On Wednesday, it was reported that Bellator MMA fighter Valerie Loureda has signed with WWE.
Loureda will be moving from Miami to Orlando and will begin training at the WWE Performance Center on July 19th.
During a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani” podcast, Loureda commented on her MMA career being over now that she’s transitioning to the world of professional wrestling, whether she spoke with AEW prior to signing with WWE, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On signing with WWE: “I have now become the first Cuban-American woman…I am now a WWE superstar. I’m really excited. I dedicated my whole life to Martial Arts and I feel like everything has come to this moment and this is my opportunity to showcase my culture and show the world the entertainer that I am.”
On her MMA career being done: “Yes, my mind has completely shifted from MMA to WWE. All that passion and energy I have for MMA, that I worked for five years, I’m now doing that in the training facility in Orlando. I love fighting, but this is my time. I’m turning 24 next month, my first day as an employee of the WWE at the facility, this is the best birthday gift I could ask for,” she said. “My first day is on my 24th birthday, July 19.”
On wrestling being harder than MMA: “It’s extremely tough. For me, it’s actually harder than MMA. My first bump, I just knew I could do it. I had this feeling in my gut and my first bump, hitting the ropes, I just fell in love with it and I knew I could do it. It’s tough, it’s a hard transition, it’s different than what I’m used to, but if you can re-wire your brain and change your mentality and realize what this is and how to be the best at it, you can be successful. I was with coach (Norman) Smiley the whole time and he was amazing and taught me so much. He stayed in an open ring after for like two hours and we worked and he taught me stuff and taught me different things that would work with my style.”
On if she will be able to keep her name: “I don’t know. Right now, I just have to go to the institute, work hard, trust myself and trust what they say. I would love to have Loureda in some part of my name or Cuban/Latina something, because I am the first Cuban-American woman. Just knowing that I’m honoring my grandparents.”
On when she thinks she’ll be on TV: “I have big expectations for myself. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll be on live TV. Hopefully, within a year, if I work hard, I’ll be on the main roster. It just depends on what they say and how well I develop and improve and how quickly and if they think I’m ready. I trust them.”
On if she’d spoken with AEW: “No. Team WWE, all the way. Nothing compares to WWE. It’s a monster of its own and everyone knows that. It’s a global organization. There is nothing that compares to WrestleMania. Who could pull that off?”
(h/t – Fightful)