Following Bellator 295, Scott Coker Wants Carmouche vs. Macfarlane By End of the Year

While Ilima-Lei Macfarlane was busy pitching a women’s flyweight grand prix following Bellator 295, boss Scott Coker had a different idea.

“I think the first step is for her to fight Liz Carmouche. That’s top priority,” Coker said following Saturday’s event, the second of back-to-back Bellator cards in Honolulu. “By winning this fight against Watanabe who was extremely competitive, skilled, a lot of folks thought it could have went either way, and it was a tight fight— getting a decision puts her right in the sights of Liz. And we’ve got to do that fight.”

Macfarlane picked up a split decision win over Japan’s Kana Watanabe in a very close fight that many indeed felt could have gone the other way. Regardless, the former champ now has back-to-back wins, and is the clear favorite to face friend and former training partner Carmouche in what could very well be a storybook ending to her career.

Whether Macfarlane choose to retire or not — she has openly discussed the toll continued weight cuts are having on her chances at motherhood — another trip to Hawaii for a title fight makes an awful lot of sense.

“Do we do it here? I don’t know, because the [Neal S. Blaisdell Arena] is being closed for remodelling,” Coker noted. “We’ll talk to the Stan Sheriff Center and see what’s available.”

The flyweight title fight doesn’t necessarily have to take place in Hawaii, however, stressed Coker.

“Listen that fight, we could promote anywhere. That’s a big, big time fight. And those two girls have had great runs in their martial arts careers. We would love to promote that fight before the end of the year.”

Scott Coker would later note that while the Bellator’s business cycle had seen one trip to Hawaii each year, a second one would not be a hard sell. Still, “we’re kind of busy until the end of the year,” Coker stated. “If this fight could fit, could we talk to the Stan Sheriff and maybe get a date? We’ll see. But it’s been difficult getting a date over there in the past.”

One of Bellator’s other stars at the weekend stint in Hawaii, Danny Sabatello, called for a spot on June’s Chicago card following his win at Bellator 294 on Friday. That’s something Coker would be open to if a spot opened up.

“I would love to put Danny on that card. The card is extremely crowded right now, but I told my fight team today that if there’s injuries or something happens to some of the bigger fights, please keep Sabatello in mind,” Coker told Cageside Press during Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “Because I think he should fight in Chicago. That guy is— listen he’s a great wrestler, he’s a great talker, a great promoter, but he’s showing me now that he could actually become a great fighter. And he’s getting better and better and better every time I see him fight.”

“We’d love to have him fight in Chicago if it’s available. If not, we’re going to get him back into the cage as soon as possible.”

Watch the full Bellator 295 post-fight press conference appearance by Scott Coker above.