Bellator 201: Live Results / Recaps / Clips from Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s Successful Title Defense
Temecula, California – At Bellator 201, fight fans were treated to a quartet of solid main card clashes including a headlining title defense by flyweight division ruler Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Read on for recaps of each fight plus plenty of clips to illustrate the Bellator 201 action!
Bellator 201 Women’s Flyweight Title Fight
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (8-0, Bellator champ, #10 World)
Submission-Armbar, Round 3
Alejandra Lara (7-2, #51 World)
If Ilima-Lei Macfarlane expected a complete walkover in her title defense versus unknown South American regional talent Alejandra Lara, she learned that wasn’t the case as she ate a series of wicked leg kicks early in the fight. Shortly thereafter Lara surprised by scoring the first takedown of the contest, though she ended up spending much of round 1 fighting off a triangle choke effort from the champ. Once round 2 started, Macfarlane looked much more in her world as she took the fight to the mat and exacted revenge for the mild trouble that Lara put her in during the first stanza. Finally in round 3, “The Iliminator” managed to leverage her grappling edge into a submission finish by armbar – a big relief to the gamblers who put money on her as a big -600 favorite. Successful, if slightly more difficult than expected, work from Ilima-Lei Macfarlane – post fight the champ demanded an event in her home state of Hawaii, and pegged undercard winner Valerie Letourneau as a potential next title challenger.
Hawaiian-born Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defends her flyweight title for the first time, submitting Colombia's Alejandra Lara in the third after a long struggle for the armbar. Also the first female EBI Combat Jiu-Jitsu champ, Macfarlane has subs in five of her eight wins. #Bellator201 pic.twitter.com/pYMaTTpJPG— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) June 30, 2018
160: Saad Awad (23-9, #46 World) TKO1-Punches Ryan Couture (11-6, #401 World)
Hall of Fame son Ryan Couture had to eat a number of punches plus kicks to the head, body, and legs before he could close distance on hard-hitting Bellator stalwart Saad Awad in round 1. Unfortunately for Couture, when he did manage to get it to the clinch the “Assassin” easily shucked him away and returned to his world in the center of the cage. Awad punished Couture with hard right hands, and when he rocked the vet with about a minute left in round 1 he flipped the switch to kill mode. Couture hung tough as he ate a hellacious onslaught of violence before ref Jason Herzog finally stepped in for the TKO stoppage at 4:29 of round 1. Great work from Saad Awad, who extended his win streak to four straight – the best run of his Bellator career. Can the red-hot Awad finally insert himself in the lightweight title picture after hanging out on the fringes of the main event for about five years now? Awad’s home California crowd certainly supported the idea when the 35 year old asked for a title shot post-fight!
In his 17th Bellator appearance, Saad "Assassin" Awad tees off on Ryan Couture, son of Randy. Finishing it late in the first, he is on a four-fight winning streak. #Bellator201 pic.twitter.com/ZuynCEkxXL— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) June 30, 2018
W125: Valerie Letourneau (10-6, #26 World) Unanimous Decision Kristina Williams (2-1, #37 World)
Former UFC strawweight contender Valerie Letourneau has settled back to her natural 125 weight class since signing with Bellator, and she enjoyed plenty of success in her second fight with the promotion versus short notice upstart Kristina Williams. Williams has relied on pure strength and aggression in her two pro wins, which both came in the Bellator cage, but that was a recipe for eating a buffet of striking offense from the well-heeled Canadian. After dishing out several nice leg kicks, Letourneau earned a knockdown with a sharp overhand right to the jaw midway through round 1. “Trouble” continued to land the same straight right in a round 2 that was much closer, as Williams started to apply pressure and land some good head shots of her own as the fight progressed. Letourneau did some of her best striking work from dirty boxing range, where she ducked her head in and landed winging hockey punches. To Williams’ credit, she was never out of the fight and continued to press the action inside the pocket even though she ate plenty of shots. But this was Valerie Letourneau’s fight, as the talented veteran used wrestling and top control to secure round 3 and move to 2-0 in Bellator via hard-earned unanimous decision by 29-28 scorecards.
Valérie Létourneau outpoints Kristina Williams in an absolute barnburner, buoyed by a first-round knockdown and third-round takedowns whilst "War Horse" channeled Frye-Takayama. The former UFC title challenger is now 2-0 in Bellator. #Bellator201 pic.twitter.com/LPzUz1P67y— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) June 30, 2018
145: Juan Archuleta (19-1, #78 World) KO3 Robbie Peralta (19-9, #309 World)
If you like flying knees and diverse combos, you’ll probably enjoy the attack offered by four-division King of the Cage champ Juan Archuleta – but the man also knows how to secure a win, as evidenced by his well-rounded gameplan in the Bellator 201 TV opener. In his second Bellator appearance Archuleta displayed wide open firepower in round 1 before dominating UFC vet Robbie Peralta with his wrestling and clinch games in round 2. Then at the very start of round 3, Archuleta strode off his stool and absolutely put out Robbie Peralta with a right hand + followup Donkey Kong hammerfists! Vicious and complete work from Bellator’s newest featherweight contender Juan Archuleta, who tallied his 15th straight victory in impressive style.
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