Bellator MMA fighter Valerie Loureda revealed in a recent interview that she has signed a multi-year deal with WWE.
The 23-year-old is a top prospect in mixed martial arts, and currently holds a win-loss record of 4-1-0. Loureda had a tryout with WWE in late April and early May after attending WrestleMania 38 in Texas. The Bellator star won her last fight over Taylor Turner via split decision in November 2021. She'll be reporting to the WWE Performance Center on July 19 to begin her training.
While speaking to ESPN, Valerie Loureda stated that she attended The Grandest Stage of Them All and immediately fell in love with the glitz and spectacle of WWE.
"I'm an entertainer. I love glamour. I love production, I love storytelling. And when I saw the WWE, I realized this is everything I'm good at in one place. Not only that, but I saw the opportunity to be the first Cuban American woman to be a WWE superstar," said Loureda.
Loureda added that she called her manager, Abe Kawa of First Round Management, crying with joy after her tryout.
"I said, 'Abraham, I know I don't have a contract, but is there any way I can stay here? I'm losing a week of training,'" Loureda said "I just want to get better."
Sources informed ESPN that WWE coaches praised Valerie Loureda's ability and that they viewed her as a high-ceiling talent after her tryout.
Valerie Loureda says she fell in love with WWE after attending WrestleMania 38
Abe Kawa, her manager, convinced her to attend The Show of Shows, but she wasn't interested at first because she wanted to focus on her MMA career. However, when she arrived at the show, she was impressed with what she saw.
She said her goal is to make it to NXT by the end of 2022 and be called up to the main roster within a year.
"I have big goals and I'm a little crazy," Loureda said with a laugh. ... "I just know what I'm gonna be able to do in the WWE. There's no limits. I'm limitless."
Loureda won't be the first woman to make the jump from MMA to WWE, as Shayna Baszler, Ronda Rousey and Sonya Deville are among the list of names who have done so.