Usually in mixed martial arts, teammates do not fight each other. They tend to avoid doing so because of the bond that is formed during education and do not want to be undermined.
Just don’t count Bellator Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s female flyweight coach nor Liz Carmouche in this squad.
Carmouche was the first to see Macfarlane when he entered Team Hurricane Awesome in San Diego. From there, a friendship was born. The champion and former UFC title challenger share the same management team, take care of each other’s dogs when the other is out of town, and Macfarlane even babysits Carmouche’s children.
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The idea to fight was not inevitable yet because they were in competitive bids. However, that changed two weeks ago, as Carmouche was inexplicably released by the UFC while doing promotional work for them. Sporting News has learned that Bellator is talking to Carmouche about signing with the organization, but no agreement has been reached at this time. If the pen can come on paper, the 125-pound female champion leader says they are ready to sign a contract and lock horns.
“We thought years ago that we would be 100 percent racing,” Macfarlane admitted to Sporting News ahead of her title defense Saturday at Bellator 236 against Kate Jackson from Arena Neal S. Blaisdell in Honolulu and live on DAZN. “We’ve already talked about it. We beat each other every day, so we can pay for it. We’re like sisters. She’s my mentor. I’m her student. She led me through this whole race trip. I think it would be so much You would have a coach and a student fighting each other.
“We talked about it, and we’re like, ‘Let’s do this, this could be such a cool thing,'” he continued. “We treat it as a sport, we are competitors, because whoever thinks we won’t go out there and try to break our head is wrong, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and maybe it’s the cards for us. Whatever he chooses, I’m behind her 100 percent. “
When Macfarlane (10-0) said her close friend was released by the UFC, she was initially upset. But then the wheels started to turn on her mind and she immediately went into sales mode, starting to hire Carmouche on her side of the tracks. While not yet working, Carmouche is in Hawaii and has assisted Macfarlane with race week activities, but will not be in the corner against Jackson.
“We were writing to each other and I said, ‘Hey, are you going to come to Bellator? “said Macfarlane.
“He handled everything with such a class and such a professionalism. People were surprised by it, but this is how he is 24/7. Not surprised at how he handled everything, but the cool thing is that he comes here for “The silver lining is the one that comes out here with her family. I’m excited to come to my house and see me fight.”
Before a fight with Carmouche can come to a close, Macfarlane has a tough test on the Bellator 236 headboard. Jackson (11-3-1) wins three of its last four with two of those victories coming in. in the distance. Macfarlane feels this is a race fan will appreciate as she looks to finish 2019 on a high note in her home country.
“Stylistically, we’re both alike,” Macfarlane said. “I think it’s going to be a great fight. I think the races will really appreciate that because we are two fighters who have come to the top keeping our heads down and putting in the work.”
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