Please Note: Ilima-Lei MacFarlane missed the flyweight limit at weigh-ins on Friday. In the event of winning this fight, the championship would then be vacated.
Boy, oh boy have Bellator gone big for us this weekend! Live from San Diego, CA., Bellator are holding a combat-fuelled celebration for their 300th event! And they have certainly rewarded fans with one great card. In this piece, we are offering our prediction for the flyweight title fight between two very good friends; reigning champion Liz Carmouche and Hawaii's own Ilima-Lei MacFarlane. Read on to find our prediction below!
Liz Carmouche: In The Form of Her Life
Liz Carmouche is currently in the midst of the best run of form of her career, reigning over Bellator's flyweight division.
In fact, since moving to Bellator in 2020, Carmouche has been undefeated, and has been unbelievably impressive in the process, defying the predictions of many. She won the title over then-undefeated champion Julianna Velasquez at Bellator 278 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She then defended her newly-won belt over Velasquez in the rematch at Bellator 279, and also beat DeAnna Bennett via arm triangle. All in all, Liz Carmouche is the queen atop the division, and it's going to take some effort to dethrone her from her place at the top.
Ilima-Lei MacFarlane: Momentum Building At The Right Time
Firstly, as you will have seen from the very beginning of this piece, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane can't actually win the flyweight title tonight even if she DOES win – having missed weight at Friday's weigh-ins, in the event that MacFarlane does beat Carmouche, then the Bellator flyweight title would be vacated.
Aside from that, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane comes in to this fight on the back of some excellent form recently. She is currently riding a two-fight win streak (over Bruna Ellen and Kana Watanabe), and will be hoping to take that excellent form into this fight against good friend Carmouche. Ilima-Lei, aside from her unfortunate issues on Friday, will be coming into this fight feeling very confident about her chances, and with good reason too…
Liz Carmouche: Path to Victory – Outstanding Ground Game
My prediction is that you're going to see a lot of events in this fight unfold on the ground, because both of these ladies have exceptional ground game.
Liz Carmouche's ability on the ground is pretty devastating. Just look at both the volume and variety of finishes that she has obtained from the ground, and you will suddenly see why. Her ability to crucifix someone as advanced as Julianna Velasquez was extremely impressive, and she has some nasty shots that she can land from top position too.
To put it simply – Liz Carmouche is going to want this fight to stay on the ground, because she will be extremely confident about getting a finish there. If she is able to get top position against Ilima-Lei, then Liz Carmouche will find herself in a perfect position where she will feel extremely confident about retaining her flyweight championship.
Ilima-Lei MacFarlane: Path to Victory – Dictate Tempo On The Ground
Like her friend (and foe on Saturday night), Ilima-Lei MacFarlane is much more confident when the fight is on the ground. The fact that she fights out of 10th Planet BJJ in San Diego really tells you all you need to know.
If you study her professional record closely, you will see that Ilima-Lei much prefers using her grappling to dictate the tempo and rhythm of the fight. It's a great weapon to keep in the back of her opponents' minds as they try to get to grips with facing her. An easy prediction to make is that this fight against her good friend, who fights with the exact same style, will be massively interesting. Because Liz Carmouche actively WANTS the fight on the ground, it will be fascinating to see how Ilima-Lei changes her approach. Will she try and keep the fight standing instead?
Official Prediction: Carmouche To Remain The Queen
My prediction for this fight is that Liz Carmouche will retain her title.
Don't get me wrong – Ilima-Lei is a fantastic fighter, and she has been on a great run of form in her last two fights. But Liz Carmouche has looked extremely impressive throughout the duration of her title reign. On the ground, she has utterly decimated everyone who has stood opposite her, and done a lot of damage in the process. I think experience and craftsmanship are going to be big factors in this fight, and my prediction is that Liz Carmouche retains her title via unanimous decision.