Colombian mixed martial artists Alejandra Lara earned her nickname “Azul” in her youth, thanks to her love of the color blue. Fortunately, however, blue doesn’t represent her state of mind. Despite living with ADHD and having recently recovered from reconstructing back surgery, Lara is returning to MMA for a main event with the Combate Global promotion, and she may well be in her best mental and physical condition yet.

Muscle & Fitness sat down with the buff beauty to find out how life’s challenges, including a string of losses inside the cage, has finally put her in a place where she can realize the true potential she has to be one of MMA’s most intense forces of nature.

“I’ve had many lives,” explains Lara, who, before MMA, was in musical theatre, personal training, studied to be a teacher, and even picked up a passion for aerial silks and pole dancing training. Lara grew up with ADHA, (Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder), a condition that makes it very difficult for people to focus on things for long periods of time. “It’s true, I am still this girl,” she shares. “I consider that, now, a superpower.”

As a self-professed “hyperactive” child, Lara gravitated towards expressing herself physically. Singing and dancing proved to be a great outlet for her excess energy, but the rough and tumble of school, where she often felt like an outsider, gave her the knowledge that rather being scared to fight, she actually relished those violent moments of being punched, and striking back. Lara explains that as a teenager, she was once involved in a fun ‘fight club’ style brawl that got out of hand. “I just realized that I loved that,” she shares. “Even when I got punched, I felt some pain eating (for a couple of days), but man, I felt that was so fun and I realized that I liked it.”

MMA fighter Alejandra Lara throwing an jab
Courtesy of Alejandra Lara

Alejandra Lara Feels that ADHD has Super Cool Benefits

The MMA star explains that, for her, some of the benefits of ADHD are “super cool,” explaining that her hyperactivity gives her energy. “It makes me the fighter I am”, she explains. And, despite finding it hard to be patient, Lara has found that she’s incredibly quick learner. Initially enrolling in karate at just four years old, Lara went away and came back at the age of 8 and later became successful in national tournaments, where she was often required to fight men due to a lack of women. “I have an energy that is very explosive,” she shares. “[In martial arts] I can express myself with the full intensity of my soul. I always feel so free [when] training, boxing, and wrestling, grappling, I always feel so alive. I love this, this is my dream life.”

Lara continued to study many martial arts disciplines, including kung-fu, and jiu jitsu, and was invited to become a threat in the world of MMA. “It seemed like a natural transition,” she says. As a rookie, she won that first MMA match in 2011, and amassed six wins against just one loss, including a victory for the Won CFN Flyweight championship. Excitingly, she then signed to Bellator in 2017, and was successful in her first outing, even being considered as a top five contender, but was perhaps pushed too far, too soon, with her second bout; an unsuccessful Bellator Women’s Flyweight World Championship challenge against Llima-Lei Macfarlane, who was at that time still undefeated.

Despite losing another outing against Juliana Velasquez, Lara bounced back and amassed two victories thereafter but, alas, her final four outings with Bellator dealt her some cruel losses. Two of those losses were particularly hard for her to stomach because DeAnna Bennett and Diana Avsaragova had missed weight, coming in heavier than they should, meaning that Lara was forced to fight at catchweight against opponents much heavier than herself.

It’s a subject that Lara hasn’t wanted to talk about with the media too much, through fear of being labelled a complainer, but in a frank chat with M&F, and with her epic return just days away, the fighter is now able to share her feelings. “Even when ‘this’ girl didn’t make weight, I never talk about excuses, or ‘I lost because of this.’ Not even taking my back issues to the table, but now I am realizing that it’s a story that can help other people, too. I don’t consider (these challenges) as unlucky, but of course, I had to learn, in a bad way, a lot of things,” she says.

One of those things was the need for a strategy going forward. Lara has learned to understand that she is an improvisor, and although this has worked well for her many times, more is required of her at this level of competition. She needs to put firm plans in place.

Alejandra Lara is learning to plan her victory as an epic MMA return looms

“I always came to the cage just to fight, not to win, and that’s (why) I had to face how my mind works,” says the fighter. Alongside her ADHD superpower, Lara is finally learning to plan. “We all know I’m tough, but that’s not the point. I need to win too … That’s the difference now.”

Fortunately, when the fighter stepped away from MMA competition in February 2023, she was also able to finally address a serious back issue that required regenerative surgery. The 29-year-old says that while she has experimented with all kinds of diets and has been vegetarian, she felt that animal protein was needed to help her heal fully, and is now feeling better than ever ahead of her clash with nine-time kickboxing champion Gisela “LA Emperatriz” Luna (who is a late replacement for the injured Lucero Acosta). While ‘Azul’ won’t be giving away her newfound strategies before the match, she is excited about the prospect of the fight ahead.

“I feel very confident,” she says. “I have to deal with that loss of confidence that comes with losing so much [laughs]. I mean, I had to learn, and also to understand that I am a good fighter, you know?” Alejandra Lara has the potential to be more than just a good fighter, but regardless of the result in her return matchup in Miami, “Azul” will always be a truly inspirational human being.

Tune in: Combate Global MMA: Azul vs. Luna airs live May 11, 2024, at 9:30pm on Fuse. For more info visit: