Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will test her skills against Bruna Ellen in a flyweight fight at Bellator 284 on August 12th.
‘The Iliminator’ touched on multiple topics during the pre-fight virtual media day. Excerpts from our brief chat are below…
Macfarlane’s peripheral awareness of the rematch between DeAnna Bennett and Justine Kish on the same card–
“I’m actually a huge women’s MMA fan anyway. So like regardless if they were in my division or regardless if I had fought them or could fight them in the future, I would be stoked to watch their fight. I watch all of the women’s fights on the Bellator cards… I was excited to see them, that they were on the card. I think that’s a really good rematch to have, especially because Justine did beat me. She threw her name back there into title contention.”
“I think DeAnna has always been up there as a title contender. Despite her not making weight for the majority of her Bellator appearances, she’s still up there. I think she’s still one of the top in the division for sure. So I think whichever one of these ladies wins, can definitely make the argument for a title shot.”
The importance of supporting Native artists and how that ties in to this next fight–
“A lot of people think it’s kind of random that I’m fighting in South Dakota. But when I was offered this opportunity I was like hell yes, Indian country, baby. Those are like all of my relatives out there. We are on Indian land right now. So I just wanted to tribute and honor all of them this week. Pay tribute to all the native artists and businesses.”
“Native-owned businesses throughout Turtle Island and Indian country. So I’m wearing some of them right now as we speak. You’ll see me wearing them in the weigh ins. You saw them, I was wearing them during my photoshoots. Again, I think it’s just really important to honor the original occupants of this land.”