Carlyle, Demopoulos Score Quick Wins at LFA 103

vanessa demopoulos
Credit: Legacy Fighting Alliance

It took under a minute for Vanessa Demopoulos to earn the first knockout of her career at LFA 103 on Friday night. It took Spike Carlyle a little more time to pick up his own rear-naked choke finish — but the pair combined to create a solid 1-2 punch to cap off the night.

Demopoulos (6-3), LFA’s former strawweight Queen, appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series last August, only to come up short against Cory McKenna, losing a unanimous decision. Her return to LFA saw her stumble again, dropping her title to Lupita Godinez in a bloody, hard-fought war. That put her in must-win territory at LFA 103 in Shawnee, OK on Friday — and “Lil Monster” not only won, but arguably stole the show.

37 seconds was all it took to put opponent Cynthia Arceo away. Demopoulos showed improved hands, lighting her opponent up on the feet before a knee and a few more strikes sealed the deal. A TKO was the official call, while the former stripper’s post-fight victory dance lasted nearly as long as the fight itself. The knee would later be called into question, as Arceo was slumped against the cage. Arceo, however, appeared to have her own knees just barely up, leaving her fair game.

Come the main event, now-former UFC fighter Spike Carlyle returned to his showmanship roots. “The Alpha Ginger” transitioned to “Darth Ginger,” walking out in a Darth Vader costume complete with light saber, the Imperial March booming in the background. Carlyle’s return spelled doom for opponent Batsumberel Dagvadorj, a former LFA welterweight title challenger dropping to lightweight. Late in the opening round, Carlyle took his opponent’s back, and locked in a tight rear-naked choke, forcing the tap with exactly one minute remaining.

It wasn’t a force choke, but it was the next best thing.

For Demopoulos, the win puts her on a path back to another shot at the UFC. Carlyle has gone on record saying that his dream is to compete in Japan, something previously brought to the attention of RIZIN President Noboyuki Sakakibara — who appeared willing to consider giving Carlyle a shot, at least once coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions in the nation are lifted.