01 Jan Hannah Guy embraced being ‘overlooked’ ahead of win over Valerie Loureda at Bellator 259
Hannah Guy entered her Bellator debut a 4-to-1 underdog and she was more than happy to embrace that role ahead of the biggest win of her career.
Guy took on Valerie Loureda in the main card opener of Bellator 259 last Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and used her superior grappling and jiu-jitsu skills to earn a unanimous decision victory.
“The Hurricane” improved to 3-1 and handed Loureda—a rising star in the promotion—her first professional loss in the process. While she is thrilled to get a win on a big stage over an opponent with a recognizable name, Guy admits it took some time for it to feel real.
“It’s honestly been crazy,” Guy told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “My Instagram blew up a whole lot and I was kind of expecting that win or lose, but it’s just been flooded with so many messages—not just from [Instagram], but all my friends and family. They were sending me their reactions during the fight, which was really special to me because a lot of them weren’t able to be there and I always bring a big crowd to my fights. I wasn’t able to, obviously, this time.
“But it still hasn’t really sunk in it feels like because I slept most of the day Saturday and every time I woke up it was like, ‘Whoa, did that really happen?’ It’s super weird.”
Loureda entered the bout with a 3-0 pro record, which included finishes of Colby Fletcher and Tara Graff. The 22-year-old was ranked No. 8 in the Bellator women’s flyweight divisional rankings—where she still remains after they were updated on Tuesday—and entered the fight as a big favorite.
In the end, Guy was happy being the underdog because it gave her friends and family a chance to cash in.
“I didn’t think I would be that big of an underdog,” Guy said. “I knew they were bringing me in because they thought Valerie would beat me, like I was pretty sure, but we practiced all camp on getting to the hips, and whether I wanted to stand or not, which I hate that my striking wasn’t showcased as well as it really is because it’s gotten so much better this camp. I’m not sure if it was the big show lights but my striking is way better than I showed you guys, but my wrestling and jiu-jitsu were there, thankfully.
“But I was pretty confident I could get her to the ground. All the other people she’s fought haven’t been able to connect to her hips and get her to the ground, and maybe they thought I would be the same way. But there hasn’t been anyone I haven’t been able to take down even if they had good wrestling defense. I think they overlooked me and that’s fine because I won people some money.”
While Guy was dominant through the majority of the fight, she did overcome some early adversity. In the first round, Guy came out as the aggressor and paid for it as Loureda landed a thunderous left hook that sent her opponent to the canvas. Guy recovered, landed a takedown, and locked in a nasty armbar, which Loureda was able to eventually tough through to get back to her feet.
When asked about the knockdown, Guy admits she was in a brief moment of trouble.
“I think it got me because, honestly, I don’t remember it making me fall to my butt,” Guy explained. “So I think I was out for a second, but I remember landing on my butt so I think that’s what made me come to, I guess. I was fine once I hit my butt, but she got me for that one second, so I guess I was in trouble for a second.
“[It’s never happened] where I’ve actually been dropped, which is surprising since I feel I’ve fought way better people than Valerie as far as power in their hands and skill in general. I’ve fought her teammate Kayla [Hracho], really good boxer. I fought Gina Gooden, who was No. 1 in the Southeast, super strong. I’ve seen white in fights many times but I guess that time it kind of dropped me to my butt, but I think it might’ve been the nerves under the big lights.”
On Sunday, Loureda revealed on her Instagram that she suffered torn ligament damage in her right arm, which is in a full cast due to the multiple submission attempts from Guy. Loureda’s strength throughout her young career has shown in the standup, taking her lifelong Taekwondo background into the cage.
Loureda’s submission defense, and overall toughness throughout the 15-minute battle should not be overlooked, as Guy was surprised she was able to escape a number of compromising positions.
“I know at this level you have to be tough but I was surprised she didn’t tap to the armbar because I had it multiple times and, as you can see on social media, she’s casted up,” Guy said. “She was a lot tougher than I thought she would be. I expected toughness, I always do, but she was definitely tougher than I thought she would be, for sure.”
Guy is currently ranked No. 9 in Bellator’s 125-pound rankings, but as of now, she has not been signed by the promotion to any future dates.
Once the bout ended, Guy received a lot of praise from people seeing her compete on a global scale for the first time. The Mississippi native had not fought outside of her region prior to the big win on Friday night and impressed a slew of new fans in the process.
As the reaction was positive in the Guy camp, it wasn’t the same on Loureda’s side as she was showered with negativity on social media. Of course, Guy was thrilled to walk away with a career-boosting win, but not at the expense of seeing her opponent be chastised by fans.
“I mean, I can’t be on her Instagram all the time saying, ‘Oh, she’s great,’ or whatever, but I definitely think that people just don’t understand the sport and they have no right—even if she is a terrible fighter, which I don’t think she is,” Guy stated. “Even if she was, she’s still getting in the cage and all the people going out and talking sh*t on social media, nobody has a right to say anything.
“I think it’s kind of messed up that people are sending all that hate when just the other day, people were like, ‘You’re gonna knock her out.’ People are just so finicky and it’s ridiculous. But she’ll be fine. Those fans don’t matter anyways.”