Valerie Loureda, now known as Lola Vice, pulled off some big moves before losing her WWE NXT debut.
The former Bellator flyweight head-kicked opponent Dani Palmer with a spinning roundhouse before getting pinned, a sign she’s paying her dues seven months after leaving MMA to sign with WWE.
Loureda had wrestled in previous NXT events, but Friday’s show was her moment in the spotlight. Her over-the-top character appeared to jell with the talent-development league.
Loureda, 24, auditioned for WWE this past April. She posted a video of an untelevised match this post November.
As an MMA fighter, Loureda went 4-1 in the cage. In her final MMA bout, she defeated Taylor Turner via split call at Bellator 271 to rebound from her first professional setback, a split decision loss to Hannah Guy at Bellator 259.
Explaining her move to WWE, Loureda thanked Bellator for its support of her career and said pro-wrestling was a longtime dream she wanted to fulfill.
“Scott Coker and Mike Kogan, Rich Chou, they believed in me when I was 19 years old,” Loureda said of the Bellator execs. “My first professional fight was without shinguards at the Mohegan Sun opening a main card. They gave me an opportunity opening a main card. They gave me an opportunity to brand myself and build this platform and just be me. Now, I’m making this transition, and my mind has shifted, but I know what I’m going to do in the WWE. ... “I love fighting, but this is my time.”