Kana Watanabe faces former flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane at Bellator 295 this weekend. The Japanese fighter is currently ranked #2, one spot ahead of her Hawaiian opponent,

Both fighters come into the bout on the back on victories and Watanabe, who has been training at the Fighter’s Flow camp in Tokyo, sounded extremely confident,

“I can’t tell you the details, but I’m doing very well with the camp and training, and I think I’ll do great in the fight,” she said.

Well prepared

Watanabe is fighting in Hawaii for the first time but has spent plenty of time there. She has travelled there to train with Angela Lee at United MMA and is very familiar with an opponent who also hails from the island,

“I’ve watched her past bouts a lot, and I’ve studied her past fights and patterns. I’m prepared for the fight.”

Watanabe knows all about Macfarlane’s pedigree as a BJJ brown belt. She comes from a judo background but says she would have no problem engaging in a striking contest with Macfarlane,

“If the fight turns into a striking fight, that is okay with me, too,” Watanabe said.

Title dream

Her opponent is ranked one spot below her at #3. But Watanabe thinks a win in Honolulu would be enough to earn her a shot at reigning flyweight champion Liz Carmouche,

“I’m planning to win this Saturday’s fight, so I’m very happy to fight whoever wins. It doesn’t matter if it’s Liz or DeAnna, I want to fight the champion,” she said.

The Rizin veteran’s only career loss came against Carmouche. It is the sole blemish on Watanabe’s record but she doesn’t think Japanese fighters get the respect they deserve and wants to set about putting that right at Bellator 295,

“People think that Japanese fighters are not strong enough to fight at the world level, so I want to show how strong Japanese fighters are in this fight.”