Valerie Loureda has hit back at critics of her social media activity after she was called out by an MMA rival.
The UFC’s Macy Chiasson called out Loureda earlier this year after she posted a workout video in the gym that Chiasson described as a “strip-tease.”
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Chiasson accused Loureda of “selling sex” to get male followers and setting a bad example for young female MMA fans.
But according to Loureda she’s not doing anything wrong, saying her social media activity is for one person only - herself.
Ahead of the the 22-year-old’s return to the cage at Bellator 243, Loureda defended herself and hit out at her critics.
“I don’t do anything for social media,” she told reporters.
“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.”
Valerie Loureda slams ‘jealous’ critics
Loureda said anyone criticising her social media activity is just “jealous”.
“I have different passions outside of the cage and that’s okay,” she added.
“The way I am doesn’t mean I market myself like that. It means I’m a normal girl who has an education outside of the cage and that should be recognised.
“It’s just jealousy and they’re not educated in that aspect. They’ve never seen it before and they can’t handle it. But they will when they see me fight in the cage.”
Loureda, who faces Tara Graff at Bellator 243, says her social media activity often leads to her opponents underestimating her.
“My opponent is very aggressive, and like most of the opponents that I have, she’s going to try to take me down,” Loureda said.
“But if they knew that I’m very prepared for that (they might not). I train with the best female fighters on the planet here at American Top Team. I did the camp with Joanna (Jedrzejczyk) in January (and) February. I’m ready.
“She sees me on Instagram and she thinks I only post pictures, but she doesn’t know I train twice, three times a day, and like an animal.
“That’s my secret weapon. She thinks I’m weak – I’m just an Instagram model. But when I step in the cage, I transform.”