Flyweight Valerie Loureda stuck it to her critics with a second-round buzzer-beater TKO of Tara Graff at Bellator 243 – and a celebratory dance – on her return to action after 14 months. The 22-year-old former taekwondo star out of American Top Team in Florida went 3-0 in MMA and US-based organisation Bellator. The victory on Friday night in Connecticut followed criticism from some of the Cuban-American’s fellow female fighters – including Graff – for posting videos of her dancing skills on social media platform TikTok. Loureda proceeded to celebrate the win by showing off her dance moves again, this time inside the cage at the Mohegan Sun arena. “Just an ‘IG’ model,” Loureda wrote in a sarcastic tweet afterwards. She hit the buzzer-beater KO and then the celebration began for @valerielouredaa (via @BellatorMMA ) pic.twitter.com/XoJEnTs2g4 — ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 8, 2020 “I’m still gonna post TikToks,” she said at her post-fight press conference. “I don’t care what anybody says. Of course that made it personal but I don’t lower myself to her [Graff]. “I waited until the chance I got to fight, when I was healthy, so I could shut her mouth. “Let me tell you something,” an emotional Loureda added. “This girl, every single day of quarantine, I thought about her face, the moment I get to punch her like that. Extremely necessary like Jorge [Masvidal] would tell me. I don’t care if there’s one second left, I hit her 50 million times so she can’t get up. “I’m a master in taekwondo. I’ve always been professional, until this girl. I can’t be professional with that girl, when you’re telling me I’m being demoralising to the sport. “Well you know what? Look at all the girls that look like me, who dance, who wanna defend themselves, who are now gonna be in MMA because I’m an inspiration to them and they’re not scared. That’s what I stand for, not what she does.” Loureda then broke down in tears as she recalled her self-doubts heading into the fight. “I was super nervous this morning,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘Valerie, why do you do this? Why do you get yourself into this?’ This girl was jacked, huge. I have little arms and a big butt. ‘What are you doing? You can’t do this’. “My sister told me, ‘You do camps with Joanna [Jedrzejczyk], you train with the most high-level and you’re competitive with them, every round is toe to toe, you need to trust yourself’. “And it wasn’t I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t trust the proof in what I’ve done previously in my taekwondo career and what I’ve done now in Bellator.” Loureda promised she would celebrate by “putting on a pretty outfit, getting drunk and taking pictures with my sister”.