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Larkyn Dasch upbeat after short-notice loss to Valerie Loureda

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NEW YORK – Larkyn Dasch kept an upbeat attitude despite a lopsided loss to Valerie Loureda in her Bellator debut Friday.

“I always try to keep a high spirit,” Dasch told reporters, including MMA Junkie, after losing a unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden. “I love this sport. It’s my dream.

“Obviously, I put college on pause to come follow this dream, so I love it, win or lose. You can’t be upset about the losses. Just learn from them and keep moving forward.

Dasch, a former business administration major and radio personality, made headlines signing a contract to fight taekwondo standout Loureda while working as a server at Hooters. But she bucked any preconceptions about her abilites with her toughness in the cage. She took dozens of Loureda’s flashy kicks – including one straight to the jaw – and kept on the attack.

After 15 minutes, Dasch picked up a round on one judges’ scorecard despite getting shut out on the remaining two.

“I would have loved to win,” she said. “That was obviously the goal. But I brought what I had tonight, and I brought what I had with the notice that I had. I hope I have the blessing of being able to come back. There was so much more I could have worked on with eight weeks. I’d like that opportunity.”

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Whether that comes against Loureda, who picked up her first professional MMA win, or another competitor, Dasch doesn’t mind. She simply wants more time to prepare. With one week, she spent more time scrambling to get ready. A cold she picked up two weeks prior made things even more interesting.

When she got in the cage, Dasch struggled to adjust to Loureda’s control of distance, which prevented her from locking up a clinch or landing strikes.

“My last opponent and opponents that I’ve had before that have not been as good with keeping that far away from me where my left hand punch doesn’t connect,” she said. “That was something that frustrated me. That’s something I definitely need to work on.”

Dasch still managed to land a few of her favored punched and welcomed a rematch with Loureda.

“I was proud and happy, especially after taking that kick to the jaw, that I could take a kick at full speed from her without my hand there to block it, and still it didn’t take me down,” she said. “It definitely makes me know that I’m on this level in MMA.”

That’s why Dasch couldn’t be too upset at the outcome. She gave it her best.

“I always try to keep a high spirit,” she said. “I love this sport. It’s my dream. Obviously, I put college on pause to come follow this dream, so I love it, win or lose. You can’t be upset about the losses. Just learn from them and keep moving forward. ”

For complete coverage of Bellator 222, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Gallery

Photos: Best of Bellator 222 prelims at Madison Square Garden

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