Welcome to the UFC: Vanessa Demopoulos

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Vanessa Demopoulos will fight for the strawweight title at LFA 85
Vanessa Demopoulos Credit: LFA

UFC Vegas 35 features an exciting main event in kickboxers Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze squaring off at featherweight. Also on the card are the TUF 29 finals, where we will see a middleweight and a bantamweight crowned the Ultimate Fighter. And Kevin Lee is back up to welterweight, going against Daniel Rodriguez. At flyweight, JJ Aldrich was supposed to fight Tracy Cortez. Cortez ended up pulling out due to injury and the UFC signed Contender Series alum Vanessa Demopoulos to take her place.

Vanessa “Little Monster” Demopoulos
Standing at 5’2″
Fighting at 115 lbs (strawweight)
32-years-old
Fighting out of Los Angeles, California, US
Training out of Black House MMA
A pro record of 6-3
1 KO/TKO, 3 Submissions

How will Demopoulos fare in the UFC:

Is Demopoulos fun to watch? Yeah. Is Demopoulos battle-tested? Yeah. Does Demopoulos deserve this UFC opportunity? Sure. Is Demopoulos UFC level? Not quite. Demopoulos is primarily a grappler who’s not afraid to stand and bang. More than anything her toughness stands out. It’s not a good thing considering all the damage she receives. She has no head movement, swings wide, brings her hands back to her face slowly, and attacks in straight lines. All recipes in poor striking defense. If you watch closely, in nearly all of her fights she’s getting touched up quite badly. She does fire back and throws a lot of good output. To receive damage to give some hasn’t worked out for her at times though.

Demopoulos has good jiu-jitsu but the majority of the time it’s shown off her back. She has no sense of takedown defense and is more than happy to pull guard every time. The offensive wrestler is barely there at all. Good wrestlers like Cory McKenna proved you can cruise on top against Demopoulos. Demopoulos does have a flexible guard and fluid hips however, so she is someone you don’t want to get too comfortable on top of.

She is tough, durable, and dangerous so Demopoulos will feature in some fun fights in the UFC. Her poor striking defense and her inability to use wrestling will be her downfall though.

Fighter comparison in the division: Liana Jojua

Striking: C
Kickboxing: C
Clinch: C+
Wrestling: C
Grappling: B
Striking Defense: C-
Takedown Defense: C-
Cardio: B-
Biggest Strength: Grappling
Biggest Weakness: Striking defense

How she matches up with JJ Aldrich:

Aldrich is another fighter that gets hit way more than she should. She does have good boxing tendencies though. Demopoulos is taking this fight on short notice and up a weight class. Aldrich is four inches taller and has a five and a half inch reach advantage. That’s going to play a big factor for Aldrich on the feet. Aldrich doesn’t have great takedown defense but it’s good enough to fend off Demopoulos. There is a chance Demopoulos rocks Aldrich on the feet and submits her on the mat. There is more of a chance Aldrich outpoints Demopoulos to a decision.

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