Bellator Hawaii: Who’s Next In Line

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Scott Coker and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane
Scott Coker, Bellator CEO and women's flyweight champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator’s return to Hawaii took place with two separate events over two days. The first, Bellator USO, came on Friday, December 20 and the second, Bellator Hawaii, on Saturday, December 21. The Friday event was originally supposed to be headlined by Josh Barnett vs. Ronny Marks. However, after falling ill and not being cleared by the commission, Barnett was forced to withdraw from the bout. The Saturday card was headlined with a women’s flyweight title fight between llima-Lei Macfarlane and Kate Jackson. Today we will take a look at what’s next for the cast of Bellator Hawaii.

llima-Lei Macfarlane

Macfarlane won the Bellator women’s flyweight title in November of 2017. She has defended that title four times and is running out of options in that division. She has respectfully cleared out her division which in return is making Bellator sign new talent to fill the weight class.

Bellator have recently signed Liz Carmouche, a training partner of Macfarlane at Team Hurricane Awesome (San Diego Combat Academy). Although they do train together it is not unheard of for teammates to fight one another. Especially when it’s for a title or for a shot to get closer to a title. With only super fights on the horizon for Macfarlane, it would seem that if she wants to stay at flyweight, this would be one of her only options. Carmouche has said she has no problem fighting her teammate for the title.

Next Fight: Teammate, Liz Carmouche 

Raufeon Stots

Raufeon Stots defeated Cheyden Leialoha via decision in his Bellator debut this past weekend. He is 12-1 in his career and has wins over Rob Emerson and Ralph Acosta. His one sole career loss is to Merab Dvalishvii before Dvalishvii got into the UFC. Being an already big name outside of Bellator, it is likely that the promotion looks to push him a little quicker than they normally push their prospects. With that being said a good next opponent for him would be Ricky Bandejas.

Bandejas is currently 2-2 inside the Bellator cage and 12-3 in his professional career. He burst on the scene when he scored a TKO win over James Gallagher, but they subsequently fell off the map with back-to-back losses to Juan Archuleta and Patrick Mix. Thankfully he bounced back with a win earlier this year. Scott Coker and Rich Chou would be smart to match up these two up-and-coming prospects to find out which of them is the next big thing for Bellator.

Next Fight: Ricky Bandejas

Jason Jackson

Jason Jackson scored himself an impressive decision win over Kiichi Kunimoto this past weekend. Making his record inside the Bellator cage 1-1 with his only loss a split decision loss to Ed Ruth. Jackson has had two opportunities to make it to the UFC that just never came to fruition. He lost on the Ultimate fighter to Michael Graves and he lost his Contender Series bout with Kyle Stewart due to an ankle injury. Although he does hold career wins over Dhiego Lima and Hermerson Souza. To put his skills to the test, Coker should look to book him against Sabah Homasi next.

Homasi is 1-0 in Bellator winning his debut via Ko against Micah Terrill in August. Homasi had a short stint in the UFC going 0-3 before being cut. He was set to fight Paul Daley in October but that fight was canceled. Now, seeing Jackson’s stock rise would be a great time to get back in the cage and try to use him as a stepping stone.

Next Fight: Sabah Homasi 

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