Valerie Loureda is looking forward, not back, after a unanimous decision win against Larkyn Dasch at Bellator 222 on Friday in New York City.
New York, NY — After her second career win, at Bellator 222 in New York on Friday, Valerie Loureda barely looked like she’d been in a fight. Yet she very much had been, going a full three rounds, getting plenty of much needed cage time. That it came against an unknown fighter in Larkyn Dasch didn’t matter — with Loureda low on experience herself, despite a decorated Taekwondo background, any experience was going to be key.
Loureda went over the win with reporters including Cageside Press following the bout at Madison Square Garden, and said that her expectation heading in was that Dasch “was going to go out there throwing everything, because someone that has nothing to lose is the most dangerous.” The fight had come together last minute, and Dasch had notoriously signed her Bellator contract while wearing her Hooters uniform. “So really our defense was just, we know she was going to go in there wild, looking for her shots. Show your defense, work on your defense. Defense turns into longevity in this sport.” The plan was to “not just knock her out, I wanted the three rounds, I wanted the five minutes.”
Loureda took offense to Dasch’s suggestion ahead of the fight that she wasn’t battle-tested. “She had said I’d never been in battle, like she doesn’t know. I’ve been in battle every single sparring session.”
And while she wanted some cage time, Loureda also wanted to go the distance. “Honestly it went well. I’m a perfectionist, so I would have liked to finish her, which I got close to a few times, it’s just time ran out.” She felt she would have had the finish otherwise, however.
In the end, said Loureda, “I think I proved many things to myself and the public. First of all, I defended the takedowns. Second of all, I get up from the ground easy. Third of all, I’m strong.” She was complimentary of her opponent, saying “she did good. Good job for her. I’m proud of myself for some things, I just wanted to finish her. I just wanted to finish her at some point.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that she wants to run it back, a suggestion Dasch made following the bout. “No, I mean I’ll fight you, but I’m going knock you out next time. But no I’m not having a rematch with her. I need to get better with high level opponents so I can rank my way up and get my belt.”
Loureda, who seemed to shift into a higher gear as time wore on in the fight, explained that she timed her output to counter her opponent’s takedowns. “Just like, at the end, my explosion, I just feel like she won’t be able to deflect it. If she has more time, she’s going to try to take me down again. So just being cautious, picking my shots, winning the points, defending my takedowns, knocking her out when I can, kicking her in the face a few times, having fun.”
Watch the full post-fight press scrum with Valerie Loureda at Bellator 222 above!