Veta Arteaga takes on Alejandra Lara at Bellator 235, a battle of former title challengers. The main card flyweight bout goes down Friday, December 20. Both women, as mentioned, have been a contender for the promotion’s 125lb championship in the past and are looking to get back on track to title contention. It’s the confluence of surfing and MMA as the two go to battle with the serene backdrop of Honolulu, Hawaii. Arteaga seemed locked in and focused when we spoke to her ahead of this fight.
Veta Arteaga returns to the cage to face another high-level opponent and is cognizant of the task in front of her. Speaking to Cageside Press, Arteaga said, “Overall I think she’s a great competitor and she’s a good match-up for me. At this level, you have to be ready for everything. You can’t overlook an opponent. I’m definitely not overlooking her. I trained very hard in this camp.”
This moment represents a chance to get back in the win column and redirect her path back to gold. Arteaga had a spirited performance against champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane before a cut resulted in a doctor’s stoppage in favor of the defending titlist.
V”I feel like it was just a minor setback in April. It definitely motivated me,” Arteaga said. “Came back to the drawing board. Knew what I had to do to make minor changes… My eye is still on the prize and that’s to be Bellator’s flyweight champion… Not overlooking this opponent. One fight at a time.”
Veta Arteaga always knew she had gumption but how she dealt with the cut against Macfarlane crystallized that notion in her mind.
Arteaga explained that “I’m mentally tough. I already knew that. After that situation happened, I definitely proved it to myself that I’m mentally tough.”
“You can see my scar but it’s not too bad,” she continued. “At first, I was a little hesitant. I was like ‘oh is this going to be different when I go back into training?’. Nope, it’s like it never happened.”
Beyond her endeavors as a competitor, Arteaga has been active as the Front Street Fights commentator. She tried out her first foray in that position a short while ago and has another show lined up for the new year.
On the commentary gig, Arteaga stated, “It was just a different side of me. I told myself I’m not going to be fighting forever. So I want to expand in the MMA community. Whether that’s coaching, commentating, assistant coaching; anything to be involved. MMA is such a big part of who I am. It was awesome to go out there and to be asked to be a color commentator. Then they asked if I wanted to go back in January.”
Veta Arteaga meets Alejandra Lara this Friday, December 20 at Bellator 235 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The card airs live on Paramount Network.