Bellator 254: “Macfarlane vs. Velasquez” took place Dec. 10, 2020, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The night’s main event featured two undefeated Flyweights putting everything on the line in a scheduled five-round affair — champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-0) and No. 1 contender Juliana Velasquez (10-0).
Macfarlane was Bellator MMA’s first and only champion of the weight class since the title was inaugurated at Bellator 186 back in 2017. Since then, she had defended her crown against a slew of top talent, including Alejandra Lara, Valerie Letourneau and Veta Arteaga.
How would she respond to this new challenge from a world class judoka?
Sadly for the champion (but happily for the challenger), Macfarlane never seemed to have any answers. Over the duration of 25 minutes she steadily took more and more of a beating, seeming only to “wake up” in the later rounds and get at least one takedown that put her on top to pound on Velasquez. It wasn’t enough and she lost by unanimous decision, but if you missed the title changing hands last year, now’s your chance to revisit this historic moment.
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