Home News Bellator 279: Justine Kish upsets Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in front of former champs...

Bellator 279: Justine Kish upsets Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in front of former champs home crowd (Video)

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Bellator 279: Justine Kish upsets Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in front of former champs home crowd (Video)

Bellator 279:  Justine Kish upset Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

Justine Kish defeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), at Bellator 279 on Saturday, April 23, 2022, live from the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, HI.

Macfarlane opened the fight with a takedown attempt but Kish was able to defend it. Kish eventually tossed Macfarlane to the ground and took a top position. Macfarlane recovered and returned to her feet. The two women slowed the pace after the fast start. The women traded punches but the majority of punches failed to connect.

The second round saw Macfarlane come out aggressive. However, it was Kish who got the best of the exchange. Kish caught Macfarlane’s takedown attempt and locked in a submission hold. Macfarlane was able to escape and applied her own submission hold. Kish was able to escape and return to her feet. The two women engaged in a clinch against the fence, with Kish tripping Macfarlane. The two grappled for a bit before Kish allowed Macfarlane to get back up.

Both women entered the final round, believing that they needed to win the round to win the fight, and opened the final round aggressively. The two traded punches with Kish landing more than her opponent. Macfarlane landed a straight right that knocked an off-balanced Kish to the ground. Kish was able to recover immediately and took down Macfarlane. Again, Macfarlane showed off her advantage on the ground by applying a submission but Kish was able to escape. Kish maintained side-control as Macfarlane could not get out from the bottom. Kish transitioned to full mount and then took the back. Macfarlane avoided the choke but Kish locked in an armbar that Macfarlane was able to escape. Macfarlane took the back but time ran out before she could take advantage of her position.

Macfarlane made her return to the Bellator cage after a year and a half off due to knee surgery. Macfarlane had not fought since losing the flyweight title to Juliana Velasquez at Bellator 254. The second straight loss is disappointing for Macfarlane, who will look to bounce back in her next fight.

After starting her career 6-0, Kish struggled over her last six fights, losing five times. After leaving the UFC, Kish signed with Bellator, losing her debut to DeAnna Bennett at Bellator 274. The victory over Macfarlane is arguably the biggest of Kish’s career. Kish entered the fight unranked in the Bellator flyweight rankings but is instantly in title contention following her victory.

Bellator 279: Cris Cyborg vs. Arlene Blencowe 2 took place on Friday, April 23, 2022, live from the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, HI. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.