Bellator 271’s Valerie Loureda: It’s 100 Times Harder to Earn Respect As a “Feminine Girl” in MMA

It’s a different sort of fight week for flyweight Valerie Loureda ahead of Friday’s Bellator 271.

Yes, she’s fighting at home in Florida, made clear by the fact that she was sporting a Miami cap during Wednesday’s media day. Loureda (3-1) is also coming off the first loss of her career, however, and looking to bounce back against Taylor Turner this Friday.

Loureda’s social media following is ample to say the least, and the Internet being what it is, criticism was harsh following her loss Hannah Guy back in May. It’s not something that Loureda was eager to discuss, however, telling Cageside Press that “I’m not focused on that, and I don’t really look at it or pay attention to it.”

Instead, Loureda made the changes she felt she had to make following the loss. “After my last fight I went back and I fixed everything that I needed to do, to go back to being who I was before I started listening to other people who really didn’t know me as the fighter that I am,” she stated. “So I brought back my base into this camp and I also dedicated 80% into the grappling aspect, and I changed my head coach to Pitbull, Thiago Alves.”

The coaching change has her excited, and she’s been working with numerous other coaches as well, including Mike Brown for her wrestling.

With the right people around her, Loureda spoke to the need to have positive reinforcement driving her.

“People think that because I’m a feminine girl in this sport, it’s easier. And it’s actually a hundred times harder to earn anyone’s respect, and I feel like people think they need to be so hard on me for my own good, and it actually just doesn’t work,” she explained. “It doesn’t help me out. I was raised by my father as my coach, and positive reinforcement, and that passion has always been what has driven me. I realized a lot of people were just putting me down constantly because of jealousy and just envy.”

That led Loureda to taking a step back after her loss to Guy, and realizing that she was the one in the cage getting hit and fighting through arm-bars. “Once I realized that I was the one in there, I learned to be selfish for myself, as an athlete, as a business woman, and just go back in there and change everything I have to do in order to be a new Valerie Loureda.”

Speaking of the “new” Valerie Loureda, the Florida native seems to think opponent Taylor Turner will be expecting the fighter who showed up for the Guy fight. “She’s going to go by my last fight,” Loureda predicted of the older, more experienced Turner. “She’s going to go in there based on my last fight to take me down and submit me, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Watch the full Bellator 271 media day appearance by Valerie Loureda above. More coverage of the event can be found below.