Courtesy Perros del Mal
Former WWE wrestler Ivelisse Velez is ready to step out of the ring and into the MMA cage.
One of the stars of USA Network and WWE’s “Tough Enough” in 2011, Velez had extensive pro wrestling experience before taking up MMA in 2010. Having been born in Puerto Rico, she started with the IWC wrestling promotion at the age of 15. She soon made Chicago home and took up MMA.
“I was totally hooked. Don’t get me wrong, wrestling is an intense & brutal training regiment but in there with Coach Franco & Team 110, it’s a whole another world.” Velez stated in a press release.
After her “Tough Enough” experience, she was signed to a developmental deal with the WWE and relocate to Tampa to perform for Florida Championship Wrestling and the NXT TV show. While there, she trained at Gracie Tampa. MMA was still something in the back of her mind.
“I would always have (Muay Thai) mitts with me or first chance I get to hit the bag, I was there. On nights of wrestling events, I’d warm up hitting mitts sometimes.”
Velez would be released by the WWE last year, and decided to move back to Chicago and pursue MMA full time. Fight Card Entertainment signed Velez to fight on their March 1 card in Chicago.
No word on an opponent or if this will be a pro or amateur fight. She has been billed as being 115 pounds in her wrestling bio, but no word on if that will be the weight she is fighting