Ilima-Lei Macfarlane implemented her world-class ground game somewhere around the middle of the fourth round of her Bellator 254 main event against Juliana Velasquez.
Unfortunately for her, Velasquez (10-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) flustered Macfarlane (11-1 MMA, 10-1 BMMA) for the first three-and-a-half rounds, and she regained control of the fight in the fifth.
And with that, Velasaquez won the highly anticipated battle of unbeatens and won the Bellator women’s flyweight championship via unanimous decision.
Velasquez earned judges’ scorecards of 48-47, 49-46, and 48-47 to take the title at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“I’m very excited to finally be the champion, I want to thank my team, my family, my brother,” Velasquez said. “My goal not only to be a champion with the way I perform in the ring but to carry the belt with honor.”
Macfarlane, for her part, had her run as inaugural women’s 125-pound champ come to an end. She held the title since Nov. 3, 2017 and successfully defended it four times.
Check out some of the best photos from #Bellator254 main event featuring Juliana Velasquez claiming flyweight title against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane to become new champion @BellatorMMA
MORE: https://t.co/tKyskuP3H8 pic.twitter.com/xIp3nxP62y
— FIGHTMAG (@fightmag) December 11, 2020
She was gracious in defeat.
“She’s the champion, she deserves it,” Macfarlane said,
Bellator 254: Macfarlane vs. Velasquez Main Card:
Juliana Velasquez (11-0) defeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)
Magomed Magomedov (17-1) defeated Matheus Mattos (12-2-1) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Linton Vassell (20-8) defeated Ronny Markes (19-8) via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of round two
Romero Cotton (5-0) defeated Justin Sumter (7-4) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:36 of round one
Billy Goff (3-2) defeated Robson Gracie Jr. (3-1) via TKO (strikes) at 1:46 of round two
Cody Law (2-0) defeated Kenny Champion (2-1) via TKO (strikes) at 4:44 of round three
Grant Neal (5-0) defeated Maurice Jackson (7-3) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:59 of round two
Shamil Nikaev (10-0) defeated Kemran Lachinov (10-3) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)