Bellator MMA fighter Valerie Loureda and WWE have been linked for several months. The 23 year old from Miami has been at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando several times, and she attended the company’s WrestleMania 38 tryout in Texas.
Reports were that tryout went well, and WWE hoped to have her signed by mid-July. Seems things moved faster than that. As one of Ariel Helwani’s guests on The MMA Hour today (June 29), Loureda teared up as she broke the news that she’s officially starting next month as a WWE Superstar.
“I have now become the first Cuban-American woman — and I am now a WWE Superstar... I’m really excited, and I’ve dedicated my whole life to marital arts, and I feel like everything has come to this moment, and this is my opportunity to showcase my culture and show the world the entertainer that I am.”
She thanked Scott Coker and Bellator, but says MMA is in the past as she focuses 100% on sports entertainer. Coker told our sister site MMA Fighting that a statement on Loureda’s departure from the promotion is forthcoming.
Loureda wraps up her career with a 4-1 professional mixed martial arts record, with all of those bouts taking place in a Bellator cage. She had two 2021 fights, losing a May unanimous decision to Hannah Guy, then winning her last fight over Taylor Turner by split decision in November.
Her social media presence proves she isn’t shy about self-promotion. In MMA, she also became known for post-victory dances in the cage — so WWE coaches will have a lot to work with as they get her ready for the squared circle. Loureda told Helwani she hopes to keep her last name, or at least get a WWE trademarked one that represents her Cuban heritage. Her goal is to be on television with NXT by the end of this year, and on the main roster by 2023.
Another interesting note: Loureda is affiliated with American Top Team, the gym led by AEW’s Dan Lambert whose members include Paige VanZant and numerous other MMA stars who’ve crossed over to pro wrestling with Tony Khan’s fed.
But not Loureda, who says she never talked to AEW and was drawn to WWE’s global presence. She’ll be reporting to the PC on her 24th birthday (July 19). After that, she might already have her first feud lined up in NXT...