But even though the heavy underdog out of Montreal put in a respectable showing in her UFC strawweight title fight against Joanna Jędrzejczyk, it still wasn't nearly enough to wrest the gold from Joanna Champion.
In the first women's title fight which reached the championship rounds in UFC history, Jędrzejczyk pulled away as the fight wore on and earned a unanimous decision victory at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium. The judges' scores were 49-46, 49-46, and 50-45.
Letourneau, an American Top Team product, came out strong in the first round. She wasn't afraid to initiate the action with a killer striker and she fearlessly closed the distance. A big front kick by Jędrzejczyk late in the round, though, was a harbinger of things to come.
The challenger hung tough, but by the bout's midpoint, it became clear the champion was taking control. Letourneau's lead leg was beaten raw by the champ's relentless kicks by the third round. By the fourth, Letourneau's face was bruised and swollen.
The fifth round was academic, as Jędrzejczyk continued her clinic and finished off her second successful defense of her 115-pound crown.
"I knew Valerie was going to be tough," Jędrzejczyk said. "I always expect the best and she brought the best of me."
Jędrzejczyk (11-0) improved to 5-0 in the UFC; Letourneau had a four-fight win streak snapped.
"To be honest, nothing really surprised me," Letourneau said. "She did exactly what I expected her to do."