UFC Fighter Vanessa Demopoulos Quit Stripping To Pursue MMA Full-Time

Demopoulos stepping away from stripping paid off at UFC 270.

Vanessa Demopoulos
Vanessa Demopoulos

MMA fighters come from all sorts of backgrounds, so it’s about time we see a stripper in the Octagon. 

Demopoulos Gets The Dub

This would be the case for Vanessa Demopoulos who made a great impression in her sequel UFC appearance. The former LFA Strawweight Champion would make waves performing under the lights at UFC 270. She’d get an amazing comeback win over Silvana Gomez Juarez. She’d catch her with an armbar after nearly being finished by strikes. 

The heart shown by Demopoulos wasn’t the only thing on display. Her bright personality shined in her post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. In a first, Demopoulos gestured to the commentator to pick her up and Rogan did just that. The moment went viral with the fighter gaining almost 40K followers on social media.

Demopoulos Walked Away From Stripping

After the highlight, Demopoulos would detail the weeks that came before the win. If you’ve been a fan of ‘Lil Monster’ for a while (like I have), you know that she is a stripper… or at least, she used to be.

Entering her first full-camp UFC fight, Demopoulos would leave pole-dancing for good. 

“I don’t think it’s a secret, I was an exotic entertainer for 13 years,” Demopoulos said at the UFC 270 post-fight presser. “And I didn’t actually say it on the mic, but I’d like to say it right now: I walked away from being a stripper to continue this camp.

“I quit dancing about six to eight weeks ago just so I could focus full-time on MMA, take this extremely seriously in the gym every single day.”

This investment would ultimately pay off. It was a risky one as Demopoulos was getting paid $12K to show and $12K to win, the minimum price-tag for a UFC contract. But the UFC rookie made the most out of her second fight in the Octagon. 

Stripper-Jitsu?

With an incredible rebound against Juarez, she’d receive a ‘performance of the night’ bonus. She bagged $50K in Anaheim. It would all be thanks to her slick jiu-jitsu. Coincidentally, her grappling skills are attributed to her last job: stripping. 

“That’s my stripper guard right there,” Demopoulos continued. “A lot of my jiu-jitsu actually comes from my expertise as a pole dancer.”

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