Vanessa Demopoulos Wants to Be in Top 5 of UFC Strawweight Division by End of 2023


Las Vegas, NV — Vanessa Demopoulos was dressed to the nines at the 14th Annual MMA Awards over the weekend, where Cageside Press caught up with her at the end of a breakthrough year for the UFC strawweight.

“You can’t see amazing moments like that happening. It’s just been such an incredible year, it’s been such a wonderful ride, and I’m just so blessed, I’m so grateful, and I think that gratitude is what carries over more than anything,” Demopoulos said of her 2022, which saw her go 3-0 inside the octagon.

Vanessa Demopoulos, 14th Annual World MMA Awards Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

That string of successes has Demopoulos focused on what’s ahead: primarily the rankings in the 115lb weight class. “Lil Monster” wants to not only be ranked, but to sit in the top third of the divisional rankings by this time next year.

“I want to make sure that I hit the top 5 rankings by the end of 2023. So that’s my number one goal right now,” she told us. “I’m keeping my eyes on the prize, I’m still training every single day. I just stepped out of the cage two weeks ago, and I haven’t left the gym.”

Who is the best strawweight in the world right now? That’s arguably the biggest question in the weight class at the moment, with Weili Zhang having defeated Carla Esparza, who defeated Rose Namajunas, who defeated Zhang herself. The belt has most certainly been making the rounds, but Demopoulos gives the nod to current champ Zhang.

“I don’t think we can debate the fact that Weili is definitely the best strawweight in the world right now,” Demopoulos stated. “She’s won the championship belt twice, she’s come back from a lot of different types of adversity, and her fights are always showing out. She’s continuing to improve.”

Watch our full interview with Vanessa Demopoulos from the 14th Annual MMA Awards in Las Vegas above.


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