Before we begin with our preview of Saturday night’s Bellator 236 card, this note concerning the PFL Championship show on New Year’s Eve:
Daniel Pineda, who was scheduled to fight Lance Palmer on Dec. 31 for the PFL’s Featherweight title, is out of the event, this after the Nevada State Athletic Commission moved to extend Pineda’s suspension due to a failed drug test at a Wednesday hearing.
The New York State Athletic Commission, which will oversee the PFL Championship event, will acknowledge Pineda’s ban. Alex Gilpin now enters on 13 days’ notice to fight Palmer as an alternate.
The last MMA show before the Christmas holiday is the second half of Bellator MMA’s Hawaiian weekend doubleheader. This Saturday inside Neil Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, HI, Bellator presents its final event inside the United States, Bellator 236—exclusive to DAZN in America.
Undercard action begins at 8:30 p.m. EST, 5:30 p.m. PST, 3:30 p.m. HST on DAZN and the Bellator MMA mobile app, before moving exclusively to DAZN for the main card at 10 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. PST, 5 p.m. HST.
This show will feature the first fight in the quarterfinal stage of the Bellator MMA Featherweight Grand Prix when 15-0 AJ McKee takes on 20-9 Derek Campos in the co-main event.
In Saturday night’s main attraction, the Bellator MMA Women’s Flyweight title is up for grabs. Incumbent titleholder Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (10-0) will battle Kate Jackson (11-3-1) for the belt. As always, this title fight is a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
Heading into this main attraction, challenger Kate Jackson is the taller fighter at 5-foot-6, two inches taller than champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane at 5-foot-4.
Champion Macfarlane has yet to lose in her professional MMA career. Most recently, she defended her title by defeating Veta Arteaga (third-round TKO- doctor’s stoppage due to a forehead cut) in Bellator 220’s co-main event on Apr. 26.
In the other corner, challenger Jackson has gone 4-1 in her last five contests and enters Saturday’s main draw on a two-fight win streak. Last time out, she defeated Lena Ovychynnikova (first-round TKO due to a cut) on June 22 in Bellator 223.
The Tale of the Tape
It’s close, as Tapology shows that challenger Jackson holds a half-inch reach advantage (67 inches even to 66.5 inches) over champion Macfarlane heading into Saturday night’s main event.
Prediction: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane by first-round TKO.
Aside from the Grand Prix fight in the co-main event, these other fights are on Saturday’s main card:
Jason Jackson (10-4) vs. Kuchi Kunimoto (20-8-2) [Welterweight]
Juliana Velasquez (9-0) vs. Bruna Ellen (5-2) [Women’s Flyweight]
Raufeon Stots (12-1) vs. Cheyden Leialoha (7-1) [Bantamweight]
Nainoa Dung (3-0) vs. Zach Zane (10-7) [Lightweight]
Bellator 236 at a Glance
Undercard: 8:30 p.m. EST, 5:30 p.m. PST, DAZN and Bellator mobile app
Main Card: 10 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. PST, DAZN
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