This Thursday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut comes another edition of Bellator MMA action. A battle of undefeateds for the Bellator Women’s Flyweight World Championship pits defending champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (11-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) against Team Noguiera product Juliana Velasquez (10-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA). MacFarlane defeated Emily Ducote in the fifth round by submission to win the inaugural 125-lb crown back in November of 2017. Holding the title for over three years, she faces a worthy opponent in Velasquez, having members of one of Brazil’s best fight camps in her corner.
MacFarlane trains at the San Diego Combat Academy and holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu while Velasquez is skilled in Judo. The co-main event involves a bantamweight division bout between Magomed Magomedov (16-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) against Matheus Mattos (12-1-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who both make their debut in the Bellator cage. Magomedov has won four straight fights dating back from his days in the Absolute Championship Berkut promotion. He looks to keep his streak alive with a dress victory over a man who defeated Nashkho Galaev under the same banner as Magomedov.
In lightweight competition, Nate Andrews (16-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) comes from the Professional Fighters League and makes his debut against promotion veteran Goiti Yamauchi (25-4 MMA, 11-3 BMMA). Yamauchi is riding a three-fight winning streak while Andrews aims to get back on the winning end after going 1-2 in the PFL. Andrews is affiliated with New England Combat while the Aichi, Japan native fights for his own Team Yamauchi.
The final fight on the main card at heavyweight features Linton Vassel (20-8 MMA, 8-5 BMMA) and Brazilian grappling whiz Ronny Markes (19-7 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who also comes from the PFL, along with M-1, and grappled for the Kinetic promotion. Markes begins his Bellator journey against a 13-fight veteran under the Viacom-owned organization.
Bellator 254 will air the main card on the CBS Sports Network at 10 PM ET with preliminary matchups beginning at 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, December 10.