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Ilima Lei-Macfarlane 'totally fangirled' over B.J. Penn just hours before her Bellator 201 win

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All Ilima-Lei Macfarlane wanted was to get some food and be left alone.

Macfarlane, the Bellator women’s flyweight champion, had a title fight in a matter of hours, and she was hungry. So she went down to the floor of Pechanga Resort Casino to grab a quick bite.

Macfarlane’s wish to be left alone would not be granted, and she was annoyed by every request for a picture – that is, until a certain MMA legend and fellow Hawaiian wanted to meet her (via Twitter).

“Oh my gosh. I was totally starstruck earlier. So, this was maybe aroindd 3:30, 4 o’clock. I got hungry, so I went down to the lobby. And already I’m super annoyed. I mean, because I’m trying to get in the zone, and everybody is coming up to me, asking for pictures. I’m just trying to get food and go straight up to my room. And then Rich (Chou), the matchmaker, he comes up. He’s like, ‘Hey, Ilima, one of my friends really wants to meet you.’ So I was just like, ugh. And I turn around, and it’s B.J. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, B.J. Penn! Hi!’ I totally fangirled over him.”

It was the first time Macfarlane, a native of Honolulu, had ever met the UFC Hall of Famer from Hilo. Funny thing is, it was Macfarlane asking Penn for a picture (via Twitter).

Macfarlane (8-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) went on to defeat Alejandra Lara (7-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) with a sensational armbar submission in the Paramount-televised headliner of Bellator 201. Moments afterward, as she celebrated her win, she said she looked for Penn in the crowd and saw him pointing at her.

“It was a really cool connection,” Macfarlane said.

For complete coverage of Bellator 201, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly seriously, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.



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