Alejandra Lara’s attempt to capture Bellator gold earlier this year did not go as planned, and neither some of the preparations leading up to her championship fight.
The Colombian fighter challenged Bellator women’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in the headlining bout of Bellator 201 back in June. Lara lost via third round arm-bar in what was one of the more exciting bouts that night in Temecula, Calif.
Despite having her three-fight win streak come to an end and not being able to defeat the champion, Lara left the cage satisfied with her performance.
“Yeah, of course, I felt very good about the fight and everything,” Lara told MMA Fighting. “From the first round, I saw I was able to do a lot of things and that she didn’t get me with the triangle choke, and that I took her back.
“So I was able to execute a lot of what I had planned, but there were other things that I didn’t really, like I couldn’t find the moment, but those are things that come with experience. I waited a lot to do certain things and then I couldn’t do them.
“In my sparring sessions leading up to the fight, my best rounds were always the fourth and fifth and I felt very prepared physically. The fight went by very fast and the truth is that at the end of it, I felt good about it. And despite everything, it was a good fight.”
Leaving the fight, Lara didn’t really feel like she had lost much, despite taking her second professional defeat, as she has won plenty in other areas needed to take her fight game to the next level.
“I gained a lot of experience as far as details,” Lara said. “Details that are needed to go fight. I failed in few areas with the planning of certain things, with what I ate after the weigh-ins. So I learned a lot about the metal state I need to have. I know I wasn’t fully concentrated in my last fight, but I think I’m going to go out a lot more focused on my next one.”
One of the things “Azul” learned, which caused her to not be fully focused in the bout with Macfarlane, was the handling of the rehydration and the proper procedures needed to recover following weigh-in.
“One of the factors was that I didn’t do the recovery of the weight cut well,” Lara explained. “That’s why I had a strong indigestion and I went out there feeling bad, but regardless I thought it was a good fight. I wasn’t 100 percent focused on what I was doing.”
So how bad was the indigestion prior to Lara’s championship contest?
“Well, I had to go throw up before the fight and I was just focused on bringing down my indigestion before the fight. And I even had to deal with it after the fight,” Lara said.
The Lobo Gym fighter finds the indigestion to have taken a big toll on her performance. Yet, Lara choses not to dwell on what she could’ve done better to avoid it.
“Yeah, I do feel like it has a lot with it, but I dont like to think in the ‘what if,’” Lara said. “Maybe at this moment it wasn’t my time to take on that role of being champion. And I don’t think I should be scared of anything. I saw what I was able to do against the champion and I’m sure I can do better the next time.”
With just 24 years of age, Lara is optimistic about her future in MMA and hopes to return to the Bellator cage before the year ends, sometime in November or December. She sees herself as a top contender in the division and doesn’t want a slow build to the title, as some prospects tend to get in MMA.
“I’m already at the top and I don’t plan on taking a step backwards,” Lara said. “I’m prepared to fight five rounds and I like the idea a lot, so I do want that rematch (with Macfarlane). It all depends on how I look in the next fight, and if they give opportunity (the title shot), I’m taking it automatically.”