Valerie Loureda showed incredible toughness at Bellator 259. What she didn’t show was the ability to listen to her corner’s advice – and she got an earful for that.
On Friday night, Loureda lost for the first time in her young career, dropping a unanimous decision to Hannah Guy at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Loureda started the fight with an early knockdown thanks to a crisp 2-3 combo, but she struggled after that.
Loureda got herself into – but somehow also out of – two seriously precarious situations in the first two rounds. She managed to escape a deep armbar attempt in Round 1 and a mounted triangle position that almost got the referee to stop the fight in Round 2. Through those first 10 minutes, Loureda had several instances of abandoning her striking fundamentals in favor of spinning backfists and spinning wheel kicks.
The use of those flashy moves drew the ire of American Top Team coach Steve Bruno, who was brutally honest with Loureda as she sat on the stool before Round 3. His advice was captured on video during the Showtime broadcast.
“You can’t get taken down this round, OK? You’ve got to box. You have to punch. Stop the stupid sh*t with the spinning backfists and box her. Your corner has been telling you to box her. Stop running away. The ground work is atrocious. Stay off the ground with her. Every opportunity you have to get up, get up. And if you don’t punch, you will lose. You have to throw 50 punches this round – five-zero. And it better be smart. …”
In Round 3, Loureda continued with the flashy striking, leaving herself open to takedowns, which secured her defeat.
Loureda, 22, made her Bellator debut in February 2019, coming in as a taekwondo master. She got off to a 3-0 start before Friday night’s setback.