MMA pin-up Loureda claims being feminine makes it ‘100 times harder to earn respect’ ahead of comeback fight

MMA fighter Valerie Loureda, who is known for her racy photos on social media, has claimed that people being "so hard" on her does not help as she plots redemption for her first pro loss.

Loureda takes on veteran Taylor Turner at Bellator 271 in Florida on Friday, and the 23-year-old believes she has transformed her style after suffering the first defeat of her fledgling career to Hannah Guy in May.

Turner, who is 15 years Loureda's senior, needed only 20 seconds to choke out Hannah Elswick in her only fight of 2021 so far, although she was coming off two losses at the time.

With more than 839,000 Instagram followers, photoshoot-loving Loureda endures plenty of criticism outside of the cage.

"People think that because I'm a feminine girl in this sport, it's easier," she explained, shunning talk of that maiden defeat.

"It's actually 100 times harder to earn anyone's respect. People think they need to be so hard on me for my own good and it actually doesn't help me out; it doesn't work.

"I was raised by my father as my coach [through] positive reinforcement. That passion is always what has driven me.

"I realize a lot of people were just putting me down constantly because of jealousy and just envy.

"I had to step back after this fight and realize that I was the one in that cage getting hit and in those armbars.

"Once I realized that I was the one in there, I learned to be selfish for myself as an athlete, as a businesswoman, and just change everything I do in order to be a new Valerie Loureda."

One of the factors that riled her critics was Loureda's seemingly needless use of spinning attacks against Guy.

"I love to do the spinning stuff," she said, suggesting that she plans to be more judicious in her approach from now on.

"In my last fight, I just threw it out of desperation, not like I normally do. I have beautiful spinning attacks before I plan it.

"I punch before I kick. I love turning into a boxer and I'm excited to show my new grappling skills and what I can do on the ground."

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