Taylor Turner

Taylor Turner discusses matchup against Valerie Loureda, ready for her Bellator redemption

Taylor Turner is a veteran of mixed martial arts, and heading into Bellator 271 this weekend, she finds herself in familiar territory that she was in back in 2019. In MMA it’s a tough argument to make that certain fighters are brought in to “lose” per se, but certainly promotions would like to highlight certain fighters and line them up with favorable matchups, and Bellator MMA thought they had that at Bellator 222 in 2019.

At Bellator 222, Taylor Turner made her promotional debut riding a two-fight winning streak and was matched up against world champion boxer Heather Hardy, who was in her third professional MMA fight. It didn’t take long for Turner to shock the masses as she was able to secure a first-round TKO victory over Hardy, and getting all eyes on her.

It wouldn’t take long for Turner to get back in the spotlight as she was booked just two months later at Bellator 225 where she would suffer her own first-round loss against Alejandra Lara. Her next fight would come out of the Bellator MMA promotion and she would fall for a second consecutive fight, but that skid was snapped two months ago with Valor Fighting Challenge.

Picking up a win and having a conversation with the Bellator MMA matchmakers, Taylor Turner was offered a fight against Valerie Loureda at Bellator 271, and just like that, the fight was made.

In an interview with MyMMANews, Turner discussed her return to the Bellator cage, once again facing a popular superstar in Loureda, and what her long term goal is in fighting. Recalling the conversation she had with matchmakers, Turner said she was actually providing availability updates for her teammates when the offer was made to fight Loureda.

“This fight kinda came together, I was talking with the matchmaker just about some of our other people that we have and different things coming up, and they said ‘Do you have a 125 female’ and I was the only one right now that’s eligible for it, who can make weight and do all that and they were like ‘Okay let’s do it’. You know, you throw your name out there sometimes and you call out the world and thankfully fate gave me this opportunity, so here we go.”

Looking to avenge her previous loss from the last time she was inside the Bellator cage, Taylor Turner said it was an honor to be back with the promotion at Bellator 271.

“It really is an honor and humbling, I love the people here every time you see them when I come with other of my teammates and their corners, or even when I fought. They just remember you and everyone is just very professional and it’s really nice. There’s just something about it for me personally, it’s like a redemption story for me this one. I was at the top of the mountain, I was at the top of my game and I honestly fell probably to the bottom very quickly right after that with kinda getting too ahead of myself and not focusing on the stuff that got me there. I didn’t even really show up in my last Bellator fight, and I was disappointed in that, so the fact that Bellator is giving me another chance.

I know I’m the underdog, probably being brought in to lose, I want to go out and all the stuff that I’ve worked on that I never got to try, I’m just excited to do it on this stage. It’s my redemption story so to speak.”

Redemption for Taylor Turner is not just geting another victory, it’s not working up to a title fight opportunity, for her, redemption is about setting a path for those who will fight after her to follow for their love of the sport.

“For me, I want to pave the way for people coming after me. I’m not for everybody and I get that. I want to be an example for people to say ‘Look, if you love it, keep going, put one foot in front of the other. There’s going to be dark days, dark years even, but if it’s what you want, just keep going for that goal, and you’ll be surprised where it takes you.’ In my career the times when I really took a step back and thought ‘You know what I got to get back to doing it because I enjoy it. Forget how many Instagram followers, forget being famous, forget what the world is saying about you.’ even though it’s kinda fun it pads your ego let’s be honest.

Every time I’ve gotten off the track of why I started and why I do it, I do really badly. I’m stubborn so it took me a little while to learn that lesson at times. For this part, I just want to go out and have fun and do what I love and show people coming up behind me, just keep going if it’s what you want, if not, okay, that’s fine too, but it’s possible.”

As for her opponent Valerie Loureda, Taylor Turner knows what it’s like to go up against a highly-regarded opponent with plenty of fanfare, and that experience will help her at Bellator 271.

“I’m a firm believer in providence and that everything has led me to this moment. There’s lot of times you sit there in all of our lives and with my fight career where you’re like ‘God why, I worked, I did all the things and for whatever reason I froze’ and I talked about that a lot in my past. I look back at all my fights and every one of them has taught me a lesson to get to this spot. I don’t like to live in the past but there is some comfort in knowning my experiences, I have a lot more experience than my opponent [Loureda] right now. I think that in some ways that can work against but in some ways it can be very positive for me and the Heather Hardy fight, it was. I know what it’s like to be on the lower end, no expecatations from it, but know I’m a good fighter.

She’s young and I hate that people switch fans so much. She is a good fighter, she had a loss, and that’s part of the career. That doesn’t mean anything bad about her. I think it’s awesome that she’s on the big stage and able to overcome it all.”

Knowing that the odds are against her Taylor Turner is prepared to once again step up on the big stage against a well-known opponent who needs her own redemption. She might not be for everyone but this is a familiar stage for Turner who wants redemption in her own right, and wants to right her last fight inside the Bellator cage, and that makes this prelim matchup even that much more exciting to watch this weekend at Bellator 271.

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