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Bellator champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane would ‘want’ to lose her belt to Liz Carmouche

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Bellator champion Macfarlane is eager to see her mentor sign up with the promotion

MMA: APR 20 Bellator 178
Llima-Lei Macfarlane prior to Bellator 178.
Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, the inaugural and current Bellator flyweight champion, is not shy in her praise of Liz Carmouche and describes her as, “my mentor and my main training partner and my coach through this entire journey.” This is why Macfarlane is hopeful that the reports are accurate and that Carmouche will be coming to Bellator. Perhaps more surprisingly, Macfarlane then repeatedly stated, “that’s who I would want to lose to.”

Macfarlane said the longtime training partners and friends had discussed Carmouche moving to Bellator “for years.” Now that the UFC has released the fighter, this shared dream is closer to reality.

The Bellator champion echoed the sentiments of many by saying, “I think she deserves better. I don’t think that her former employer respected her as a fighter or as a person.”

Carmouche, a Marine and Iraq War veteran, was doing promotional appearances in Washington, D.C. for the UFC when she learned she had been cut from the roster.

“I want her to come to Bellator. I want to lose the belt to her. I’m not overlooking (my next fight against) Kate Jackson at all or any of these other girls, but my dream would be to lose the belt to Liz,” Macfarlane told MMA Junkie.

She clarified, saying, “But don’t get me wrong, we would totally go out there to try to kill each other. It’s not like I’m just going to hand it over. People always ask me my dream fight, I’m like, ‘Liz.’”

Despite the clarification, Macfarlane’s comments sparked questions on social media. She then Tweeted, “Maybe should have prefaced it with “IF I were to lose the belt...”. I’ll work on my weird wording next time lol.”