Former Bellator standout Valerie Loureda delivered an impressive showing in her WWE NXT debut.
Loureda, who now goes by the name Lola Vice, came up short of getting the win in her big debut but showed off her skills inside the ring before getting pinned by Dani Palmer. Those skills included a spinning roundhouse kick that floored her opponent but failed to secure the pinfall in an otherwise solid performance.
Though technically considered her NXT debut, Loureda has been working untelevised matches, some of which she has shared on social media, since auditioning for the WWE last April. Already having the look of a true WWE Superstar, Loureda held her own under the bright lights of Friday’s NXT show less than a year after walking away from a budding career in mixed martial arts to pursue a future in sports entertainment.
Valerie Loureda Walked Away From a Successful Career in Mixed Martial Arts
As a fighter, Valerie Loureda had a respectable 4-1 record, all coming under the Bellator MMA banner. She earned three straight wins after turning pro in 2019. Her first setback came against Hannah Guy at Bellator 259, but she bounced back six months later with a win over Taylor Turner. That would be her last fight before successfully transitioning to professional wrestling.
Loureda is far from the first MMA fighter to test their mettle in the WWE. UFC icon Ronda Rousey famously transitioned to wrestling after dropping back-to-back fights in the Octagon. Other women who have made the move include Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir, and Jessamyn Duke.
On the men’s side of things, Matt Riddle, an 8-3 fighter who competed for the UFC and Bellator, moved into the world of professional wrestling and established a strong following on the independent circuit before signing with the WWE in 2018.