Champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane sees first analyst duty at Bellator 220

Bellator champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will expand her resume tonight in New York and make a little promotional history at the same time.

Macfarlane will be part of the Bellator 222 broadcast team as an analyst, she posted earlier this week on Instagram. As such, she’ll be the first women’s fighter to work as an analyst for the promotion.

“On my way to New York for #Bellator222, and super excited to announce that I will be part of the commentary team this Friday at Madison Square Garden!” Macfarlane posted. “Fricken nervous but honored that I will be the first female fighter that has done this for @bellatormma. So grateful to everyone for trusting me with the job! I’m no @sonnench, but I’ll do my best on the desk alongside @therealpunk and @jayglazer 😊. Make sure you all tune into @dazn_usa to watch us this Friday! #fightfamily #BellatorMMA #champlife #fightanalysis #deskcommentary #pineappleprincess #ilimanator

Bellator 222 takes place Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie. In the main event, welterweight champion Rory MacDonald (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1-1 BMMA) takes on Neiman Gracie (9-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) in a title fight that also is a semifinal bout in the welterweight grand prix tournament.

In addition, Lyoto Machida (25-8 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) meets Chael Sonnen (30-16-1 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) in the light heavyweight co-feature, and bantamweight champ Darrion Caldwell (12-2 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) puts his title on the line in a rematch with Rizin titleholder Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a crossover fight.

Macfarlane (10-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA), Bellator’s 29-year-old undefeated women’s flyweight champion from Hawaii, is coming off her third straight title defense with a TKO win over Veta Arteaga at Bellator 220 in April. In that fight, doctors shut down the bout due to a massive cut for Arteaga, giving Macfarlane the win in the third round.

Prior to that, she won the 125-pound belt with a submission of Emily Ducote at Bellator 186, then defended it with submissions of Alejandra Lara and Valerie Letourneau in 2018. Seven of her nine Bellator wins are by stoppage, including six submissions. Those six submissions have her tied for the most in Bellator history.

For more on Bellator 222, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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