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Ivelisse Velez (former NXT's Sofia Cortez) to make MMA Debut
Former WWE developmental talent, Ivelisse Velez, formerly Sofia Cortez, will make her MMA debut next year.
DECEMBER 28TH,2012-Chicago, IL Fight Card Entertainment looks to shock the MMA world & the wrestling industry with the signing of former WWE star Ivelisse “The Huntress” Velez to make her MMA debut at FIGHTCARD48:RUTHLESS. The Puerto Rican native, Velez has been wrestling in the independent circuit for years from Puerto Rico, New York and all over Chicago. She was turned onto MMA with a local gym & home for 2011 Team Fighting Champions “Team 110? literally around the corner from where she lived in Chicago in 2010. “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 states.
After several months of MMA training, “The Huntress” was slated to make her fight debut at the end of 2010 when the pinnacle wrestling company, the WWE, came calling . Velez would be side by side with big names as Stone Cold Steve Austin & Trish Stratus as a contestant on WWE’s reality show Tough Enough. She was quickly signed with WWE in November 2011 and took on the role under “Sofia Cortez” that most relates to her as the “anti-diva”. ” I didn’t want to be known as a pretty face. I’ve busted my ass all these years to prove to everyone I’m a wrestler not a model.” Although wrestling in big shows in Florida due to relocation, Velez’s new passion of MMA still held her attention. “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 stated. Ivelisse would also train from time to time at Gracie Fighter in Tampa to continue to work on her ground game.
In August 2012, Ivelisse Velez was released with unknown reasons from the WWE and although still wrestling on other shows, looked to get back to her original plan of stepping in the cage and reached out to the one promotion that really made an impression, Fight Card Entertainment. “I’ve always respected Brian and Fight Card Entertainment. When I was living in Chicago, I went to their shows, went backstage and never pressured into anything or asked for anything. In the wrestling industry and I’m sure in the MMA industry, the talent is always treated like a piece of meat. I didn’t get that from them.” Velez responds about FIGHTCARD
Although opponent has not been announced yet. Ivelisse looks to train hard and go out and give it her all. FIGHTCARD48 is scheduled on Saturday March 2nd, 2013 at the 2200 seated venue Cicero Stadium with the expectancy of a SOLD OUT show. No other match ups are announced but a Light Heavyweight 4 Man Grand Prix for the vacant title will kick off. Stay tuned and mark your calendars for the biggest crossover event to take place in Chicago. Pictures by Raymond Kubassek & Wilfred Picorelli
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