UFC veteran Valerie Letourneau recently signed with Bellator MMA and makes her promotional debut against Emily Ducote at Bellator 181.
The UFC recently created a women’s flyweight division a short time after Letourneau left the promotion, but she’s not mad at them for doing the right thing.
“To me, I cannot be mad at the UFC for doing the right thing,” Letourneau said at the TUF 26 tryouts (she was there to support a teammate). “This is what they have to do. I just want to see my sport grow and it’s always been a big motivation to me, even when I was younger, to see that I’m opening doors. Win or lose, I feel that things are moving forward, so I like to see that. I’m not super old, but I’m getting older. So, to me, I’m not looking for the next ten years. I like to see this for these girls that are in their 20s and need to be known and doors are opening for them, I like that. (‘TUF’) is not attractive for me right now. I’m not seeing myself in that house. I wouldn’t, even if I could, try to get in this house.”
Letourneau did compete in the first ever women’s flyweight bout in UFC history, losing to Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night 89.
While she would have been happy to fight in the UFC’s newest division, the Canadian is also happy to be with Bellator MMA.
“I would have liked to fight at 125 for the UFC,” Letourneau said. “That’s the only thing I wanted. This is what makes me sad. I wish that would have happened a year ago. But at this point of my career, I’m in a better place with Bellator. I’m probably going to fight two times before the end of the (‘TUF 26’) show. Even financially, I can stay home with my daughter, my dogs, my boyfriend – happy. And make money. So that’s the goal.”
Bellator 181 takes place on Friday, July 18 from the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma with Patricky Freire and Derek Campos headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Spike TV.