Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is one of the top MMA fighters competing for Bellator and she’s just been awarded her BJJ black belt by Richie ‘Boogieman’ Martinez at his 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu San Diego location. Macfarlane has been steadily working her way up the ranks over the past decade, ever since she first made her Amateur MMA debut back in 2014. She actually only competed at that level for less than a year, as she racked up a perfect 5-0 record in that short space of time and was clearly ready for bigger things.
She turned professional in 2015 and won her first fight, earning herself a Bellator contract at a very early stage in her career. After Macfarlane won her first 5 fights for the promotion, before competing in a four-woman Combat Jiu-Jitsu tournament at EBI 12 and finishing both of her opponents. She returned to MMA immediately afterward and was given the opportunity to challenge for the Bellator women’s flyweight world championship. She won the title and went on to register 4 title-defenses over the next two years before she was eventually dethroned by Juliana Velasquez.
Macfarlane has gone 2-1 in MMA since then and continued to stay busy in professional grappling with a win over Jessica Eye at Submission Underground 21. She’s been working her way back to regaining her title and becoming the first woman to win the Bellator flyweight world championship twice, and has continued developing her skills at 10th Planet along the way. Now Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has received her final belt promotion by her long-time coach and training partner, Richie Martinez, and she joins the ranks of 10th Planet black belts.
Richie ‘Boogieman’ Martinez announced the news that Ilima-Lei Macfarlane had been promoted to BJJ black belt under him at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu San Diego in a recent post to his official Instagram account: