UFC: Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz Set for May 20

Vanessa Demopoulos, UFC
Vanessa Demopoulos, UFC Vegas 57 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

UFC strawweight Vanessa Demopoulos is getting a step up in competition for her next fight.

A former LFA champ, Demopoulos (9-4) will face ex-title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14-7) at a UFC Fight Night event on May 20, 2023.

News of the booking was first reported by Meni Mayer, with a date of May 13. A source familiar with the situation confirmed to Cageside Press that the bout is in fact scheduled for the following week. Demopoulos also announced the May 20 date on social media.

Demopoulos had a stellar 2022 campaign, winning all three of her fights inside the octagon. She started the year with an arm-bar submission of Silvana Gomez Juarez, and followed that up with a split decision win over former Invicta champ Jinh Yu Frey. In November, “Lil Monster” returned to action, picking up a unanimous decision victory over Maria Oliveira.

Demopoulos is now 3-1 in the promotion after taking her debut fight on short notice, up a weight class. She’s turned heads with her upbeat personality and has become known for post-fight interviews that have seen her jump into the arms of Joe Rogan and Michael Bisping.

Kowalkiewicz likewise had a strong 2022, bringing about an end to the worst run of her fighting career. From 2018 to 2021, the Polish strawweight lost five straight fights and was seemingly on the cusp of her release from the UFC. However, in June, she sent Felice Herrig into retirement with a submission win over the TUF alum; Kowalkiewicz followed that up with a unanimous decision victory opposite Silvana Juarez Gomez at UFC 281 in November.

After starting her career 10-0, Kowalkiewicz challenged then-champ and countrywoman Joanna Jedrzejczyk for strawweight gold in November 2016.

The UFC’s May 20, 2023 card does not yet have a location, venue, or broadcast plan officially announced. No other fights have been reported for the Fight Night card as of yet.