Don’t know much about Bellator 201 headliner Alejandra Lara? That’s okay — because come Friday night, she thinks you will.
Much has been made of Bellator 201 women’s flyweight title challenger Alejandra Lara’s relative obscurity in the sport. With just a single fight under the Bellator banner, she was a surprise choice to challenge Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in the Hawaiian’s first title defense. Still, she’s one half of the Bellator 201 main event, with a huge opportunity in front of her.
Lara has one thing modern MMA promotions crave, a nation behind her. At least potentially. There’s the possibility, should she have a successful run in Bellator, of tapping that, the way Anderson Silva, Conor McGregor, and Georges St. Pierre managed to in their home countries.
Lara spoke to Cageside Press Thursday about the war paint she wore to the ceremonial weigh-ins, respecting the champ, and getting to know her ahead of Bellator 201 in Temecula, CA. On the subject of her face paint, she explained that “it’s more about the indigenous culture. The warrior, indigenous culture that we have in Amazonia, and in some tribes from Colombia. It’s that.”
Lara also gifted Ilima-Lei with flowers at the ceremonial weigh-in, and said that “it’s also my favorite flower, and it’s like we share more things.” It’s a sign of the connection between them, essentially. “It’s more similarities than differences between us, and it represents that. I like [the] same things, and I respect her and her work.”
When it comes to the fight, the challenger believes that now, the hard part is actually over. “Right now I feel like passing through the weight cut was the hardest part for me,” she explained. “So now it’s just putting all of the work from this last months in.”
“I feel really great now,” Lara added, “I’m just excited and it’s awesome to have the opportunity to fight for the title.”
Lara also added a message for fans tuning in Friday night: “You’re going to have a surprise, and if you don’t know me, maybe you will.”