Bellator's women's flyweight division is having a big fight week, and Sumiko Inaba will be watching closely.
Inaba will face Veta Arteaga in a crucial matchup on the preliminary card of Bellator 295 on Saturday at Honolulu's Neal S. Blaisdell Arena. Inaba will go up to 6-0 if she defeats Arteaga.
The previous and first women's flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane was 6-0 when she received her title opportunity and defeated Emily Ducote to win Bellator's initial 125-pound women's title. While a title shot after only six professional fights may sound absurd, it should be emphasised.
“I’m ready. I knew what I had in front of me. This is just in the right direction for what I want. I didn’t take this lightly. She’s already fought for the belt. I know she has that experience, and I have to take that into consideration. But I’m prepared. I’m coming on Saturday. This is my home. I’m comfortable here. I need to take that as positive energy. Take, all the manna that I get from my crowd and and just use it in the ring. I take it all as positive confidence,” Inaba noted during an interview with the media ahead of the fight (h/t MMA Junkie)
Macfarlane competes on Saturday in front of her Oahu home crowd. Living in Maui is Inaba. The outcomes of Bellator 294, which took place the previous evening, featuring the contest between women's flyweight champion Liz Carmouche and Deanna Bennett, will be known by the time Bellator 295 takes place on Saturday.
A future fight between Inaba and Macfarlane could be in the books.
“That would be amazing. I don’t ever look past what I have in front of me always. But that’s my goal. That’s my dream. And I work hard every day to make that happen. I’m hoping that I get three fights this year. That’s what I want. Manifest that,”
“I train every day for the champ. That’s what I do. And I take her as hard of a fight as it is for the champ. I have to get past her first to make my way up there. So I train every day as if that’s what I want to be is to one day be the champ,” Inaba added.
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