July 1, 2022

from striptease to MMA, the amazing story of Vanessa Demopoulos

Vanessa Demopoulos defeated Silvana Gomez Juarez by submission this weekend in a preliminary bout at UFC 270, ahead of the clash between Ciryl Gane and Francis Ngannou. Less than two months after having definitively stopped the striptease, the American won her first fight within the prestigious organization.

At a time when all eyes were on the two main fights of UFC 270, the heavyweight clash between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane and the technical duel between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno in the flyweight category, a young woman 33-year-old won the first fight of his UFC career on Sunday.

Arriving in MMA late, Vanessa Demopoulos dominated Silvana Gomez Juarez with a beautiful submission on an armbar in the first round. In just two minutes and 25 seconds of combat on the preliminary card of the event organized in Anaheim (California), the American made an impression. Better, his quick victory earned him a nice bonus of 50,000 dollars for the performance of the evening. An incredible performance for Vanessa Demopoulos who left her job as a stripper to focus on her sports career only a few weeks ago.

Demopoulos: “I was an exotic dancer for 13 years”

After two defeats in the UFC and a rather average career so far in MMA (six wins for four losses before this success) Vanessa Demopoulos did not seem to be destined for the big titles. But after submitting Silvana Gomez Juarez this weekend, the American made an impression with disarming assurance at a press conference. Especially when the journalists present asked her about her previous activity.

“I don’t think it’s a secret, I was an exotic dancer for 13 years,” Vanessa Demopoulos said after her UFC win.

Vanessa Demopoulos celebrates her UFC 270 win with a split
Vanessa Demopoulos celebrates her UFC 270 win with a split © Icon Sport

Relaunched on the splits she made in the center of the cage after beating her Argentine rival, “Lil Monster” (understand the “little monster”) again showed a good dose of self-mockery.

“It was my stripper guard, the fighter joked again. And I didn’t really say it in the ring, but I would like to say it right away: I stopped being a stripper. teaser to continue this training camp. I stopped dancing about six to eight weeks ago so I could focus full time on MMA and take it very seriously by going to the gym every day.”

The striptease “saved” his life

Expert in pole dance and jiu-jitsu, Vanessa Demopoulos now intends to make a career in MMA and only in MMA. However, she does not regret her past in strip clubs since this career saved her life when she was at risk of falling into drugs. In 2018, the one who had just started her professional career in combat sports and won the Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) straw title there confided in the contribution of striptease to her daily life as a fighter. .

“I first got into kickboxing, actually, through pole dancing. I’m an exotic dancer. I got scouted as a pole dancer, and they said if I put that same determination and mentality in combat, I could be gifted, Demopoulos explained to the Combat Press site. […] Pole dancing requires a lot of agility, a lot of body awareness, a lot of dexterity and flexibility, and you have to react quickly. It’s similar to jiu-jitsu, but in jiu-jitsu you have the choice to tap out if you have to, or you’re safe if you’re on the ground. With pole dancing, you face death more in the sense that you literally cling to a single limb. One false move and it’s over. You fall two floors and that’s it. You only fall once.”

In addition to the $50,000 bonus for the evening’s performance at UFC 270, Vanessa Demopoulos took home an additional $24,000 for her fight against Silvana Gomez Juarez. What give him reason to have definitively stopped his career as a stripper in order to use his body in another way, more brutal, in the octagon.

Jean-Guy Lebreton RMC Sport journalist