Las Vegas – Get to know Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Vanessa “Lil’ Monster” Demopoulos.
Dana White’s Contender Series continues with Episode 2 which features a lineup of rising athletes looking to make their dreams come true by impressing UFC President Dana White and earning a spot on the UFC roster. The second episode of season four takes place on Tuesday, August 11 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with all five bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ in the US.
NAME: Vanessa Demopoulos
NICKNAME: Vanessa “Lil’ Monster” Demopoulos
WEIGHT CLASS: Strawweight
AGE: 31 years old – 9/22/88
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-2, 115
LEG REACH: –
BIRTHPLACE: Cleveland, OH
FIGHTING OUT OF: Los Angeles, CA
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: English, Greek
STYLE: Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai
TRAINER: Julio Trana, Kenny Johnson, Giva Santana
PROFESSIONAL MMA RECORD: 5-1
TRAINING: Wake up in the morning and go straight to the gym for whatever my first session is. After training I always try to help clean the mats and spend time with my trainers and team. Normally drive about an hour to my next location for more training. Then park it for either another training session or drive to another location to make something else happen in the day for= training. In LA everything is very spaced out and traffic is usually deep, so every day is consumed with driving and training from the time I wake up to the end of the day. I’ve always trained 2-4 times a day since I’ve started training 10 years ago.
Thoughts on opponent, Cory McKenna? She’s an aggressive, gritty fighter who likes groundand-pound positions. When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training 10 years ago in Columbus, OH. I’ve always been aggressive growing up, even got kicked out of schools for fighting. When I was presented with the concept of training it was something I knew I really wanted to do.
What ranks and titles have you held? LFA champion, brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, 2X Pan American champion, 7X American National champion, 5X World medalist…the list goes on.
Do you have any heroes? The Rock. He’s an amazing role model.
What would it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It would be my life’s dream coming true. It would be everything I’ve sacrificed for the last 10 years. Sleeping in gyms, trading family time for fight time and traveling for tournaments. The times I slept in my car to be able to compete and travel. Honoring my father who was my biggest fan and believed in me. As he was sick and dying I was taking care of him and still trying to fight at the same time. Once he passed I moved to LA and dedicated my every ounce to finally making this dream a reality. It would be honoring all the people who I influence and being able to share how they can accomplish greatness if only they care enough to get after their dreams. This is a living, breathing dream that would actually be everything to me and all the people I’ve ever met.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to college a few times and never finished anything. Once for massage therapy and another time for international trades
What was your job before you started fighting? Stripper
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Tuff-N-Uff Champion
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? LFA Champion
Favorite grappling technique: Armbar
Favorite Striking technique: Kicks
Twitter account name: @monster_demo
Facebook account: Crystal Vanessa Demopoulos
Instagram account: Lilmonsterdemo
OTHER KEY POINTS:
- Pro since 2017
- Three wins by submission (Inverted triangle, 2 armbar)
- Two first round finishes
- On four fight winning streak
- Lost 2013 amateur fight to UFC vet Katlyn Chookagian
Q & A Courtesy of the UFC