In her sophomore outing in the octagon, Vanessa Demopoulos reintroduced herself to the UFC faithful in a huge way.
Demopoulos (7-4), who joined the big show up a weight class on short notice last year, returned to strawweight at UFC 270 in January. There, she submitted Silvana Gomez Juarez with an arm-bar, then gave a boisterous post-fight interview to Joe Rogan that was punctuated by her jumping into his arms.
Cue the memes, and plenty of them. Fight fans suddenly began following the ex-stripper/author/fighter in droves, with her upbeat personality resonating.
“That was such an amazing moment, to be able to go out there and make the impression that we made,” Demopoulos told Cageside Press recently, ahead of her return to action at UFC Vegas 57 on June 25. “Especially, like you said, that wasn’t my debut in the UFC. Because everyone’s always got their eyes on you in your debut.”
Demopoulos (7-4), a former LFA champ, recognizes the enormity of the moment. “That moment was life changing for me in so many ways, and I didn’t even see it coming. I had no idea that that was what was about to unfold. In the moment, I was just being me— the standardized crazy “Little Monster” excited person that I always am. And the world fell in love with that, and I fell in love with the world at the same time.”
“There have been so many things that have happened and transpired since that fight,” she continued, “and to be able to just live in the moment, to be very present— because those are the things that I always wanted and hoped for and wished for. So now that they’ve started to unfold, it’s been nothing but a dream come true. I couldn’t be more grateful and happy to be able to be that for everybody.”
As for the memes? Demopoulos has been enjoying them as much as the rest of us.
“I think it’s so cool, I get to laugh of these things. I’ve seen such funny ones, like Conor McGregor standing in front of his TV, and they’re like ‘Joe Rogan’s wife making her UFC debut, 2022,'” Demopoulos said with a laugh. “It was super awesome, I couldn’t even express to you how dope it is to be able to look at that, laugh at that, and just have fun with it.”
Next up for Demopoulos is former Invicta FC atomweight champ Jinh Yu Frey, a fighter “Lil Monster” has plenty of respect for.
“Jinh Yu Frey is someone, she has a lot of fight IQ. She is smart, she’s extremely smart— what are her masters degrees in, like neurology or something? Man, she is smart-smart. She’s also very skilled, she’s very strong,” Demopoulos stated.
“I’ve seen her, she likes to strike with the grapplers, and she grapples with the strikers. So she is well-rounded. Even Sam Hughes talked about how good of a wrestler Jinh Yu is,” she continued. “I know that she’s working on her game accordingly, I know she’s more of a stand-up fighter in general. But I’m really excited to the champion versus champion [angle]. She was the champion of the 105 division for Invicta, I was the champion of the 115 division for LFA. But she’s stepping into my territory. This is my ground, I’m the 115’er. So we’re going to see how everything unfolds.”
Watch our full interview with UFC Vegas 57’s Vanessa Demopoulos above. The event takes place on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at the Apex in Las Vegas.