Alejandra Lara is confident in her recent development.
The Colombian fighter, who recently picked up a quick, first-round technical knockout win over Taylor Turner on the main card of Bellator 225 last month, believes she’s fixed the holes in her game needed to have her challenge for Bellator gold once again.
Lara has been mainly known for her striking during her Bellator run, but against Turner the young contender proved she can be dangerous on the ground. Some might’ve not seen that type of performance coming from Lara, but she definitely expected to shine on the ground that night in Connecticut.
“The truth is that I did expect it with what I’ve been working on, what I’ve been seeing,” Lara told MMA Fighting. “Many didn’t expect it, especially her. She was working to beat me with wrestling, but I knew that was an area where I felt very strong. All the work I did was on that area, so I beat her at her own game.
“I feel stronger than ever and I knew that that was going to play an important role because the fight was done at 135 pounds, a weight class above. I do think that favored me rather than being a disadvantage, but it’s not like I plan on staying there, but it was an interesting option.”
The athletic commission in Connecticut didn’t allow Lara’s opponent to cut down to flyweight, thus why Lara fought a weight class above normal. She plans to return to her usual fight weight of 125 pounds for future bouts in the promotion.
The Lobo Gym product has only fought twice since losing to undefeated flyweight champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane back in June 2018. But despite picking up mixed results since her championship bout, the 25-year-old contender has made the progress needed to feel the title fight rematch nearby.
“It all depends on how everything rolls out, but I don’t think its something that’s very far,” Lara explained. “I mean, hopefully it’s like two more fights, but I do think it’s around the corner. You never know how long she’ll last as champion, so there’s that, and I think it’s also something that would interest them (Bellator) because it would be an interesting show. So yeah, I think its something that could be in the near future.
“I think a lot of time has gone by. I’ve been in many countries, and for example, when I go to Colombia – I work a lot on my jiu-jitsu. When I’m here in Italy – I work on my kickboxing. And it’s helped me a lot. In Mexico, I work a lot on my boxing and wrestling, so I’ve improved a lot. It’s hard for me to tell you [exactly], but I would say I’ve improved at least 50 percent (laughs). I feel very prepared. I think if I would’ve fought Ilima with the skill set I have now, the fight would’ve been a lot different.”
Lara currently finds herself in Italy, teaching MMA seminars. Even though she just fought, the Colombian fighter is interested in getting right back in the Bellator cage. She took no damage in her fight with Turner and didn’t have to deal with the weight cut to 125 pounds. Lara has her eye on Bellator 231 and Bellator 232, two events that will go down on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 respectively, also in Connecticut.
“We’re actually thinking of maybe getting a slot in the October card,” Lara said. “I know it’s very soon, but I feel very prepared and I feel like it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a fight depending on the offer and the type of fight I get. I do think it’s a possibility.
“I felt untouched leaving the fight (with Turner), I actually wanted to fight more, but I think it works out if I want to fight soon.”