Bellator sensation Valerie Loureda has defended her self-marketing strategy on social media in the wake of recent criticism.
Loureda, who is set to square off with Tara Graff at Bellator 243 tonight, is 2-0 in her professional mixed martial arts career with both of her wins coming under the Bellator umbrella. Despite the impressive start, many still feel as if her Instagram popularity is one of the driving forces behind the push she’s been receiving from the promotion.
During her media day appearance in the build-up to the fight, Loureda spoke openly about how she chooses to market herself.
“I don’t do anything for social media,” Loureda told reporters at the Bellator 243 virtual media day. “I do things for myself. For example, I am an extreme girly-girl outside of the cage. So the way that I market myself, it’s not for social media and it’s not for men. This is the way that I look. I’ve worked my whole life to have this body, to have this figure—I was a ballerina, I’ve been a martial artist.
“I think that’s where people mistake. It’s not for social media. I am the way that I look like, but I’m also a fighter. What does one thing have to do with the other? Just because I look different than other martial artists doesn’t make me any different. It’s my identity, this is why Valerie Loureda is different.”
Quotes courtesy of MMA Fighting
The 22-year-old has said in the past that she is attempting to follow in the footsteps of her fellow Cuban-American and American Top Team teammate Jorge Masvidal.
“I’m very confident I can be the next face to come out of Miami, the next female fighter,” Loureda said in Spanish (translation via Danny Segura of MMA Junkie). “I don’t know any female fighter that is Cuban, and I’m very confident I could be the next one.
“I know that I can get the same support the community has given Jorge. I have the same coaches as Jorge, the same training, and I’m following his steps in the sport. He’s guiding me a lot. I’m very confident in my camp, in my team, my city behind me, and I’m going to win this fight for the Cubans here in Miami.”