Ilima-Lei Macfarlane successfully defended her flyweight world title for the third time with a third-round TKO of Veta Arteaga in the co-main event of Bellator 220 tonight in San Jose, Calif.
Macfarlane (10-0, 9-0 Bellator) scored the first TKO win of her Bellator career when she landed an elbow from the top that caused a large cut in the middle of Arteaga’s forehead.
The fight was stopped a few seconds later to allow the ringside doctor to look at the cut. It was quickly determined Arteaga could not continue, ending the fight at 1 minute, 50 seconds of the third round.
“I heard it for sure,” Macfarlane said of the elbow. “I felt it in my elbow, but I didn’t think it was going be what ended the fight. Of course nobody wants to end the fight by doctor’s stoppage.”
Macfarlane said after the fight she would give Arteaga (5-3, 4-3) an immediate rematch.
The Punahou alumna scored a takedown early in all three rounds but struggled to do much damage from the top.
Arteaga landed an elbow from the bottom in the second round that bloodied Macfarlane’s nose.
The Star-Advertiser’s Billy Hull scored the fight even at 19-19 heading into the third round.