Alejandra Lara says ‘rookie mistakes’ are over ahead of Bellator 266

Alejandra Lara is confident fans will see a new version of her on Saturday night.

The former Bellator title challenger has diligently worked on improving her game, and more importantly, shaking off the rookie mistakes that cost her in a few past fights. Entering her 15th bout on Saturday night, Lara (9-4 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) want to focus on fighting like an experienced fighter.

The Colombian takes on veteran DeAnna Bennett on the main card of Bellator 266 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

Lara has remained a title contender in Bellator’s women’s flyweight division, but has failed to get another shot at gold since her original title challenge against then-champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in 2018.

“It’s (the title) always in my mind, but I don’t like talking about it too much because I don’t like predicting things,” Lara told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “Everything comes at the right moment. If I’m doing everything that I’m supposed to, sooner or later we’ll see the belt here, but I like going step-by-step.

“After my last fight, I realized I need to stop making those rookie mistakes. I’m no longer that fighter that entered an important organization with barely any fights. I’ve fought the best in the world and I should have the maturity to have everything under control. That’s my goal for the fight – focus and let things flow.”

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Lara has a tough task in hand as she’s fighting one of the most experienced adversaries she’s come across. Bennett has been competing for almost a decade. She participated in “The Ultimate Fighter,” and fought for the UFC and Invicta FC before joining Bellator.

“Deanna Bennet is extremely experienced,” Lara explained. “She fought for the Invicta FC title, she fought in the UFC and has been fighting the best in the world. I think her style hasn’t changed much. She’s always trying to pressure against the cage and take the fight to the ground and look for chokes. So yeah, I’ve been preparing for that.”

Lara is 2-1 in her past three outings. She’s coming off a split decision loss to Kana Watanabe in April. The 27-year-old wants to bounce back strong and she feels Sept. 18 is the perfect date to do just that.

“It was frustrating not to be able to show all the advances I’ve made, but now is the moment,” Lara said. “We’re coming in with everything. I want to show my full game and everything I’ve worked on all this time.”