South Florida will be well represented during Bellator MMA 259 on Friday, May 21.
Two undefeated fighters from American Top Team in (South Florida) Coconut Creek are on the card, each with an interesting story.
“The Gentleman” Austin Vanderford of American Top Team fights Fabian Edwards in a middleweight bout on the main card of Bellator 259 on Showtime.
No.3 ranked Vanderford (10-0) and No.4 ranked Edwards (9-1) battle with no audience in attendance (Covid protocol) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Vanderford, 31, discusses the fight, his opponent, Bellator MMA, training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, moving to South Florida, growing up in Alaska, his ATT teammate “Master” Valerie Loureda on the Bellator 259 fight card, TV show “Deadliest Catch,” his wife Paige VanZant, WWE and more.
Miami’s “Master” Valerie Loureda of American Top Team fights Hannah Guy in a flyweight bout at Bellator 259.
No.8 ranked Loureda (3-0) and Guy (2-1) battle during the prelims on the Bellator YouTube and Showtime YouTube channels.
Loureda, 22, a legit Taekwondo Master, discusses the fight, her opponent, Bellator MMA, training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, being a role model, fighting, entertaining, fashion, broadcasting, growing up in Miami, attending Lourdes Academy, her Taekwondo trained sister who will again be in her corner on fight night, her Taekwondo instructing father, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and more.
Loureda strives to be the total package, combining brains, beauty and brawn. She is a beautiful fighter who trains hard to fight beautifully. She is a legit Taekwondo Master, learning from the best.
Her father, Frank, owns and operates Master Frank’s Taekwondo Academy in Miami.
“Grandmaster Frank Loureda is an 8th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. He is a World-Class Martial Artist known for building black belts for more than 30 years.
Many of his black belt athletes have competed in Cadet World, Junior and Senior World Championships in various locations like Korea, Azerbaijan, and Canada. Taekwondo Times noted that “Master Frank’s Taekwondo Academy has the most established black belts throughout the world.”
Valerie Loureda is becoming a legit MMA fighter, too, learning from the best at the award winning and world renowned American Top Team in (South Florida) Coconut Creek.
She is also working on a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Florida.
An entrepreneur, she designs her own outfits and ring gear. She is a very good dancer and showcases some of those moves with her sister in the Bellator cage, after a victory. Speaking of the dance, one of her goals is to be a winning contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship’s Paige VanZant -- who also trains at American Top Team in Coconut Creek -- placed second on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” in 2016.
VanZant will be at Bellator 259, too, but dancing will be furthest from her mind. She will be in the corner of her husband, Austin Vanderford.
“The Gentleman” Austin Vanderford
“Master” Valerie Loureda
Plus, in a bantamweight bout on the Bellator 259 main card, Darrion Caldwell (15-4) of Sanford MMA in (South Florida) Deerfield Beach fights No.6 ranked Leandro Higo (20-5).
Bellator 259: Cyborg vs. Smith 2
BELLATOR MMA 259 on Friday, May 21 is headlined by a featherweight championship rematch pitting current 145-pound titleholder and the top-ranked women’s pound-for-pound fighter Cris “Cyborg” (23-2, 1 NC) against Northern California’s Leslie Smith (12-8-1).
The main card airs live exclusively on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and emanates from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The preliminary card airs live in all U.S. markets on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel, as well as Pluto TV.
BELLATOR 259: Cyborg vs. Smith 2
Friday, May 21, 2021
9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Featherweight Bout: c-Cris Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC) vs. #4-Leslie Smith (12-8-1)
Bantamweight Bout: Darrion Caldwell (15-4) of Sanford MMA vs. #6-Leandro Higo (20-5)
Middleweight Bout: #3-Austin Vanderford (10-0) of American Top Team vs. #4-Fabian Edwards (9-1)
Light Heavyweight Bout: #9-Christian Edwards (4-0) vs. Ben Parrish (4-1)
BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel | Pluto TV
5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT
Lightweight Bout: Saad Awad (23-13, 1 NC) vs. Nate Andrews (16-3)
Light Heavyweight Bout: #7-Grant Neal (5-0) vs. #8-Tyree Fortune (5-0)
Flyweight Bout: Sumiko Inaba (1-0) vs. Kristina Katsikis (1-1)
Lightweight Bout: #10-Aviv Gozali (5-0) vs. Sean Felton (5-2-1)
Flyweight Bout: #8-Valerie Loureda (3-0) of American Top Team vs. Hannah Guy (2-1)
Heavyweight Bout: #9-Davion Franklin (2-0) vs. Tyler King (12-9)
Featherweight Bout: #7-Leah McCourt (4-1) vs. #6-Janay Harding (6-4)
Bantamweight Bout: Brett Johns (17-2) vs. Matheus Mattos (12-2-1)
*Card subject to change.
Visit Bellator.com for additional information.
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