Former Bellator flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane continues to look to accomplish something bigger than a world championship.

Macfarlane will look to move one step closer to potentially getting her flyweight title back at Bellator 284. This is her second fight back after a two-year hiatus following knee surgery.

Macfarlane has enjoyed the relief of not having to worry about the responsibilities that come with being a Bellator champion. In the meantime, she’s putting in almost the same amount of effort that she does into MMA that she is in raising awareness for missing indigenous women.

Macfarlane doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to her desire to make a difference, she’s walking the walk.

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s Foundation Is Changing The Lives Of Indigenous Women

During an exclusive interview with MMANews, Macfarlane explained the purpose of her Nā Wahine Toa Foundation.

“Our mission is to help combat the MMIW [Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women] epidemic,” Macfarlane said. “There’s an epidemic that’s sweeping North America and Hawaii where native women go missing and you don’t hear about it in the media if it’s reported to the police they write it off. There’s just not a lot of effort going into the investigations in these cases…native women statistically actually face the highest rates of violence out of any demographic. So, I go to native communities out on the reservations, teach them self-defense…

“(This) fight is dedicated to the MMIW movement,” Macfarlane continued. “You’ll see a lot of girls who are on scholarship through my non-profit who will be joining me in my walkout, and we’ll be dedicating this fight to all our sisters that we’ve lost recently.”

Before losing her flyweight title to Juliana Velasquez at Bellator 254, Macfarlane defended the belt over the likes of Veta Arteaga and Kate Jackson. She is looking to bounce back following a loss to Justine Kish in her last fight at Bellator 279.

But Macfarlane, who also balances her life as a fighter and a philanthropist with her commentary duties, is looking to save lives and make the treatment of missing women cases equal across the world.

What are your thoughts on our interview with Ilima-Lei Macfarlane?

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