Bellator beauty Valerie Loureda cries tears of joy as MMA star signs with WWE
Valerie Loureda’s dream has come true as the Bellator beauty penned a deal to join WWE. The 23-year-old MMA fighter was absolutely delighted and shared the news with her fans on Twitter. Along with two snaps of her holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, Loureda wrote: “I am honoured to become the first Cuban American woman in history to sign with the WWE.
“I come from a family of immigrants, now it’s my time to represent our Latin culture, I was destined for this. Thank you for this opportunity @WWE @WWENXT I will make you proud. AZUCAR! #305”. The process was overseen by executives James Kimball and WWE legend Triple H, real name Paul Levesque.
This is another move by WWE to continue its push to bring elite athletes into its developmental pipeline. Vince McMahon and co have recruited a plethora of wrestlers from the independent circuit, signing athletes who can be moulded from scratch into the nuances of the wrestling business. The promotion also enjoys bringing in stars from other combat sports to influence a crossover appeal, Olympic champion Kurt Angle being a prime example, and Loureda seems to be next on that list.
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According to the New York Post, the process began when her manager, Abraham Kawa, was negotiating an NIL (name, image and likeness) deal between WWE and NCAA champion wrestler A.J. Ferrari, and her name was mentioned. Loureda was later invited to attend WrestleMania 38 back in April and from there her love affair with pro wrestling began.
“That was my first WWE show ever — I had never been to a live event,” the Bellator fighter said. “When I walked into the arena and saw the organisation, the professionalism, the crowd and just the beautiful production that WrestleMania is — I just fell in love with it.”
Loureda, whose family left Cuba, aims to use her time in WWE to inspire other first-generation Americans of Latin descent that the sky's the limit. “Headlining WrestleMania is a dream and I’m gonna conquer that one day,” she explained. “But really my goal in WWE is I’m becoming the first Cuban-American woman, and I want to be a role model and an inspiration to young Latinas who can now see someone from their culture in WWE."
Speaking of role models, Loureda cited Ronda Rousey as her inspiration to pursue the world of MMA. “I was looking for a way to make it to the Olympics [in Taekwondo], and that didn’t happen, and then my mom got Leukaemia, and our family had to adjust," she added.
“Then, one day, I saw Ronda fighting on the TV, and I said, ‘Wow, that woman is in MMA representing her sport, Judo, and I can to that with Taekwondo." Loureda, who is 4-1 as a pro fighter and projected to be a future star, will remain under Bellator contract despite signing with WWE, per promotion president Scott Coker.
He added: “Valerie Loureda is a very young and talented athlete who can accomplish plenty in MMA for years to come, but for now we wish her the best of luck as she pursues her dream of becoming a WWE Superstar.
"She will remain an active and under contract fighter with Bellator, and we look forward to welcoming her back into the cage in the near future. We take great pride in allowing our athletes to test themselves in additional arenas such as boxing and pro wrestling."
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