Valerie Loureda vs Hannah Guy goes down on May 21st. The flyweight bout takes place at Bellator 259 and broadcasts on Showtime.
Several excerpts from my conversation with Loureda can be found below.
Having this kind of platform to showcase what has ultimately been a lifelong pursuit
“Martial arts has always been my passion. I’ve never been able to go a day without it. I realized that following my passion and chasing my dreams, everything has come to me. Because I’m doing what I love to do. It’s not forced and I do this because I truly love it. I know that I was born to be on a platform to show the world the martial artist that I am. So I’m just really excited…Put it onto a stage and in a way that the audience has never seen before.”
Being a fourth dan Taekwondo black belt while receiving her jiu-jitsu white belt
“Yeah, that’s crazy that you mentioned that because that was kind of like a turning point for me in MMA. I realized I was used to doing one discipline and now going to another one. It just kind of like awakened the beauty of martial arts and how many different aspects there is to it. How I could be the best in every single one of them and what I could offer in every discipline and mix it with my style. Getting my jiu-jitsu white belt was the most humbling experience for me. I got my black belt when I was like 13 years old.”
The wrestling base that Loureda has been able to develop
“The best Cuban wrestlers have taught me wrestling from scratch. So I have that base. It’s just in my fights, I’ve never been given an opportunity. Also, I like to be an entertainer. I like people to enjoy what I do… To show how to strike, my kicks and overhands. I like fighting to entertain the public. If I have to wrestle, I’m gonna wrestle. I’m going to outwrestle any girl in front of me.”
Her mom having to go to the hospital and a young Valerie Loureda having to figure out how to drive at that moment to help take her there
“People don’t know my family’s story. My family’s story, it’s crazy. What my sisters and I have been through is insane. I know I’m working as hard as I can. I know that our story is going to be told. It’s going to be a documentary. My family’s different. The way I was raised was different. And I was born to do something different. I’m just in the path of proving it.”
Getting in elite-level work at American Top Team
“I even sparred Marlon Moraes…Kayla (Hracho) actually fought the woman I’m fighting and she beat her by decision. Just a lot of the UFC 125ers. Some other women in the gym. I’ve got some amazing work in and I feel fully ready.”
Being a broadcast journalism major and possible MMA broadcasting gigs
“Yeah, I actually have gotten offers already from other promotions to do commentating. I know Bellator I’m going to start doing that soon. So pretty soon you’ll see me fighting in the cage and you’ll hear my voice commentating fights outside the cage. For my career, I’m studying broadcast journalism at the University of Florida. I’ve been training two times a day. I try to do my school. Investing in my business and developing my brand.”
Music that Valerie Loureda trains to
“All I listen to when I train; one of my favorite songs is Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). An old school song. I love old-school music. Salsa, of course. Gloria Estefan.”
Valerie Loureda vs Hannah Guy
Are you someone that does diligent tape study on your opponents or do you moreso allocate that to your trainers and focus on your own efforts?
“My opponents, I don’t look at them. I don’t study them. I give it to my coaches. Tell me what I have to do. Ok, every girl’s gonna come at me and try to take me down. Same gameplan. That’s gonna be what I have to do for the rest of my career. That’s ok, I’m ready for that. I train with the best of the best and nobody can get to me.”
Yeah, that’s curious, do you think that’s a bit of a facile characterization from your opponents? Just this rigid idea of like, ‘oh let’s go out there and take her down?’
“Yeah like it’s stupid because you’re gonna get caught. Catch a knee or a kick in your face. But this fight I’m going to do it differently. I’m gonna surprise some people.”
Parting thoughts for Valerie Loureda
“You know, I am myself. And for the people who comment negatively because they’ve never seen a female crossover. Of beauty and elegance in martial arts the way that I’m doing it. They don’t know. They think that only because I’m 3-0. I’m twenty-two years old. I debuted professionally, the first time I fought without shin guards opening a main card for Bellator.”
“The Mohegan Sun, totally sold out. I put myself in the worst positions in order to grow. I know people don’t see that because they think that I’m older than I am or they have no idea. But I just stay patient, I let them say everything and I promise you I’m going to prove to the world the martial artist I am. That you’ve never seen anybody like me.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.