Valerie Loureda decided to make a big career change when she went from being an MMA fighter to a pro wrestler and signing with WWE. 

The former Bellator MMA star signed with WWE in June and started training at the WWE Performance Center full-time in July. She dressed as Lola Bunny in the NXT Halloween battle royal at the NXT live event on October 28 before making her non-battle royal in-ring debut at the November 12 NXT live event

On December 6, Loureda announced that she would be performing under the name Lola Vice in WWE.

The Name

Valerie Loureda
(via Bellator MMA)

While speaking to Jim Varasllone of the Miami Herald, Lola discussed her new name.

“Lola came out because when my sisters and I were little, we had a lady who liked to do our makeup, and that was always our alter ego name, Lola. When we were coming up with names, I was like, ‘Let me throw that in there’ because I liked it. Then, I always had a vision of Miami Vice because I am the first Cuban American woman and I was born and raised in Miami. I feel like that’s me and I need to represent, how can I do this, and incorporate it into my name. I thought about Miami Vice and said, ‘how about Lola Vice?’ Actually, I gave them ten first names, ten last names, and Shawn Michaels chose Lola Vice. It’s beautiful, it goes, and I feel like this is my new era,” she said.

Loureda was asked whether it was hard to come up with a new name. She said she always looks ahead and the other option she had was Estrella, which means star in Spanish. 

“I liked that too, but something about Lola, I thought it was cute, a little latina and something easy for other people to announce. I had to get in the ring and say, ‘Can I be Lola for the rest of my career? Yes, I can.’ I’m glad they chose that for me and now we’re in the works to hopefully debut soon.”

As of this writing, it is unknown when Lola will debut on NXT television.

H/T to Fightful for the transcription