Las Vegas, NV — In a matter of weeks, UFC strawweight Vanessa Demopoulos will enter the biggest fight of her career, when she takes on former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Demopoulos (9-4) had a stellar 2022 campaign, one that saw her go 3-0 inside the octagon, earn a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for her submission of Silvana Gomez Juarez, and win over a legion of new fans thanks to some upbeat post-fight interviews.
It hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing for “Lil Monster,” however, as a management snafu with the owner of her gym saw her pick up and move to Denver, where she now trains at Factory X.
“It was a really touch decision for me, I was having a lot of success, I loved my coaches,” Demopolous told Cageside Press about the move recently. “Now I’m opening up a new chapter over in Denver with Factory X, and I’m looking forward to the new adventures in the cage.”
With Denver’s elevation comes some obvious benefits. “The first week in Denver was a struggle, legitimately. But then after we got acclimated to the first week out there, I feel like everything’s been easy sailing. And I do feel a lot more confident in my cardio now than I ever have before, and I was already a cardio monster prior.”
Now, Demopoulos is looking forward to getting the step up in competition she’s been asking for, in the form of Kowalkiewicz.
“I’m very much looking forward to this fight. I’m very confident being able to have an opportunity like this to step up,” she stated. “I feel like I’ve been screaming from the mountaintops that I am ready for these types of opportunities, so I look forward to showcasing that in the cage on May 20.”
When we caught up with Demopoulos, she was getting set to teach a self-defense class to young girls at UFC Fit in Las Vegas. But when it comes to staying safe, the strawweight fighter stressed the importance of being proactive.
“I think the number one most important thing is being able to address the situation before it happens. Use your instinct, use your guide — if you feel like you’re in trouble, if you feel like something isn’t right, more than likely it’s not.”
“Don’t let things happen before you start to address it. Get ahead of the situation, remove yourself from the situation, and just try to avoid conflict if necessary.”
Watch our full interview with Vanessa Demopoulos above. Demopoulos returns to action on May 20, 2023 against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.