Bellator 216: Valerie Loureda Admits to Some Debut Butterflies

Flyweight Valerie Loureda was absolutely beaming following her debut win at Bellator 216, but she did admit to some butterflies ahead of the fight.

Uncasville, CT — There was only one finish on the Bellator 216 main card Sautrday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena. That came care of Valerie Loureda, the 20-year old Taekwondo sensation who made her pro MMA debut. Taking on Colby Fletcher, it took Loureda less than a round to get the job done. After a 2-1 amateur career, she’s now 1-0 as a pro.

There’s no question that Loureda has a look, and personality, that is extremely marketable. But she also knows that she needs to perform. So far so good.

“I felt a vibe, and I delivered,” she said of the win Saturday, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. On her tears following her win, Loureda said that “I think it’s less about emotion to me, and more about the passion I have for this.”

“People truly don’t understand that this is what I breathed since I was a girl. This is in my blood,” she continued. “I was just so passionate about this moment, and I’ve been thinking about this exact moment for the past four months, since I found out I was going to fight for Bellator. I’ve been scripting it in my head, how it’s going to go, how it needs to go.”

It’s all about hard work paying off for the young flyweight. “I put in the work for the fight to turn out the way it did. So I’m very honored, and I’m very blessed. I deserved what happened tonight. I gave it all I’ve got, I know nobody works as hard as I do, and I’m just really looking forward to what’s coming after this.”

On making the jump from amateur fights to the pros, Loureda told Cageside Press that “I just knew that I’m the type of person that the more pressure, the more lights, the more cameras, the better for me.”

“I’m a true performer, I’m a true martial artist,” she stated. That much was clear from her entrance alone at Bellator 216. And the fact that she went right to business in the fight. “I just knew that if I was given this opportunity, I was going to take advantage of it, and I was going to show the world who I really am.”

She did, however, admit to some butterflies. “I had butterflies all week, but I was very calm because I knew the camp that I had. And I kept saying in my head, ‘there’s no way you come out of this fight losing, it’s not possible.'”

Yet when fight day arrived, things changed. “In the morning when I woke up, I was just crying all day,” she recalled, adding that a headache set in. The tears weren’t from nerves, at least at first. Rather “because I was so excited that the moment was finally here,” Loureda explained. “But then I got very nervous.  Started doubting myself. But then I was like ‘no Valerie, this is your time, no one is going to take this away from you, you’ve been working your whole life for this.’ And I was able to rise above the rest, like I always say, and I did it.”

Watch the full Bellator 216 post-fight press scrum with Valerie Loureda above.