From dancing to fighting: How Lara Fernandez became a Muay Thai world champion

Lara Fernandez turned her love for dance into passion for martial arts. [Photos Lara Fernandez Instagram]
Lara Fernandez turned her love for dance into passion for martial arts. [Photos Lara Fernandez Instagram]

Striking phenom Lara Fernandez is the classic example of a fighter who embodies Muhammad Ali’s old boxing adage of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Fernandez will be able to fully display her menacing gracefulness when she takes on Janet Todd for the ONE interim atomweight Muay Thai world title at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash. The event broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, July 22.

The Spanish star, in an interview with ONE Championship, said that she was a typical kid who enjoyed playing sports. She also fell in love with dancing before she ultimately found her passion in Muay Thai.

Lara Fernandez said:

“I have always liked to play sports. Since I was little I used to go out to the street to play soccer and volleyball, and I also loved to dance. I used to dance ‘funky,’ but I loved any type of dance style. Actually, I still do! I used to enjoy dancing in different places.”

Fernandez, who was born and raised in Cebolla, is now blazing her path in the world of martial arts. However, the 26-year-old admitted that dancing remains one of her favorite pastimes. She revealed that she even wanted to become a professional dancer at one point, but ultimately chose to stick with Muay Thai .

The carefree Spaniard was introduced to Muay Thai when she was 15-years-old after an event was staged in her hometown. Curious about the sport, she tried her hand at it:

“I discovered Muay Thai for the first time at an event that took place in my town. It caught my attention so much that I wanted to try it. If I’m honest, I don’t even know what made me fall in love with it. I just wanted to try it, I started training, and since then, I haven’t stopped.”

Lara Fernandez shoots for history

Lara Fernandez started to grow into her own in the sport, eventually holding world titles in both WBC Muay Thai and ISKA.

Becoming a world champion in ONE Championship, however, is still Fernandez’s ultimate goal. She could very well achieve that feat when she makes her debut in the organization against Todd.

Fernandez said in the same interview with ONE Championship that signing with the promotion has always been her dream. And now that the paperwork is out the way, ‘Pizza Power’ is ready to display her unique brand of graceful striking on the world stage:

“Signing with ONE Championship is like reaching the top of the sport. I am super happy, super excited. My biggest dream was to be amongst the top fighters and, now that I am here, it’s a great motivation to keep going and someday beat them all. I work hard every day. I really believe I am at the same level now.”

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Edited by Dave
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