A flyweight fight between former title challengers Alejandra Lara and Veta Arteaga has been announced for Bellator’s Salute the Troops event on December 20.
A fight between two former flyweight title challengers has been announced as Alejandra Lara will take on Veta Arteaga on December 20 at Bellator’s Salute the Troops event. Danny Segura of MMAJunkie was the first to report the news. The fight is scheduled to take place at the Neal S. Blaidsdell Arena in Honolulu on the night before Bellator 236.
Lara rose to prominence last year when she challenged Ilima-Lei Macfarlane for the Bellator flyweight championship. Though she ultimately came up short, her valiant effort over several rounds won over many fans who were introduced to her for the first time. She has gone 1-1 since then, losing to Julianna Velasquez by unanimous decision in December before scoring a first round knockout against Taylor Turner in August. Notably, Lara was in a similar situation last year as her fight with Velasquez was another high profile flyweight bout the night before the title was set to be defended.
Arteaga is coming off her own shot at Macfarlane back in May where a cut suffered in the third round led to the bout being called off. While it seemed that a rematch was imminent, Macfarlane instead changed course to a new opponent in Kate Jackson. Prior to the fight, Artega had put together victories over former title challenger Emily Ducote and kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz.
The main event is set to feature the return of Josh Barnett to MMA as he takes on Ronny Markes. Lara and Artega are notably not the only high stakes flyweight fight that weekend as Julianna Velasquez is set to face Bruna Ellen on the same card as Ilima Macfarlane vs Kate Jackson for the flyweight title the following evening. While Lara and Arteaga are expected to take a big step forward with a victory, the Velasquez and Ellen match-up is expected to produce the next title challenger in the division.