Bellator 236: “Macfarlane vs. Jackson” airs TONIGHT (Sat., Dec. 21, 2019) from Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii, streaming exclusively via DAZN. The 125-pound main event will see undefeated Flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (10-0) face down Kate Jackson (11-3-1), with a Featherweight Grand Prix co-main between A.J. McKee (15-0) and Derek Campos (20-9).
Bellator 236’s main card will start at 10 p.m. ET exclusively on DAZN (watch it) with “Prelims” undercard bouts beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on Bellator.com, DAZN and mobile app. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment about the bouts (or 236) and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 236 QUICK RESULTS:
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Kate Jackson — Macfarlane UD 50-45, 50-44 X2.
A.J. McKee vs. Derek Campos — McKee sub (arm bar) 1:08 R3.
Jason Jackson vs. Kiichi Kunimoto — Jackson UD 30-27 X3.
Juliana Velasquez vs. Bruna Ellen — Velasquez UD 30-27 X2, 30-26.
Raufeon Stots vs. Cheyden Leialoha — Stots UD 29-28 X2, 30-27.
Nainoa Dung vs. Zachary Zane — Zane UD 29-28 X3.
Swayne Lunasco vs. Kaylan Gorospe — Lunasco TKO 3:29 R3.
Keoni Diggs vs. Scotty Hao — Diggs sub (RNC) 2:23 R2.
Kai Kamaka III vs. Spencer Higa — Kamaka UD 30-27 X3.
Dustin Barca vs. Brandon Pieper — Barca sub (RNC) 0:58 R1.
Keali’i Kanekoa vs. Ben Wilhelm — Wilhelm sub (RNC) 2:24 R1.
Nate Yoshimura vs. Chas Dunhour — Dunhour KO 2:46 R2.
BELLATOR HAWAII PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Kate Jackson
Blue gloves, gray trunks and black top for the 11-3-1 Jackson out of Lostwithiel, Cornwall, England. The 10-0 Macfarlane enters after a ceremonial introduction from Hawaii’s women warriors (so described by Macfarlane in a pre-fight interview) dancing, singing and waving the Hawaiian flag. She’s wearing the red gloves, black bodysuit and short black trunks and hails from right here in Honolulu, Hawaii. The referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Macfarlane and Jackson move to the center and feel out the range. Macfarlane clinches at 27 seconds and Jackson tries to throw her, but Macfarlane shoves her into the cage. Macfarlane gets the takedown at 1:03. Macfarlane works to pass the guard as Jackson keeps her knees up high. She works her way to three quarter guard with a short elbow to the head. Jackson gets back up at 2:57 and Macfarlane is going for the anaconda choke while firing knees to the head. The blood is now flowing for Jackson. She responds with a short left elbow to the chin and spins to take Macfarlane’s back. Macfarlane turns Jackson around with 20 seconds left and gives us a better look at Jackson’s bloody nose. 10-9 Macfarlane.
Round 2: Jackson misses with a front kick and a leg kick. Macfarlane pops her with a combo at 30 seconds. Body shots follow. Jackson charges forward for a front kick. Another one lands as does a leg kick. Macfarlane throws a flurry and puts Jackson on the fence. Jackson tries to peel her off and eats an uppercut in the process, but she’s able to turn Macfarlane around. Macfarlane reverses at 1:58 for an elbow over the top and Jackson puts her on the fence again. Dirty boxing for both women. Elbow to the face from Jackson but Macfarlane turns Jackson around and drops levels. Takedown at 3:18. Left elbow to the head by Macfarlane. More elbows with a minute left. Macfarlane steps over and goes for a straight arm bar but Jackson survives the round. 10-9 Macfarlane.
Round 3: Macfarlane blocks a takedown attempt by Jackson 30 seconds in. Jackson gets the left leg high in the air but can’t do anything with it and lets it go. Body shot for Jackson. Left hook for Macfarlane. Macfarlane with right uppercuts and knees to the body. Jackson tries to take the back against the fence. Macfarlane breaks free at 2:17. Combo for Macfarlane 11 seconds later. Overhand right. Uppercut. I can’t think Jackson expected to be out struck on the feet. She’s hurt with a combo at 3:01. Macfarlane slips and slides to avoid a head kick. Fierce left hands from Macfarlane sting Jackson. Macfarlane pushes her into the cage at 3:50. Takedown at 4:16. She traps the right arm with a knee for a moment. Elbows to the rib cage. 10-9 Macfarlane.
Round 4: Jackson misses with a front kick and Macfarlane closes the distance for two right uppercuts. She gets the takedown at 20 seconds, Jackson scrambles and Macfarlane gets right back on top. Jackson sits up and tries to slice her knee through. Macfarlane tries to pass to side but ends up on top in half. 90 seconds gone. Herzog calls for more action. Hard body shot by Macfarlane. Jackson tries to elevate Macfarlane but eats an elbow. She passes to North-South and looks to secure the back as Jackson desparately hands on to the wrists. She has the back with 90 seconds left. She’s trying to get an arm bar with a minute left and Jackson is defending for all she’s worth. 30 seconds. Jackson survives the attempt but is down four rounds, 10-9 each frame.
Round 5: Macfarlane applauds her opponent as Jackson smiles before the final round, and they exchange a glove tap to start. Left hand from Macfarlane. The unofficial strike statistic from Bellator says she’s landed over 52% of her strikes and also thrown more than Jackson. Jackson has to circle back to center after Macfarlane nearly cuts the angle into the fence. The left finds a home again. Jackson throws a body kick and misses a body shot. Scintillating combo from Macfarlane leads to a clinch by both women. Three minutes left. Jackson tries and fails to throw Macfarlane. Even in clinch it feels like Macfarlane is looking for a possible submission. They break at 3:10 and Macfarlane lands an uppercut. A left follows. They tie up again with 90 seconds to go. Knee to the body from Macfarlane. Jackson turns her. Right elbow for Jackson. Knee to the body from Macfarlane and she drops levels with her hands locked. Takedown at 4:13. Full mount 11 seconds later. Right hands pound away as Herzog keeps a close eye on it. Jackson survives a 10-8 round.
Final result: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane retains by 50-45, 50-44 X2 by unanimous decision.
A.J. McKee vs. Derek Campos
Black trunks and blue gloves for the 20-9 Campos. Red gloves and black trunks for the 15-0 McKee. Campos fights out of Lubbock, Texas. McKee fights out of Long Beach, California. The referee for this grand prix quarterfinal is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: McKee goes for a flying knee and can’t land it flush, spins and slips, and Campos is briefly on top until McKee gets him off at 25 seconds. McKee throws a body kick and shoots for a takedown, lacing the legs against the fence and taking the back as it passes the one minute mark. McKee goes for the rear naked choke and lets it go when he doesn’t have it on right. He’s got it momentarily at 1:46 and lets it go again. McKee considers moving to mount on top but Campos closes the guard. McKee backs up at 2:21 and tries to jump over the top and lands back in guard. Campos tries to wall walk but McKee blocks it and takes the back with a body triangle locked in. Campos is trying to control the wrists and arms to avoid McKee getting under his chin. One minute left. Campos survives a 10-9 for McKee but the RNC nearly snuck in at the end.
Round 2: Campos is hurt 25 seconds into round two and McKee is pouring it on left hands. Campos weathers the storm and McKee slows down rather than burn himself out. McKee is going for a d’arce choke but Campos escapes. Campos and McKee slug it out, McKee fails to get a takedown, flops to his back, and Campos jumps on top in guard. Campos picks his spots to land the right elbow as McKee tries to keep it chest to chest with a body triangle. Elbows from the bottom by McKee. McKee went for an armbar but Campos slipped out. 10-9 round for Campos.
Round 3: Campos lands a hard right at 20 seconds. McKee responds with a left to the body. Left body kick is blocked. McKee with a takedown at 44 seconds. Quicker than a hiccup McKee transitions to an arm lock as Campos scrambles, secures the submission and taps Campos out.
Final result: A.J. McKee via arm bar submission at 1:08 in the third round.
Jason Jackson vs. Kiichi Kunimoto
Blue gloves, black trunks, and a 20-8-2 record for Kunimoto out of Osaka, Japan. Red gloves and black/red trunks for the 10-4 Jackson out of Hollywood, Florida. The referee in charge of this fight is Frank Trigg.
Round 1: Jackson sprints to the center, uninterested in a glove tap. Kunimoto gets cracked by a right at the 29 second mark but Jackson steps back to force Kunimoto to stand up. Kunimoto misses with a leg kick and Jackson connects with another right. Kunimoto gets a takedown and has the back at 1:40. Kunimoto is trying to get his right arm under the chin but Jackson sweeps on top at 2:24. Kunimoto goes for a wrist lock and Jackson is in trouble. He scrambles and survives the kimura at 3:10. Jackson finally makes the wise decision to stand up at 3:46. He immediately fires the right hand. Inside uppercut misses. Left hand lands. Head kick. Kunimoto presses Jackson into the fence and Jackson turns him around. Jackson picks Kunimoto up high in the air and slams him with authority with 15 seconds left right into side control. 10-9 Jackson.
Round 2: Jackson once again charges to the center to open the round. Kunimoto fires leg kicks and eats another hard right. He pumps the left jab to feel the range and mark up Kunimoto’s face. Right hand at 45 seconds. Kunimoto’s level change is blocked. Jackson is momentarily swept off his feet with a kick. Jackson attacks the body. 90 seconds gone. Right hand lands. You can hear Jackson’s corner telling him to “POP POP POP” with the strikes. He obliges with a jab that snaps Kunimoto’s head back. Another takedown is blocked. Jackson sprawls to block a naked takedown shot. Head kick attempt with 80 seconds left. Big right hand 9 seconds later. Left jab. Left jab. Right hook. Kunimoto goes for a body lock takedown and gets Jackson to one knee, goes for the back, and Jackson stands in front of him waiting for Kunimoto to stand up — he does so very slowly. 10-9 again for Jackson.
Round 3: Kunimoto’s takedown is easily blocked 16 seconds in and Jackson walks away to force him to stand up. Left jab. Right hook. Left jab. Left jab. Kunimoto goes for a single leg that’s blocked. Kunimoto misses with a kick. Jackson lands a head kick. Combo from Jackson. Leg kick and uppercut for Jackson. Right by Kunimoto. Two back in return. Right by Kunimoto. Leg kick Jackson. Leg kick Kunimoto. Right hand and left by Jackson. Combo. Body shot. Clinch. Knees back and forth. Kunimoto pulls guard and fails to trap the head, putting Jackson on top with a minute left. Kunimoto tries and fails to trap it again with 20 seconds to go. Jackson forces a stand up for the final 10. Knee strike and lateral throw for Jackson to definitively finish a third 10-9 round.
Final result: Jason Jackson wins via unanimous decision of 30-27 X3.
Juliana Velasquez vs. Bruna Ellen
Black trunks, black top, blue gloves and a 5-2 record for Ellen. Red gloves, red trunks, red top for Velasquez with an unblemished record of 9-0. Ellen hails from Sao Paolo, Brazil. Velasquez hails from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Velasquez is trying to impose her size advantage early, forcing Ellen to backpedal toward the fence with her hands up high, throwing kicks where she can. Velasquez pumps the right as Ellen shifts directions. Velasquez lands a left hand. Velasquez rocks Ellen with a left just as the crowd was starting to boo and jumps on top to throw elbows. She backs away at 2:19 and lets Ellen to her feet. She continues to walk Ellen down looking to land another shot. Ellen jabs the jaw as Velasquez keeps the left cocked and ready to fire. Leg kick for Ellen. Right hook from Velasquez. 10-9 Velasquez.
Round 2: Velasquez methodically nay ROBOTICALLY walks Ellen down the first minute of this round. Ellen jabs and spins and shuffles and slides but doesn’t land any big blows. Velasquez strikes when she wants, where she wants, choosing when to step into range on her own time. A big left lands home at 3:15 and again at 3:28. 4:08. Ellen charges forward at 4:30 and maybe lands one strike. Velasquez lands a head kick and a left hook and a flying knee as time ticks away. 10-9 Velasquez.
Round 3: “Her volume is not high but her percentage of landing that blow is.” John McCarthy just accurately summed up Velasquez’ performance this entire fight. Velasquez momentarily has Ellen against the fence eating damage. She gets her there again at 1:40 for two left hooks. Ellen’s left eye is swelling badly now. Velasquez tags it with the right jab. Straight left down the pipe. Right jab again. Again. Left hook. Combo. Right. Left hook. Kick from Ellen. 90 seconds left. Left straight. Comb. Body shots. Ellen is hurting. Left hand to the eye. 40 seconds. Two more left hooks. Velasquez closes the distance and fires a series of shots to the body and head punctuated with knees and elbows. 10-8 Velasquez.
Final result: Juliana Velasquez wins a unanimous decision of 30-27 X2, 30-26.
Raufeon Stots vs. Cheyden Leialoha
Blue gloves and silver trunks for Leialoha. His career record is 7-1. Raufeon Stots sports the red gloves with black and green shark trunks. His record is 12-1. Leialoha fights out of Puna, Hawaii. Stots fights out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The referee is Chris West.
Round 1: Leialoha opens with a body kick before Stots clinches and pushes him into the fence. Leialoha turns him around and Stots turns him back. Knees fly back and forth. Leialoha turns Stots into the cage again and is trying to use his head as a third arm. Stots turns him back at 1:53 and tries to drop levels. Leialoha widens his stance but Stots finally breaks through at 2:29. Leialoha stands right back up. They tire of the stalemate and break to exchange with two minutes left. Leialoha goes for a takedown but Stots rides with him and winds up on top in half guard. 10-9 Stots.
Round 2: Both men stutter steps and feel out the range for the first 30 seconds before Leialoha teases a takedown. Stots lands a couple of rights and misses with a left hook. Leialoha gets a takedown at 1:05 and goes for the back with one hook in. Stots stands up as Leialoha rides him down fishing for a kimura. Stots pulls out at 2:08 and passes to half. Leialoha pushes him back into full. Stots is doing rabbit punches to the body but not posturing up much as he seems to fear the possible submission attempts. Stots was on top for more of the round and did more damage so he edges out a 10-9.
Round 3: Stots has Leialoha against the fence, then Leialoha has him against the fence, and they break just before the minute mark. Leialoha attacks with body shots, Stots shoots, Leialoha tries to sprawl but Stots turns the corner and completes the takedown. Leialoha is sitting up against the cage. He steps over to half guard at 1:56. Leialoha goes for an armbar and forces Stots to defend. He escapes at 3:08 and regains half guard. He switches to the other side with a minute left. He switches again and has side control with half a minute to go. Stots takes the back but loses it and they stand with 12 seconds left. Jump knee and right hand by Stots. 10-9 Stots.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 X2 and 30-27 all for Raufeon Stots.
Nainoa Dung vs. Zachary Zane
Black trunks and blue gloves for Zane with a pro record of 13-9. Black trunks and red gloves for Dung, unblemished at 3-0. Zane fights out of Wailuku, Hawaii. Dung fights out of Makaha, Hawaii. Our ref is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Zane opens with a leg kick. Zane closes the distance and gets a takedown at 20 seconds. Big left elbow smashes home. Lefts to the body, right to the head. It’s all one way traffic so far for Zane 90 seconds into the fight. Dung is trying to keep him at bay with butterfly guard and/or buck him off with no success. He finally gets a sweep at 2:53 and stands up but Zane takes him right back down. Slashing right elbow. Sweep fails this time. Zane passes to half guard but Dung recovers. 10-9 Zane.
Round 2: Dung blocks a takedown attempt at 30 seconds but Zane breaks through 10 seconds later. He gets up and is taken right down again at 1:22. Zane gets to half guard and he’s accreting damage. Dung tries to get up just past the halfway point and Zane takes his back, then goes for an omoplata, then Zane winds up back on top in full guard. Nice scramble for a moment but Dung never gained the advantage. Same thing when he goes for the sweep at 3:54 - Zane just ends up right where he was moments later. The crowd is getting a little restless with the top game and so is Mr. Beltran. Zane goes for a guillotine choke very late in the frame. 10-9 Zane.
Round 3: Zane clips Dung with a right hook to start off this round’s action. Another lands on the shoulder at 46 seconds. Dung tries to jab into range. Dung’s high kick is checked. Dung nails Zane with a body kick and he goes for a mounted guillotine when it goes to the ground. Beltran is taking a close look but Zane survives. Dung takes the back as Zane tries to escape. Zane tries again and winds up on top in half guard. 2:15 left. Both men stand back up at 3:15 and Dung delivers a knee up the middle. Dung shaves the head with a kick and throws a spinning backfist. Knee to the body from Dung. Zane goes for a takedown and Dung tries to turn it into a guillotine. Zane gets to his knees and gets another takedown. Dung tries to go for a triangle but Zane avoids it and gets North-South. Dung tries to kick him away but Zane is back on top in butterfly guard. Dung bucks again and Zane gets back on top in half with 10 seconds left. 10-9 Dung.
Final result: All three judges score it 29-28 for Zachary Zane.
Swayne Lunasco vs. Kaylan Gorospe
Both fighters are making their pro debut tonight. Gorospe is in the blue gloves with black trunks and fights out of Hawaii. Lunasco is in the red gloves and red trunks and fights out of Hawaii. The referee is Chris West.
Round 1: Gorospe circles on the outside as Lunasco stalks him. Lunasco already owns a win over him in an amateur bout. Lunasco takes him down at 1:22 and has side control right away. He quickly moves to the back with one hook in as Gorospe stands up and shakes him off. Lunasco gets back up and the two trade hands. Lunasco shoots again at the halfway point of the round and he gets the double. Right hands to the body and right elbows to the head. Lunasco grabs the head looks for a guillotine but instead ends up on top in full mount. He’s moving to the left for an arm triangle choke and it looks tight. 30 seconds left. Gorospe escapes and Lunasco takes the back for some late GNP. 10-9 Lunasco.
Round 2: Glove tap starts R2. Lunasco lands a flurry and shoots. Gorospe sprawls to block it and hurts Lunasco with a knee before letting him back up. Lunasco lands a body kick. Lunasco shoots for a single leg at 55 seconds and jumps on the back when Gorospe gets up, dragging him back down again. Gorospe gets up at 1:20 and starts to fire some hammers before Lunasco gets back to his feet. Another Lunasco takedown. He has side control at the halfway point and full mount at 2:52. Gorospe is keeping his arms up to block strikes but Lunasco’s ground and pound is still getting through. Slashing right elbows. Gorospe’s nose is busted open. Unimpeded ground and pound with ten seconds left. Gorospe weathers the storm but it’s a 10-8 for Lunasco.
Round 3: Lunasco looks winded from his effort to finish late in R2. He shoots and Gorospe sprawls. They stand up at 30 seconds. The takedown comes at 42 seconds. Lunasco works to do damage on top in half guard. Full mount at 2:10. More flashing right elbows and short left hands to the head. The referee Chris West finally steps in to stop the damage with about 90 seconds left.
Final result: Swayne Lunasco wins via technical knockout at 3:29 of round three.
Keoni Diggs vs. Scotty Hao
Diggs is 7-0 in the red gloves and black trunks, fighting out of Hawaii. Hao is 4-2 in the blue gloves and trunks, fighting out of Hawaii. The referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Tap of gloves. Diggs is working the right hand jab and firing the left hook. Hao throws a leg kick and Diggs responds with an immediate takedown. Hao tries to set up for a submission but gets drilled with some hard lefts and rights on the chin. Left hands to the face as Diggs sits on top in half guard with Hao on his side. Herzog is taking a close look as the lefts keep landing home unimpeded. Herzog warns him to move at 3:14. They move backward to the fence and Hao is running out of places to go. Hao is leaking blood from his nose. 10-9 Diggs.
Round 2: Tap of gloves. Diggs immediately pumps both hands and drags Hao to the ground against the fence with an outside leg trip. Hao manages to sit up against the fence and get Diggs into full guard but a left elbow and right hands still land home. Diggs steps over into half guard and jackhammers some right hands to the face. Diggs tries and fails to take the back, gets it on the second attempt, gets the rear naked choke and it’s over.
Final result: Keoni Diggs via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:23 of round two.
Kai Kamaka III vs. Spencer Higa
Kamaka is 5-2 in the red gloves with red trunks and he fights out of Hawaii. Higa is 7-10 in the blue gloves and black trunks. Yes you read that correctly. Higa fights out of Hawaii. The referee is Chris West.
Round 1: Kamaka is swinging early and Higa meets him with hands, leg kicks and an overhand right. Kamaka with a flush right hand. Kamaka with a left kick high. Higa catches the right kick and lets it go. Higa with shots to the body. Kamaka gets a takedown at 1:55. He’s on top in half guard. Kamaka keeps drilling the body and head with short shots. Multiple right hands to the head as we move under 90 seconds left. Higa gets him back to guard with 35 seconds left but Kamaka backs up and looks to take Higa down again. He backs away and Higa fires one shot before the bell. 10-9 Kamaka.
Round 2: Higa is trying to go strike for strike with Kamaka but he’s taken back down against the fence at 37 seconds. He’s on top in half guard throwing lefts to the face and knees to the body. “In this position he (Higa) is just accepting damage” quips John McCarthy. Higa gets him back to full guard at 3:15. It drags on from there with Kamaka winning on top and Higa doing nothing to change it. A boring 10-9 for Kamaka.
Round 3: Higa tries to spin his way into range to start R3. Kamaka goes right kick high and it lands flush. Level change blocked. Body kick not. Right hook by Kamaka. Kamaka goes for a single leg and gets it then moves to side control. Higa gets him to full guard and 2:08 and is throwing elbows off his back. Kamaka tries and fails to pass at 2:30. The ref starts issuing warnings for Kamaka to improve his position and he moves to half as a result. They stand up at 4:22 and Higa tries to grab a muay thai plum to throw knees. He misses with a spinning backfist and Kamaka pushes him into the fence for one more takedown. 10-9 Kamaka.
Final result: The judges score it 30-27 X3 all for Kai Kamaka III.
Dustin Barca vs. Brandon Pieper
Pieper is 11-13 in the blue gloves and trunks out of Hawaii. Barca is in the red gloves and black trunks at 3-0, also out of Hawaii. The referee is Frank Trigg.
Round 1: Pieper throws some bombs early but Barca takes his back against the fence looking for a rear naked choke and it’s tight. Barca gets the tap and improves to 4-0.
Final result: Dustin Barca via submission (rear naked choke) at 0:58 in round one.
Keali’i Kanekoa vs. Ben Wilhelm
Blue gloves, black/green trunks, 2-2 for Kanekoa out of Los Angeles, California. Red gloves, black trunks, 3-0 for Wilhelm out of Hawaii. The referee in charge is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Takedown 20 seconds in by Wilhelm but they spring back to their feet and swing wildly at each other. Wilhelm takes a big knee from Kanekoa as they trade muay thai clinch strikes. Knees and dirty boxing over and over until Wilhelm jumps the back and looks for a rear naked choke. Kanekoa taps at 2:24 and Wilhelm is 4-0 with four subs and three RNC’s.
Final result: Ben Wilhelm via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:24 of round one.
Nate Yoshimura vs. Chas Dunhour
Round 1: Unaired before Bellator 236.
Final result: Chas Dunhour wins via knockout at 2:46 of the second round.