Exactly one year removed from her last professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fight, former budding Bellator MMA women’s star, Valerie Loureda, made her official professional wrestling debut this past weekend (Sat., Nov. 12, 2022) at an NXT house show in Orlando, Florida.
Loureda — the first-ever Cuban American woman in history to sign with the WWE — partnered with Xyon Quin and Bronco Nima to take on Andre Chase, Duke Hudson and Thea Hail, ultimately winding up on the losing end of the match.
Check out some pictures of her in action:
An emotional Loureda talked about her journey toward her official debut months after signing a contract with WWE five months ago:
“I did it guys, I just debuted exactly a year ago from my last MMA fight,” said Loureda, who was holding back the tears. “I didn’t know that was going to be my last time with gloves on. I love what I do and I was born to do this. I am excited and I can not wait for this journey, today my WWE journey has begun.
It's important to note that Loureda participated in a Halloween battle royal during a house show three weeks ago, but this marked her “official” WWE debut.
Loureda racked up a 4-1 record with Bellator after making her debut with the promotion in Feb. 2019. Even though her career with the Viacom-owned promotion only lasted a little over 2.5 years, she quickly gained a huge fan base and now hopes to pick up an entirely new core of fans on the professional wrestling circuit.