The WWE has signed one of Bellator MMA’s top women prospects to a multi-year deal.
On Wednesday’s edition of the MMA Hour, Valerie Loureda announced she has signed a contract with the WWE and is currently done with MMA.
“I have now become the first Cuban-American woman and I am now a WWE superstar,” an emotional Loureda told Ariel Helwani. “I’m really excited, and I’ve dedicated my whole life to martial arts, and everything has come to this moment. And this is my opportunity to showcase my culture and entertain the world.
“I’m emotional because I’ve worked really hard in my whole life. I’ve had a very hard upbringing, and every day, I’ve always just believed in myself, and trained hard hoping to make it to the next step and just chasing a dream that I’ve had in my heart since I was a baby.”
Loureda attended WWE tryouts in April before WrestleMania 38. The 23-year-old reportedly impressed WWE brass and was expected to report to the promotion’s Performance Center in July for training.
Loureda thanked Bellator executives for their support in her journey from MMA to Pro Wrestling.
“Scott Coker and Mike Kogan, they believed in me when I was 19 years old,” Loureda said of Bellator executives. “My first professional fight was without shinguards at the Mohegan Sun. opening a main card. They gave me an opportunity opening a main card. They gave me an opportunity to brand myself and build this platform and just be me. Now, I’m making this transition, and my mind has shifted, but I know what I’m going to do in the WWE. I love fighting, but this is my time.”
Loureda first started in taekwondo competition and that led to a contract with Bellator. She earned a record of 4-1, most recently earning a decision win over Taylor Turner at Bellator 271 to bounce back from her first pro loss in a decision against Hannah Guy at Belllator 259.
No word yet on when Loureda is expected to debut for the WWE, whether it is on Raw, SmackDown or NXT, she will look to impress and leave her mark in pro wrestling.