FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS | Valerie Loureda vs. Colby Fletcher (VIDEO)

NEW YORK – Taekwondo prodigy Valerie Loureda didn’t get to show off many of her flashy moves during her Bellator 222 victory over Larkyn Dasch. 

But as far as the 20-year-old American Top Team competitor is concerned, that’s just fine. Loureda wants to improve in all aspects of her MMA game, and in going the distance with the Hooters waitress and short-notice fill-in for the Friday night flyweight bout at Madison Square Garden, Loureda got to evolve more than she would have if she scored a quick knockout. 

We knew that she was going to go out there throwing everything, because someone who has nothing to lose is the most dangerous,” Loureda told reporters, following her unanimous-decision victory.

So, really, our defense was just, we’re not going to go in there wild looking for shots. Just look for your shots, you know what I mean? Show your defense, work on your defense, defense turns into longevity in the sport. Not just knock her out. I wanted the three rounds; I wanted the (15) minutes.

That cage time is super-important when your Loureda’s age and experience level, and when you come into the sport with the level of hype she’s received.

So perhaps the crowd didn’t quite get the finish they likely wanted, but Loureda (2-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), who shot down Dasch’s request for a rematch following the fight, believes she accomplished something to build in with her victory. The 15 minutes she spent in the cage were more than quintuple the time it took to finish Colby Fletcher in her pro debut at Bellator 216, and she feels more and more comfortable by the minute. 

I’m born to be in that cage,” Loureda said. “I felt normal. I don’t think you guys realize how much more comfortable I felt than the last fight. This is what I’m born to do. And I’m going to have that belt again some day soon.”

And with that, Loureda feels her confidence building. She’ll take a week off, then get right back in the gym looking to continue toward her goal. 

I’m proud of my performance and what I did,” Loureda said. “I’m going to be 3-0, going to be 4-0, going to be 5-0,  going to be 10-0. I’m going to get my belt. That’s what’s going to happen.”