Valerie Loureda is set to become the latest MMA fighter to have a shot at WWE stardom.
The 23-year-old Miami resident appeared on Wednesday on “The MMA Hour” to confirm that she has signed with WWE and trained at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, to prepare to enter the promotion full-time next month.
pugnacious selection reported on June 1 that Loureda had attended a week-long tryout this spring and made a “great impression.” Loureda also hinted at career news on social media ahead of her announcement, tweet that “my life will never be the same.”
“I’m a WWE superstar now,” Loureda said as she did, bursting into tears as she discussed her difficult background and the journey she’s taken to get to this point.
“Yes,” Loureda said when asked if she was done with MMA. “My mind has completely shifted from MMA to WWE, and all that passion and energy I have for MMA that I’ve worked for for five years I now do in a training facility in Orlando. I like to fight, but this is my time”
Loureda’s background before starting her MMA career was in taekwando where she earned a 4th dan black belt and a spot on the US Olympic team. She signed with Bellator in 2018 and made her professional debut in February 2019 while training at a gym that has had a lot of visibility in professional wrestling lately, the American Top Team.
All five of Loureda’s fights to date have come under Bellator’s banner, where she went 4-1. Her most recent fight, a split decision win over Taylor Turnercame on Bellator 271 last November. She will remain under contract to Bellator if she changes her mind and decides to return to MMA later.
“Valerie Loureda is a very young and talented athlete who can achieve a lot in MMA in the coming years, but for now we wish her the best of luck in pursuing her dream of becoming a WWE superstar,” said Bellator President Scott Coker against MMA. Junkie’s Nolan King when asked for comment. “She will remain an active fighter under contract with Bellator, and we look forward to welcoming her back to the cage in the near future. We are proud that our athletes can test themselves in other arenas, such as boxing and pro wrestling.”
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Given her inexperience in pro wrestling, WWE’s NXT brand will likely be the first place Loureda will appear if and when she appears on TV. Another thing to look out for is whether WWE allows her to perform under her real name; Loureda already has a big following Instagram and Twitterbut WWE is increasingly pushing for marketing artists under stage names it can control.
However, she has announced that when she takes her first walk to the ring at a live WWE event, Loureda is a name whose progress will be followed with interest by MMA fans, her social media followers and now professional wrestling fans too.
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