that they learn the words to a special mele that was created by Kumu Hina (Wong)," explained Macfarlane. "And also maybe another song that has been sung up on the mauna and it was actually my walk out last year as well".
In addition, Bellator Hawaii will feature the first quarterfinal match-up of Bellator's Featherweight World Grand Prix. A.J. McKee takes on Derek Campos in the co-main event.
This year's Bellator Hawaii event will stream live exclusively on DAZN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com, DAZN and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets go on sale next Friday, Oct. 11 and can be purchased through Bellator.com, as well as Ticketmaster.com or the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena box office.