BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — For most fighters, the few seconds when they step on to the scale are fleeting and often go forgotten. It is a chance to showcase your physical hard work, perhaps flash a few sponsor badges, and then to close the book on your pre-fight preparation. Alejandra Lara, though, could not in good conscience let that moment of spotlight slip away. Not in a moment of crisis.
On Friday, Lara went viral after showing up to the ceremonial Bellator 225 weigh-ins with words scrawled in pen all over her body in black marker protesting the Amazon deforestation that has led to raging wildfires.
If the extra attention added any pressure for her on fight night, it didn’t show. Lara promptly smashed Taylor Turner, stopping her on strikes in just 3:44 to snap a two-fight losing skid. Afterward, Lara expanded on her inked thoughts.
“It’s something that just came from me,” she said. “Like the [pre-fight] dancing, it’s something that I feel I have inside. It’s just my way to be with the world. It’s my way to relate to the world. It’s something that goes to the people who can accept it and that’s it.”
The Colombia native said she wasn’t thinking about the possible reaction when she decided to scrawl phrases like “Our Lungs are on Fire” and “Respect Nature” on her body. To her, drawing attention to the cause was simply what needed to be done.
“Some people react with some hate but you can give what you have inside you,” she said. “I don’t feel like the bad reactions … I’m glad some people say, ‘Thank you for that, thank you for thinking not just about winning and getting money.’ It’s what can I do for my world. I felt it was an emergency for doing something. We are in danger, all of us. If we don’t do something now, it’s going to be too late.”
The 25-year-old put a bookmark on her weekend by stopping Taylor, a result she called “perfect” despite having to bounce up to bantamweight from her natural flyweight home to make the bout happen. The divisional shift was hardly noticeable in a dominant performance.
Still, despite the quick victory, it’s possible she made a bigger impact in less time by what she did on the scale on Friday. And according to Lara, that’s just fine with her.
“I just want everyone knows that every single little thing you can do in your everyday [life] counts,” she said. “I try to do it every day. I try to reduce my impact in the world. I try to respect nature and respect animals, and I think that counts. And that’s it.”