Originally published at Valerie Loureda doesn't mind if WWE changes her name, would love to keep 'Loureda'
Valerie Loureda chats her journey to WWE and reflects on her tryout with the company.
It was formally announced by WWE on June 29th that MMA fighter Valerie Loureda inked a multi-year deal with the company. At the age of 23, Loureda has a 4-1 MMA record and all of her fights took place under the Bellator banner.
She made the media rounds after the news became public that she joined WWE and was interviewed by Jim Varsallone. Loureda does not mind if WWE changes her name and she trusts the company to handle that, but would like to keep her last name.
I actually thought of ‘Loreina Loureda’, something like that but, right now, I’m just focused on training hard and learning. I need to learn, I need to prove myself, all of that will come and I trust them because they are the best in the business and they know what they’re doing. I would love to keep ‘Loureda’ somewhere there, but you know, whatever they tell me, I’m gonna go with and I’m just gonna go train very hard to become the best superstar I could be.
Valerie visited the WWE Performance Center and went there to train for three days. She shared that it was difficult and tough, but she fell in love with wrestling during that experience. Valerie added that training for wrestling is somewhat harder than training for MMA.
They asked me to try out in Orlando in the Performance institute and I was there for four days. I attended the NXT show and I trained with the NXT cast for three days and I just fell in love and I got goosebumps and I knew that this was for me and this is my time.
It’s tough, it’s very tough . You know, kind of harder than MMA for me to be honest. But I know that if I apply myself and work as hard as I did when I made the transition from Taekwondo to MMA and now from MMA to the WWE, I will be successful because anything I put my mind to and work humbly and with the passion that I have, you know, it’s gonna happen for me because I’ve been working very hard my whole life and I finally got an opportunity of a lifetime that will change my life forever.
Valerie has a younger sister Natalie who is involved in MMA. When asked about the possibility of her sister joining her in WWE, Valerie said it could happen one day and mentioned that she has another younger sister who could follow a similar path as well.
Maybe one day, we’ll see . I’m paving the way and if this is something she wants to do and the opportunity comes, definitely I’m sure she’s interested and I also have a third little sister. It’s three Loureda girls, all fighters so who knows? One day, you’ll see the three of us in there and kicking some butt.
Bellator President Scott Coker issued a statement about Valerie joining WWE and noted that she will remain active and under contract.
Loureda is grateful for the platform that Bellator has afforded her along with allowing her to establish her brand, but said she has moved on.
So, when I do something, I’m gonna do it 100 percent and my mentality has completely shifted. I moved on from Bellator into the WWE, but I can tell you, I’m extremely grateful and just so blessed for the opportunity that Scott Coker and Mike Hogan gave me when I was 19 years old. They allowed me to fight, they believed in my craziness, you know? They believed in my fight media outfits and they just thought I was crazy but I said, ‘Trust me. I know what I’m doing. This is me’ and they gave me the platform to develop my brand, design my fight clothes, have my own sponsors, brand myself the way that I am and look how much I grew with their platform, you know? I dominated a whole Latin-American market, brought it into Bellator. People before, Hispanics didn’t know what Bellator is and now also come from a family of immigrants like I am because I’m a first generation American and I wanna show them, you know, this is the American dream and I’ve done it. Being able to hustle and work hard and I wanna show young kids that they could do it too.
When WWE brought Valerie in for WrestleMania 38, the production of it all grabbed her attention and she had a feeling that WWE is where she needed to be.
I had no idea that this opportunity would come and to be honest, they flew me out to WrestleMania, they invited me to the show and I walked into my suite and I saw this beautiful production, I saw WWE, the whole organization. I saw everything I love put in one place; the fighting, the glamor, the show business, the storytelling and that is me, it’s everything of me put together and not only am I gonna become a WWE superstar and becoming the first Cuban-American woman, Latina and representing Miami, Florida, born and raised. What more can I ask for?
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Jim Varsallone with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.