MENU
#UFC Fight Night 108 #Cub Swanson #Artem Lobov #Mike Perry #Jake Ellenberger #Al Iaquinta #Diego Sanchez #John Dodson #Eddie Wineland #Seth Baczynski #Joe Lauzon #Stevie Ray #Cody Garbrandt #TJ Dillashaw #Conor McGregor


After a bit of uncertainty clouded flyweight up and comer Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s first year in MMA, 2016 ended up being solidifying, as it gave her the confidence to move forward in the sport knowing it was the right choice to pursue it.

Wins in all three of her bouts, including two finishes, really helped Macfarlane see this was the path she wanted to take.

“I think you can see from my first fight in January to my third fight in December how much I grew as a fighter,” Macfarlane told MMAWeekly.com. “I think 2016 was a turning point for me in whether or not I wanted to do this; whether I can see myself fighting. It was definitely a pivotal year for me.”

It is her mindset more so than any technical skill that Macfarlane feels benefited most from 2016.

“I think the biggest change for me was my confidence in myself and my abilities,” she said. “I never really fully accepted myself in fighting because it was never my plan to become a fighter. I didn’t know if it was for me.

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane - Bellator 141 weigh“I thought I might have been a fraud because I didn’t have that burning desire to be a fighter. But last year I gained confidence in my abilities and knew I could do this and be a fighter.”

While her outlook on fighting was the biggest change for Macfarlane, she does feel she was able to improve the skillset she had the least amount of experience in prior to turning to MMA.

“I’m always looking to improve, especially with my striking game,” said Macfarlane. “I had a wrestling background, so I gravitated towards grappling, but it’s striking that I really needed to start thinking about.”

On Friday in Uncasville, Conn., Macfarlane (5-0) will look to retain her perfect record when she takes on fellow undefeated fighter Jessica Middleton (2-0) in a main card 125-pound bout.

“She’s the longest, tallest fighter that I’ve ever fought against,” Macfarlane said of Middleton. “She’s also the first Muay Thai practitioner that I’ve fought against. So we’re expecting a lot of kicks and a lot of spinning stuff.

“Even though because I’m very comfortable off my back, that’s not the best situation for the situation like (Middleton) because she can be in your guard and still rain down strikes on you ecause of her length. With someone like her I definitely have to stay on top.”

After Bellator crowned its first 145-pound female champion earlier this year, Macfarlane is looking to become the first woman to hold the promotion’s 125-pound title in 2017.

“The overall goal is to fight for the belt,” said Macfarlane. “Not looking past this fight (vs Middleton) at all, but I would like to fight for the belt this year and win it.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 178 Results & Fight Highlights: Patricio Pitbull Recaptures the Crown | MMAWeekly.com

  • 2 days ago
  • 19 views

Patricio "Pitbull" Freire and Daniel Straus have a storied history, but Pitbull has taken a decisive lead in the rivalry. read news >>

Final Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4 Fight Card | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 8 views

Bellator 178 on Friday features the fourth clash between current featherweight champion Daniel Straus and former belt-holder Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. read news >>

Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4 What to Watch Preview | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 14 views

Daniel Straus and Patricio Pitbull are set for their fourth fight. Here' s a preview of their history, and what you can expect in Friday night's fight. read news >>

Ed Ruth Plans to Work His Striking Against David Mundell at Bellator 178 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 2 views

Ed Ruth (2-0) will look to pick up his first win of 2017 when he returns to Bellator this Friday to take on late replacement David Mundell in a 185-pound bout. read news >>

Watch the Bellator 178 Weigh-In Live at 5 PM ET on MMAWeekly.com | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 3 views

Watch the Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4 weigh-in streaming live, Thursday at 5 p.m. ET. Daniel Straus and Patricio Pitbull meet for the fourth time. read news >>

Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4 Weigh-In Results and Video | MMAWeekly.com

  • 3 days ago
  • 9 views

Watch the Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4 weigh-in, which took place on Thursday in Uncasville, Conn. read news >>

Bellator 178 Prelims LIVE on MMAWeekly.com, Friday at 7pm ET | MMAWeekly.com

  • 2 days ago
  • 9 views

Watch the Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4 preliminary bouts LIVE STREAM on MMAWeekly.com on Friday at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. read news >>

Michelle Waterson Believes Rose Namajunas Fight Leads to UFC Title Shot | MMAWeekly.com

  • 13 days ago
  • 4 views

In a Monday luncheon with the media, Michelle Waterson talked about how a win over Rose Namajunas could lead to UFC gold. read news >>

Dominic Mazzotta: 'I Can See Me Finishing AJ McKee' at Bellator 178 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 5 days ago
  • 5 views

Dominic Mazzotta (12-1) will make his Bellator debut when he takes on AJ McKee Jr. (7-0) in a main card 145-pound bout on Friday in Uncasville, Conn. read news >>

Ryan Bader Wants Title Shot in Bellator Debut | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 11 views

UFC veteran Ryan Bader recently inked a deal with Bellator MMA, and he wants an immediate shot at the belt. read news >>