Bellator’s Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Uses Fighting As Motivation to “Get My Ass Off the Couch”

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is the type of fighter who needs external motivation, and she has found that in Veta Arteaga.

Los Angeles, CA — The Iliminator was in town on Saturday night. While not fighting, Bellator women’s flyweight champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane was on hand at Bellator 214 in L.A., where her next title defense was announced. Macfarlane will take on Veta Arteaga in April in San Jose, a match-up she is very excited about.

Why? Because Arteaga’s style may just bring out the best in her. And at least push her to her limit. “I’m actually really excited for this one,” Macfarlane told the media backstage at The Forum. “I think Veta’s super tough. Kind of like the last brawler I won against.” She corrected herself then. “I’m not saying she’s just a brawler, she is technical and well rounded. But, you know someone as aggressive as she is was Rebecca Ruth, and that was one of my hardest fights ever. To this day, still my hardest fight.”

“I’m really excited about this match-up, and I know she’s going to bring it,” she added.

No doubt. The bout will be the co-main event of the San Jose card. Also appearing, in the main event, will be welterweight champ Rory MacDonald, taking on Jon Fitch.

It’s a quick turnaround for a champion who fought barely over a month ago. “People are kind of surprised that I’m back in so soon, but I do like to stay active,” explained Macfarlane. “Especially because I tend to put on a lot of pounds, and vacation for a really long time.” In fact, she was pursuing a fight for just that reason. “I asked Bellator, I was like ‘can you just put me in sooner than later,’ just because I know how I work now, and I’m like ‘I need to get in there otherwise I’m just going to be chilling.'”

“It gives me a reason to get back in the gym. Once the bout agreement is signed, it’s all business.” Her manager chose not to give her the bout agreement for Arteaga until she returned from vacation, so as not to ruin it for her. “I am one of those weird fighters, that I need somebody to tell me to do something, otherwise I’m not going to do it on my own. Or I need that external factor to get my ass off of the couch. So it’s Veta.”

The pair will meet April 27. You can watch the full media scrum with Ilima-Lei Macfarlane at Bellator 214 above.