Vanessa Demopoulos Talks Re-Branding Ahead of Upcoming Fight

Contender Series alum Vanessa Demopoulos was all set to return to the cage at LFA 114 later this month.

“I’m so excited to be able to fight again. Oh my goodness,” an elated Demopoulos told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview recently.

“Lil Monster” has been ready to fight for a while now, but had grappling opportunities on the board as well. “For me emotionally, I was staying engaged with MMA,” she said when asked about maintaining her focus. When she’s training for jiu-jitsu competitions, Demopoulos noted, she doesn’t train any less when it comes to mixed martial arts. She just adds more grappling on top of that.

In advance of her return fight — which will no longer be at LFA 114, as Demopolous received the call to step in on short notice against JJ Aldrich at UFC Vegas 35 — the author of the “Stripper Bible” made the move to Fight Ready in Pheonix.

“Before when I was in Los Angeles, I had to go to like six different gyms to get everything,” said Demopoulos, explaining the move. “I was at a separate gym for Muay Thai, separate gym for wrestling, separate gym for my jiu jitsu, separate gym for my boxing. I was literally all over Los Angeles and Orange County, which is a very vast area.” In Phoenix, meanwhile, “all of the coaches are at all of the training sessions. It’s amazing.”

One important difference, “it’s really a team, family atmosphere. Which, I had those team/family atmospheres in Los Angeles, but they were all separate teams.”

Those who have followed Demopoulos’ career know that she’s never shied away from talking about her other professional endeavours, including her job as an adult dancer. But even before her UFC debut was booked, “Lil Monster” had begun a re-branding of sorts.

“A lot of how I’m voicing what it is that I’ve done has changed. Like, yeah I’m a stripper. It’s public knowledge, I’ve never been quiet about me, and I don’t think I ever will be,” she explained. To Demopoulos, her success in the world of adult entertainment has carried over into other areas of her life. “Success carries. There’s a blueprint to success, and I’m extremely successful as an entertainer.”

It’s become more important to the strawweight, however, “that I put out the best version for fans, especially the little miniature people, to start to follow. Because as I start to grow in my career, there’s miniature eyes that are watching me. And I love them so much.”

While there’s a reason Demopoulos wrote the book Stripper Bible, to guide girls coming up in the industry in doing their job without compromising their morals, “I also don’t want to encourage the industry, to the little people who are up-and-coming looking up to me.” Demopoulos has some concern that younger fans might want to emulate her in becoming a stripper. “Well if that’s what you choose to do, I’ll help you, but I don’t want to encourage that onto the younger generation that might be watching me. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just, I’m trying to be more careful of those kind of things. I do put those things into consideration, because I do love my fans so much.”

It all comes down to that: loving her fans. “I love my fans. That’s what’s most important to me as I move forward. And especially when it comes my image. Like yeah, I’m always going to own it, I’m a stripper. But that’s why I’ve kind of re-branded, if you will.”

Vanessa Demopoulos makes her UFC debut at UFC Vegas 35 on August 28, 2021 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.