Loureda thanks Jorge Masvidal for being her mentor, expects hand raised on fight night.
Valerie Loureda is returning to the cage for the first time since a unanimous decision win at Bellator 222. The undefeated (2-0) American Top Team fighter is set to take on Tara Graff this Friday at Bellator 243. Loureda has been in intense fight camp for some time now, as she was a main training partner of Joanna Jedrzejczyk leading into her title fight at UFC 248.
“For Joanna’s camp, I did every single sparring for two months. It was like if I had a fight, I was beat up,” Loureda told Cageside Press during the Bellator 243 media day. “I honestly thought that after my camp with Joanna for Weili [Zhang], I could have fought for Bellator the next day. Except the weight. But American Top Team is amazing. It’s the most professional environment I’ve seen in my life. It’s just so impressive. I’m just blessed to be able to train there. They took me in as an amateur, they built me up for this.”
A member of American Top Team who has been a strong mentor in the life of Loureda is Jorge Masvidal. A fellow Miami native with Cuban background, Loureda has followed the steps that Masvidal has laid in front of her. A teammate in fighting, a mentor in life.
“I follow his footsteps” Loureda explained. “We train together. I wish Jorge could be here for this fight.” Unfortunately, you’re only allowed so many corners, she noted. “I ask him for help, for advice, I see how Miami supports him and I know they will support me the same way.”
Loureda has been well-prepared for her return to the cage. That return takes place this Friday at Bellator 243 against Graff (1-1), who hasn’t fought since 2018. Loureda herself has been out of competition for a year. A war of words was ignited between the two when Graff made a comment that Loureda’s instagram was “trashy” in an interview with Cageside Press earlier this week. Loureda had a response.
“I think she calls it trashy because she looks the way she does,” Loureda told Cageside Press. “She doesn’t understand it, because she doesn’t got it.”
“She just wants to put me down, but why put me down? What am I doing wrong? I’m training, I’m 2-0 in Bellator at 22-years old. I’ve dedicated my whole life to martial arts,” Loureda continued. “Just because I don’t look the way she does, doesn’t mean I’m trashy. I have a way of showing myself. I’ve worked very hard for what I have, I work very hard for my body. I’ve been like this since I was little. No one’s opinion is going to change that, and she’s not going to get to me. I pay zero attention to her.”
Loureda predicts a victory come fight night versus Graff. Catch our full media day interview with Valerie Loureda above.