Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Isn’t Concerned If She’s Considered the Best Women’s Flyweight in the World

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is proud to be Bellator champion but she's not wasting much time comparing herself to UFC champion Valentina Shevchenko or anybody else for that matter

On Saturday night in Hawaii, Bellator women’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will look to defend her title for the second time when she faces former UFC contender Valerie Letourneau.

Macfarlane has been a home grown star for Bellator after joining the Viacom owned promotion after only having one professional fight on her resume.

Since that time, she’s reeled off seven straight wins including five by submission and picking up a victory over a former title challenger from the UFC would definitely be a major feather in her cap.

As much as beating Letourneau could be considered a measuring stick for Macfarlane when comparing herself to the elite flyweights in the UFC, she’s not losing much sleep at night regarding opinions about how she stacks up to fellow flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko or anybody else for that matter.

Instead, Macfarlane is only concerned about what she can control and that’s her fights and her career. Rankings and comparisons to other fighters just don’t interest her.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Macfarlane said ahead of her title defense at Bellator 213. “Rankings never mattered to me. I guess like cross promotional stuff doesn’t matter to me because I’m with Bellator and that’s all that I’m focused on. I just try to focus on what I’m capable of doing and what I’ve got with the fight in front of me.

“It doesn’t matter honestly who people think is the best flyweight in the world. I’m focused on what I’m doing.”

More than anything else, Macfarlane just wants to get a win this weekend as she defends her title in front of a home audience in Hawaii.

That would mean more to her than any ranking that could be awarded to her anyway.

“I always say this is the biggest fight of my life but this truly, truly is the biggest fight of my life,” Macfarlane stated. “It’s what I think is the pinnacle of my career.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.