Bellator 271: Valerie Loureda Claims Split Decision Win Over Taylor Turner

Valerie Loureda, Bellator 271
Valerie Loureda, Bellator 271 Credit: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA

For Valerie Loureda, her scrap at Bellator 271 was more than just a fight.

Proclaiming that “feminine” girls had to struggle for respect more than your average fighter in MMA ahead of the bout, Loureda took on Taylor Turner at home in Miami (technically Hollywood, FL). Between her high profile, and the first loss of her career earlier in the year against Hannah Guy, a lot was riding on Friday night.

Loureda was also fighting for the first time since taking on Thiago Alves as her head coach. Perhaps adding a few new tricks to her game under “Pitbull.”

Early Friday however, Loureda’s game was familiar. Though she had said ahead of the bout that she’d spent 80% of her camp on grappling, it was all standup early. Loureda stayed active, circling, but didn’t show much in the way of offense in the opening round.

Neither, mind you, did Turner. And grappling? If the Taekwondo fighter had spent 80% of her camp on it, she didn’t appear ready to show it. What she did show was her left hand, connecting clean towards the end of the round, giving the taller, lankier Turner something to think about. Even prettier, a spinning back kick connecting clean for Loureda in the dying seconds of the frame.

In the second, Turner found success with her jab early, and fired a few kicks, looking to utilize her length. But Loureda was, once again, far too mobile, and when she did attack, she was landing the harder shots. Loureda connected with a body kick with about two minutes left in the round, then double-pumped her jab. Turner continued to chase her, but catching Loureda was another matter entirely. In a clinch during the final minute of round two, Loureda came over the top with a right hand — but she’d come away from the exchange bloodied.

Turner spent much of the third once again looking to close the distance, while Loureda circled out of range. It was a familiar scene, but Loureda was again lacking in the offense department. The pair traded kicks with just under two minutes remaining. But for the most part, you could park a car in the space between them. Another kicking exchange would come at the one minute mark; Taylor would then land a kick, prompting Loureda to return fire, capping off a combination with a kick. Loureda would fire a few spinning kicks, and they’d turn up the heat in the final 30 seconds before heading to the scorecards.

“I’m just an Instagram model,” Loureda said sarcastically to the camera prior to the scores being read. “You have no idea how much I’ve trained every day of my life.”

When all was said and done, Valerie Loureda took the fight on two of three scorecards.

Official Result: Valerie Loureda def. Taylor Turner by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)