Bellator returns to Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California for Bellator 201 on Friday, June 29. The card will be headlined by the San Diego-based Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (7-0), who defends her undefeated record and newly won flyweight crown against Columbia’s Alejandra “Azul” Lara (7-1).
In addition to the women’s flyweight championship is up for grabs on June 29, Valerie Létourneau (9-6) will look to improve to 2-0 inside the Bellator cage when she meets the always-tough Bruna Ellen (4-1) at 125-pounds. Additional bouts, including the co-main event for Bellator 201: Macfarlane vs. Lara, will be announced in the coming days.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has been proving naysayers wrong since her viral MMA debut in 2015, defeating every opponent placed in front of her en route to becoming the inaugural Bellator women’s flyweight champion this past November by defeating Emily Ducote. Born in Honolulu, “The Ilimanator” was a high school wrestler at Punahou School, where she was also a classmate of pro golfer Michelle Wie. Primarily focusing on her academics, Macfarlane went on to attend San Diego State University, where she studied cultural anthropology and went on to earn her master’s degree in liberal arts and sciences. Following that, the 27-year-old dove headfirst into MMA, splitting time between Team Hurricane Awesome and 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, where she remains to this day. Undefeated as a pro, Macfarlane now looks to keep her undefeated record intact and the title around her waist.
Hailing from Medellin, Colombia, Alejandra Lara made a statement in Bellator’s flyweight division when she finished Lena Ovchynnikova via rear-naked choke at Bellator 190. The 23-year-old knockout artist has earned seven victories in eight outings since making her professional debut in 2011 and has shown tenacity in her fights thus far, showcasing a pair of first-round knockouts and multiple submissions. On the heels of her impressive promotional debut, Lara earned a shot at the championship on June 29.
The Canadian-born Létourneau, a former UFC strawweight title challenger, carries an impressive track record of thrilling fights, highlighted by a world title contest against former champion JoannaJędrzejczyk. Since signing with Bellator, “Trouble” has moved up to her more natural weight class, impressively defeating Kate Jackson in her promotional debut. At Bellator 201, the American Top Team-product will look to improve upon her nine victories as a professional, a tally that includes five finishes, with four coming by way of knockout.
At only 21-years-old, Ellen has already made three appearances for Bellator, competing against the likes of Veta Arteaga and Jessica Middleton. The Campinas, Brazil native and Team Nogueira-product has won four out of five fights to begin her professional career and will now look to continue her upward trajectory when she meets the former title challenger in a battle of top contenders.
Updated Bellator 201: Macfarlane vs. Lara Fight Card:
Women’s Flyweight Title Main Event: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (7-0) vs. Alejandra Lara (7-1)
Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Valerie Létourneau (9-6) vs. Bruna Ellen (4-1)