Hawaii native Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will help Bellator MMA break ground in her home state when she defends her flyweight crown against Valerie Letourneau on Dec. 15.
On Monday, the promotion's inaugural female flyweight queen received another honor when Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell proclaimed Sept. 17 to be “Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day.”
“On behalf of your whole city, we're proud of you and all of your accomplishments, and we're excited to see the future ahead of you,” Caldwell wrote on social media. “Good luck on the big fight in December!”
Congratulations to @ilimanator for being crowned the #BellatorMMA Female Flyweight World Champion! We're proud of you and all of your accomplishments, and we're excited to see the future ahead of you. Good luck on the big fight in December!
#Ilimanator #BellatorHawaii pic.twitter.com/Vpkjex6ujv – Kirk Caldwell (@MayorKirkHNL) September 18, 2018
Macfarlane will square off against Letourneau at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu on Dec. 15 in the evening's main event to mark Bellator's first-ever trip to Hawaii. The card will stream live on DAZN and also includes a middleweight clash between Lyoto Machida and Rafael Carvalho.
“Every day I just keep thinking, â€˜This can't get any better.' But, today, meeting the mayor, getting my own day, receiving this proclamation, having our heart-to-heart talk, that was just the cherry on top of an amazing week back home,” Macfarlane said.
Mayor Caldwell proclaims Monday as 'Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day' in #Honolulu https://t.co/BsSU6efG48 @ilimanator @MayorKirkHNL @rich_chou @arielhelwani // https://t.co/SOdY37JnAf#BellatorHawaii pic.twitter.com/i05pbLFrsh – Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) September 18, 2018
The honorary ceremony was only part of Macfarlane'…