Bellator’s Women’s Flyweight division has a ton of young talent. Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is at the top of Bellator’s Flyweight mountain looking down. With so much talent in the division where does Bellator go next? These are four fights Bellator should make in the coming months.
Illima-Lei Macfarlane versus Ariane Lipski OR Valerie Letourneau
Inaugural Bellator Women’s Flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (7-0) has yet to defend the strap she won in November. Although it has been just four months since the win over Emily Ducote, it is time to start thinking about her first title defense. Bellator has options. They can bring in KSW champion Ariane Lipski (11-3) and put her in the championship fight. If Bellator does this – Macfarlane-Lipski is a champion-versus-champion match-up fans would get behind.
If the promotion can’t get Lipski, a fight with former UFC Strawweight title contender Valerie Letourneau (9-6) could be a possibility. Letourneau won her Bellator debut in December against Kate Jackson. Letourneau makes a good first title defense for Macfarlane considering the MMA experience she has and the experience the champion lacks. This fight would not be an easy one for either fighter but a good MMA match-up it would be.
Anastasia Yankova versus Emily Ducote
With an undefeated record, Anastasia Yankova (5-0) needs to be tested at the 125 lb. weight limit. In her 3 Bellator fights a catchweight has had to be agreed upon because she couldn’t make weight. Yankova desperately needs to make weight and have a good showing as a Flyweight – not a catchweight fighter. Yankova is just one or two good showings away from a shot at the Flyweight title.
While Yankova hasn’t fought since April of last year, Emily Ducote (6-4) has been incredibly active – having fought in 5 fights in 2016 and 4 in 2017. Ducote is on a 2 fight losing streak and if she wants to stay relevant in Bellator’s Flyweight division she needs a win. A fight with Yankova might be favorable for Ducote just for the fact that she’s so active. Yankova has a ton of talent but hasn’t shown her entire skill set put together in one fight. Ducote is a former title contender whom like Yankova has a ton of talent. Yankova versus Ducote would be a great test for both – Bellator should make this fight.
Alejandra Lara versus Kristina Williams
At just 23, Alejandra Lara (7-1) is one of Bellator’s best female prospects. Lara is a star in the making. In her Bellator debut she choked out Lena Ovchynnikova in the 3rd round in a fight that her opponent was heavily favored. Bellator needs to put Lara in a fight against another rising star. Kristina Williams fits perfectly.
Kristina Williams (2-0) wasn’t supposed to win her Bellator debut when she fought Heather Hardy. She finished Hardy in the second round. Williams wasn’t supposed to beat Emily Ducote, yet she beat her too. Kristina Williams is game for a fight as is Alejandra Lara. This is a fight Bellator should make to see which one of their rising stars keeps on climbing up the Flyweight rankings.
Heather Hardy versus Bruna Ellen
Heather Hardy (2-1) is a world champion boxer turned MMA fighter. In 3 fights, Hardy has won 2 and lost 1. Bellator has a star in Heather Hardy, they just need to keep pushing her. As her MMA career progresses, so do her rock star qualities. Due to her boxing background, Hardy’s stand-up is on point. In her last fight against Ana Julaton, her ground game finally came to fruition. This is the Heather Hardy Bellator and fans of MMA want.
Like Heather Hardy, Bruna Ellen (4-1) is a on track to move up Bellator’s Flyweight rankings. With wins in her last two fights Ellen has proven she is a game fighter. Heather Hardy is also a game fighter. A fight between the two would be good for Bellator and the division.
Fight fans, what matches would you like to see in the Bellator flyweight division?