Prospect in the Spotlight (May 21-22): Valerie Loureda

Introduction

Friday, May 21st, American flyweight prospect Valerie Loureda will be in action for Bellator, where she will be looking to continue his winning ways against Hannah Guy. She will be looking for another win, as Loureda looks to continue her undefeated ways under the Bellator banner. She represents American Top Team, a top camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Striking: Loureda has a taekwondo background, having studied the martial art since she was a young child. That plays a major part in her MMA game. She has a wide stance and moves very well laterally, as well as in and out. Her kicks are excellent, not necessitating much wind up when she throws them. They have great snap, whether she’s going to the legs, body or head. Those kicks can also be flashy. Her hands are good as well. She throws good combos, and while they may not be the one-punch KOs that other fighters have, she is accurate and precise. In her last fight, a precise cross to the chin of Tara Graff stunned Graff big time and sent her to the mat. Some heavy ground-and-pound sealed the deal for Loureda in that bout. She has two knockout wins in three pro bouts, which is another example of Loureda being a great striker.

Athleticism: In addition to being an impressive striker, Loureda is a great natural athlete. In addition to her interesting dance style post-fight and on social media, which does indeed show her athleticism, she shows great athleticism as a fighter. She has good speed and explosiveness. She covers ground well. A lot of the techniques she throws require a good deal of athletic prowess.

Needs Improvement

Inexperience: Loureda had three amateur fights, one of which she lost (albeit by split decision). She has fought just three pro fights against opponents with a combined record of 2-4. She is just 22 years old at this point (23 in July). She has a long way to go in this sport before she becomes a contender, nevertheless a champion. She has to take a step up in competition at some point. Luckily, she has plenty of time to do so at her age.

Question Marks: We have seen Loureda’s striking plenty, and we like what we see. That said, there are parts of her game that we just don’t know how advanced they are yet. She’s defended some takedowns, but hasn’t fought anybody with especially impressive wrestling. So, there are still some questions about her defensive wrestling, and to an extent, her offensive wrestling as well. We aren’t quite sure how she will fare off her back and if her jiu-jitsu is at a high-enough level. Simply put, there is a good amount we just do not know yet about Loureda, and hopefully in coming fights, we can get a better glimpse.

Outlook

Feature Fighter: You cannot deny the star power of Loureda, especially this early in her career. A lot of that is due to her social media presence and sex appeal, which will be looked down on by some and appreciated by others. That said, popularity is a big part of this sport, and popularity draws money and attention. Loureda does both. As stated, she’s still a young prospect gaining cage experience, and although Bellator has not given her a step up in competition yet, it will come with time. Loureda is a brand, and even if she’s not half the fighter of some of the guys on the undercard, she will be featured higher on the card for that reason. She has the drive to be champion and that’s admirable. It’s too early to tell how high her ceiling is, but I assume she will get some keynote wins on her record. I just don’t know if she will hang with the best her division has to offer. Luckily, she’s got ATT as her camp and they will get her to the highest level possible.

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