Valerie Letourneau Makes Promotional Debut At Bellator 181

Valerie Letourneau

Former UFC title challenger Valerie Letourneau has agreed to a date and an opponent for her Bellator MMA debut. Letourneau, who signed with the promotion last month, is scheduled to fight Emily Ducote in a women’s flyweight bout at Bellator 181. She announced the news during Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.

Letourneau departed ways with the UFC earlier this year after she suffered her third consecutive loss in a split decision to Viviane Pereira at UFC 206 in December. The departure was mutual between the two sides. She had her issues with making weight for the strawweight division. The UFC has made it clear that it has no intention to add a 125-pound division in the near future. She began her UFC career at bantamweight with a split-decision win over Elizabeth Phillips at UFC 174 in June 2014. She then cut down to strawweight and at first, her decision to do so paid off in a big way. She received a title shot at UFC 193 in November 2015 against undefeated strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. However, the fight did not go the way she wanted. Letourneau hung tough for five rounds en route to a unanimous decision loss. The UFC allowed her to have a one-off fight at strawweight as she fought Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night 89 this past June, but she suffered a third-round TKO defeat. She then had to move back down to strawweight for the bout with Pereira. But she failed to make weight, prompting her to decide that cutting such a significant amount of weight was no longer an option.

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On the other side, Ducote is coming off a submission win over Katy Collins back at Bellator 174 in March. She holds a 5-2 record and is 3-1 under the Bellator banner.

Bellator 181 takes place on Friday, July 14th at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (17-8) vs. Derek Campos (18-6) in a lightweight bout will headline this event. The prelims will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App while the main card will air live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.