Bellator fights we want to see in 2021: MacFarlane vs Carmouche

Liz Carmouche

Few mixed martial arts promotions in the United States were able to return after the COVID-19 pandemic started. Bellator was one of those outliers. Getting back on their feet in July after the coronavirus knocked them down for five months straight in 2020. With the “fightsphere” set up in Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun, the promotion can conduct business consistently in the New Year. This means there are match-ups to make, and I have some Bellator fight demands for 2021.

Bellator dream fight: Liz Carmouche vs. Ilima-Lei MacFarlane

Who doesn’t want to see a couple of besties violently scrap inside a cage? Am I right? When Liz Carmouche signed with Bellator in December of 2019, a clash between her and long-time training partner Ilima-Lei MacFarlane was a radical idea both women were down for.

Fast forward a year, and MacFarlane is a former flyweight champion and the owner of her first career loss. Being one of the promotion’s most marketable faces means a rematch with new flyweight queenpin Juliana Velasquez is a priority for Bellator. However, when this clash Carmouche happens, and it should, it could be the closest thing to Bellator’s version of Obi-Wan Kenobi versus Anakin Skywalker.

MacFarlane has referred to the former Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight and flyweight title challenger as a “sister” and “mentor.” Plus, Scott Coker informed the media following “Girl-Rilla’s” Bellator 246 debut win [I was there], that the pair were no longer training together. Close friends see a fight brewing on the horizon, end their training bond, and look to settle the question of who is better between student or mentor. Fight promotion–or Hollywood storytelling–doesn’t get much better than that. Not to mention, they are the two best grapplers on the lady’s side of the roster. It’s an absolute must that Bellator makes it happen this year.

Who would win?

As much as I like MacFarlane and respect her submission game, there is something about the grinding style of Carmouche that is Jon Fitch-like. Where it takes special talents to overcome it. Carmouche has trained with the former champ and that’s a huge advantage in a fight that’ll be a war of attrition. The win goes to “Girl-Rilla.”

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