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MacFarlane confident her game will overcome mysterious Tackett at Bellator 148

It’s Bellator 148: Daley vs Ulrich weigh-ins today and naturally, flyweight Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (2-0-0) is focused on her weight cut.

“They say that’s the first battle,” she says from the drive with her coach to Fresno. “Just enjoying this scenic drive up the coast hill.”

MacFarlane is scheduled to fight local newcomer Amber Tackett (1-1-0) tomorrow night in a prelim matchup that is being live streamed from Bellator’s website.

The Hawaiian flyweight is looking to build upon her split-decision debut victory over Maria Rios at Bellator 141. And despite not knowing much about her opponent, she’s confident her skills will see her through.


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“Well, we don’t know too much about her,” MacFarlane elaborated to The Crossfire. “I know she’s been in the game for awhile though. She had her first fight in 2008, and I was still in high school at that time. So I know she’s been in the business for awhile and she has some experience. She looks very physically strong and fit. But as of right now, we know that she’s a southpaw and she seems to be a striker. We don’t have too much on her so we don’t know to be honest, so we don’t have any idea what’s she’s going to do. We’re confident in my game as a whole so we’re ready for whatever she throws at us.”

Accordingly, her training camp keyed in on that unorthodox fact.

“Even if they weren’t southpaws, they [teammates] would switch it up for me  so I could get that look, movement and feel of a southpaw,” MacFarlane explained. “We do have a couple of southpaws at our gym, but a couple of them are big heavyweight guys (George Hernandez and Russ Edwards). They still worked with me, so that was nice.”

New recruit Jackie Vandenberg, formerly of Dan Henderson’s Fitness Center, proved to be a key training partner.  “She’s a southpaw and my size, so she was probably one of my most helpful partners in my training camp.

“We did focus on southpaw movement for this camp.”

Some of her Team Hurricane Awesome teammates will  be making the drive and some family will be flying from her native Hawaii to watch the fight in person. It’s part of the family atmosphere that MacFarlane cherishes in all aspects of her personal and professional career.

She’s moved on from the infamous knockout of Katie Castro.

“I thought that I did enough in my last fight to prove I have legitimate skills,” MacFarlane said. “I understand it’s always going to follow me. And that’s fine. I don’t really care. I know I can only go up. I can only  improve.

“Hopefully, with each fight I can keep proving I’m a good fighter and deserve to be with Bellator.”

Bellator 148 takes place Friday, January 29th from the SaveMart Center in Fresno, California.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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