Valerie Loureda would like to remind men and women that despite her manicured image, louder-than-existence persona and flashy strikes inside of the cage, she’s even now just 22.
For Loureda, who faces Hannah Person on Friday at Bellator 259, that implies she’s however discovering her way, battling by challenging predicaments, concentrating on her intention of becoming a champion. She’s operate into a good deal of roadblocks and cleared some hurdles far away from the filters of Instagram.
“I have three qualified fights,” she said in an job interview with MMA Fighting. “I place myself in the worst positions so I could expand. You fellas are observing the development of my career, so men and women never comprehend my age.”
When she signed a agreement with the ViacomCBS-owned advertising, she stated she was residing in a studio apartment without a kitchen and ready tables at Tijuana Flats in Coral Springs, Fla., to assistance her instruction at American Best Crew.
Now, she’s a comprehensive-time fighter who keeps meticulous keep track of of each section of her graphic and efficiency. She takes cues from Jennifer Lopez and Demi Lovato on sharpening her own brand name.
“I’ve generally had this routine I do in advance of and in the course of my fights,” she stated. “It’s not just to sector myself. This is just what can make me satisfied, understanding my battle is ideal, my banner is excellent, my corner is best, my braids are fantastic. Everything has to experience fantastic in buy for me to really feel ready and execute in the cage.”
Loureda has invited lovers along for the experience. She has aggressively promoted her visual appeal on the net to get to the top rated quicker, which has arrive with a great deal of assumptions about who she is and who she should really or should not be as she pursues her passion of preventing.
A person of her most vocal critics was her former opponent, Tara Graff, whom she stated accused her of remaining “demoralizing to the sport” and harassed her every single day on line. She knocked out Graff at Bellator 243 and danced in celebration.
“When I get into the cage, I’m there to do a single thing, and it is to eliminate,” she explained. “Once it takes place, I turn again into myself. And the dancing is pettiness, for the reason that no a single wants me to do Tik Toks and this and that bothers every person, so I’m heading to dance in your facial area.”
Following her dance celebration went viral, she stated talent brokers and directors arrived contacting. Between the alternatives offered was a actuality show that includes her and her sister. She declined in favor of developing her MMA job.
“I was like, ‘Hold on,’” she reported. “I’m heading to be a tiny client, for the reason that I’m 22 a long time outdated, and ideal now, I however need to concentrate 100 per cent of my time into instruction. When I’m education, I’m schooling 100 per cent. I’m a completely distinctive man or woman than I am outdoors of the gymnasium. When I experience like the moment is proper, I’m going to do one thing outrageous different.”
At 15, Loureda’s aim was to grow to be an wonderful martial artist and win Dancing with the Stars. There’s loads of time to do equally, but now is the time to wander the tougher street.
The past 12 months have not been simple. The night time in advance of she still left for a struggle with Graff, she was associated in a motor vehicle incident that left her terribly shaken. Her grandfather died from COVID-19. Not long following she started out education for Man, she was cut by a education lover and wanted 20 stitches earlier mentioned her eye, delaying her conference with Person.
But she enjoys her new scars, noticeable or normally. In public, people feel she’s an actor or dancer. She allows them guess her occupation.
“They don’t believe me,” she claimed. “I’m like, ‘It’s a activity. Guess what activity.’ They say cheerleading, or volleyball, or a dancer.”
There will be a day when she decides to give the latter a consider. For now, she is dedicated to fulfilling a assure she manufactured to Bellator.
“I informed them I’m likely to be the most recognized and most influential lady in the globe if you give me the possibility, and they did,” she stated. “I introduced in a new market, the Hispanic market place, Miami, most people understands who Bellator is, so right now I’m pretty satisfied. I usually give back to those people who thought in me when I was almost nothing and I had no followers, and I’m likely to continue to keep executing the same detail and blow it up.”
For additional from Loureda, look at out her Bellator 259 media day scrum: