Bellator 282’s Alejandra Lara Working Hard on Mental Game: “You Have to Train How to Be Present”

Bellator flyweight Alejandra Lara returns to the cage at Bellator 282 this Friday, where she’ll face Brazil’s Ilara Joanne.

A former title challenger, Lara (9-5) will be looking to snap a two-fight losing streak, having dropped back-to-back fights against Kana Watanabe and DeAnna Bennett.

“I think this last year was very turbulent. I had a lot of changes, and I know that mentally and emotionally, I had something that I was carrying with me,” she told Cageside Press in a recent interview. “What I realized since my last fight was that I needed to focus. I was there, yeah, training, but in the moment of the fight, I know I did some things that was just [from] being not connected in the moment.”

That’s something she worked on specifically ahead of her return against Joanne — including taking up meditation. “Things that right now give me more confidence, and definitely more focus.”

The mental aspect, and living in the moment, is something that is important to “Azul.”

“I think I pay a lot of attention [to] those things, because I’m a very sensitive person,” Lara explained. Even her nickname, ‘Azul,’ which means blue, represents “all of these emotional environments, that you need to control or at least know how to deal with it. And I’ve learned a lot of things about connecting our brains. We have our brain, but also our heart, our stomach, our sexual organs, that have a lot of information that we need to know how to process. And that is [the same] with our feelings, too.”

What it all comes down to, is that in her morning meditation or other training, Lara is actively working to be present.

“Sometimes you’re training, and you’re not there. Your mind is out, it’s in your things, it’s in your future, the past. So you have to train how to be present. It’s what I’ve been doing this time.”

As for the match-up with Ilara Joanne, “I think this is a very good match to be Fight of the Night,” noted Lara. “She has a very intense style, going always forward. I have something that, I think she is not ready [for]. So I hope to come with it, stronger than ever. Specifically mentally, and I think that’s all that I need.”

“I feel very excited, because I know this is going to be an amazing fight.”

Watch our full interview with Bellator 282’s Alejandra Lara above. The event takes place this Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.