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Exclusive: Valerie Letourneau talks about UFC 193 and the problems in cutting weight

502   //    18 Jun 2016, 12:53 IST
Valerie put up a great performance against the strawweight champion, Joanna at UFC 193

UFC Fight Night 89 is right around the corner, and will be headlined by a cracker of a fight between perennial number one contender Rory MacDonald and the future of the welterweight division, Stephen Thompson. Right from the Fight Pass prelims, there are exciting fights, with Randa Markos set to face Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger in the 115 pound division, while former number one contender Ali Bagautinov takes on Geane Herrera in the men’s flyweight division.

On the main card, Donald Cerrone faces Patrick Cote in the co – main event in the 170 pound division. One of the exciting fights on the main card will also feature former number one contender Valerie Letourneau taking on Joanne Calderwood.

Both the women will fight at 125 pounds – which could indicate UFC’s interest in forming a new division for the women.

Valerie is coming off a tough loss at UFC 193 in Melbourne, when she went toe to toe with the strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a five round war. While Valerie gave it her all during the fight, Joanna won via unanimous decision, and looking at Valerie even before the fight highlighted her problems with the brutal weight cut.

Valerie is a relatively bigger strawweight, and has to cut more than most of the other fighters during the fight week. She later revealed the hardships she went through during the fight week to drop the final pounds, and said she had lost her initial fight to the weight cut.

With just 24 hours to rehydrate, and with UFC banning rehydration through IVs, it gets difficult for someone like Valerie who has a substantial amount of weight to gain.

“Extremely difficult, I did it 3 times and it got better every time, but this is hurting my body”, Valerie told us in an exclusive interview. “We always want to show up at our best on fight night, but it’s hard when we spend our whole camps focused on trying to make weight. Flyweight is my weight class!”

Even with all the hardships in the final couple of days before the fight, Valerie put up a brave fight against the strawweight champion. In what turned out to be a striking clinic, both the women gave it everything they had in Melbourne.

Fighting someone like Joanna would have given Valerie a lot of confidence, and the former challenger revealed that she had learned a lot from the fight.

“I’ve learned so much in the preparation for that championship fight—the pressure you have, the media, how to stay focused”, she added. “Nobody else can bring Joanna’s speed and experience in the Octagon. I definitely grew as a fighter and that gives me the confidence that I can compete with any girl in the division.”

Valarie will be taking on yet another dangerous opponent in Joanne Calderwood, who is looking to climb the ranks and fight for the title herself. Joanne has an impressive 10 – 1 win – loss record in her professional career, and is an elite Muay Thai practitioner.

Both Joanne and Valerie have agreed to fight at 125 pounds, and Valerie is well aware of Joanne’s skill set.

Talking about their backgrounds and how both of them prefer keeping the fight standing, Val told us that she will not underestimate Calderwood. “To me Joanne is a top fighter. This is a challenging fight for me and I love it! The plan is to win the fight, no matter what!”


You can catch UFC Fight Night 89: Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson at 8.00AM on Sunday, 19th June 2016 live and exclusive on Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD.

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MMA/UFC/professional wrestling fan. A Manchester United fan through and through. Might also be seen cheering on Nadal and Djoko.
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