Bellator 236 Results: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane dominates Kate Jackson in Hawaii to retain flyweight title 1

With an entire arena behind her, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane couldn’t be stopped.

Macfarlane defended her flyweight title for the fourth time with a unanimous decision victory (50-45, 50-44, 50-44) over Kate Jackson in the main event of Bellator 236 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu phenom put together a complete performance to retain her belt in front of her home crowd.

“You guys are seeing the evolution of Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, and it’s thanks to these guys in my corner,” the champion said to John McCarthy after the fight.

Always looking to get the fight to the floor, Macfarlane got a takedown a minute into the first round. She took top control and tried to pass, but Jackson was active from her back.

Jackson briefly thwarted Macfarlane’s momentum with upkicks and hammerfists, but Macfarlane got into side control before locking up an anaconda choke grip as the two fighters stood against the cage.

Jackson, bleeding from her nose, was able to find her own success toward the end of the round. Her elbows landed to the head of the champ as the two stood in close range, but they weren’t enough to peel the champion off of her, however.

The two fighters slugged it out for the remainder of the round.

In the second round, Macfarlane got back to her game with a forward flurry that backed Jackson up against the cage and forced a grappling exchange.

Neither fighter managed to gain a significant advantage in the clinch, going back and forth until Macfarlane once again got a takedown with 1:45 remaining.

Macfarlane worked from the top and looked to potentially have a fight-ending submission, but time ran out on the champion.

The third round featured the most striking of any to that point.

Though it isn’t typically her forte, Macfarlane was able to put together combinations and land heavy shots to keep the challenger guessing. Macfarlane would then take her down and pour on some ground and pound before the two fighters headed into the championship rounds.

The champion brought it back to her most comfortable position right away in round four. Jackson ate a few punches before finding herself on her back once again.

Macfarlane gave herself plenty of time to work. After adding to her already lengthy time in top control, Macfarlane moved to the back of Jackson with just over a minute remaining. Jackson held her hands together as the champion repeatedly tried to rip her arm away for a submission and managed to survive to see the final round.

“She’s super hard to finish,” Macfarlane said after the bout. “She’s never been finished before, and I clearly felt that.”

A chant of “Ilima” filled the arena as the champion was within five minutes of retaining her belt in front of a home crowd once again.

The theme of the first four rounds continued in the final. Macfarlane held her own with Jackson in the stand up and completely controlled the grappling exchanges to ensure that she would be walking away with her flyweight title and her undefeated record.

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