Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Kate Jackson, A.J. McKee vs. Derek Campos Top Bellator’s Return to Hawaii

Bellator Hawaii Ilima-Lei Macfarlane
Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Bellator’s second trip to Hawaii will once again feature Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, and they’re bringing fellow undefeated fighter A.J. McKee as well.

The key pieces are in place for Bellator’s return to Hawaii this December. Per a report by Hawaii’s own KHON2 News, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will top Bellator: Hawaii on December 21. She’ll take on Kate Jackson in the main event, with Macfarlane’s flyweight title on the line. The fun doesn’t stop there, however — the next round of the featherweight grand prix kicks off, with A.J. McKee taking on Derek Campos.

McKee vs. Campos was set this past weekend, with McKee choosing the December date, and Campos selecting ‘The Mercenary’ as his partner. However, the exact card and placement are news. KHON2 also reports that the company will once again hold back-to-back cards in Hawaii, so expect many more fights to come.

In the meantime, fans can prepare for the Iliminator’s next title defense. Macfarlane (10-0) has remained perfect so far in her career, and has quickly risen to become one of Bellator MMA’s top stars. Winning the inaugural women’s 125lb championship in Bellator in 2017, she subsequently defended the belt three times, against Alejandra Lara, Valerie Letourneau, and Veta Arteaga.

The Arteaga fight, her most recent, was perhaps Macfarlane’s biggest challenge, but she opened the challenger up with an elbow in the third, forcing the doctor to stop the fight.

Many had expected a rematch to be booked, but Bellator opted to give Jackson (11-3-1) a title shot instead. She’s 3-1 with the promotion to date, and on a two-fight win streak heading into the title fight. Those wins came over Anastasia Yankova and Lena Ovchynnikova.

As for the night’s 145lb grand prix quarter-final, McKee punched his ticket in all of eight seconds. That’s all it took to knock out Georgi Karakhanyan at Bellator 228 last weekend, improving McKee’s record to 15-0. Campos (20-9) earned a unanimous decision over former champ Daniel Straus to move forward.

Bellator’s return to Hawaii does not yet have an event number. It will once again take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.