Combat Sports

Vanessa Demopoulos’ Career as a Stripper Helped Her Jiu-Jitsu Skills

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Vanessa Demopoulos celebrated her first-round submission victory over Silvana Gomez Juarez by jumping into Joe Rogan’s arms during the post-fight interview.

The craziness didn’t stop there as ‘Lil Monster’ opened up about her career as an exotic dancer and how it helped hone her jiu-jitsu skills.

“That’s my stripper guard, right there,” Demopoulos said during the UFC 270 post-fight press conference. 

“I don’t think it’s a secret. I was an exotic dancer for thirteen years, and I didn’t actually say this on the mic, but I’d like to say it right now; I walked away from being a stripper to continue this camp. I quit dancing about six to eight weeks ago just so I could focus on MMA. I take this extremely seriously in the gym every single day.”

Skills In And Out Of The Cage

Prior to focusing on mixed-martial arts full time, Demopoulos spent more than a decade as an exotic dancer and even authored a book called ‘The Stripper Bible,’ which is described as a “complete instructional for the Exotic Entertainment industry.”

Demopoulos credits her years of experience pole dancing with her skills as a jiu-jitsu practitioner. “But yeah, that’s where that background comes from, and that’s where the splits come from. And a lot of my jiu-jitsu, actually, comes from my expertise as a pole dancer,” said Demopoulos.

Demopoulos is also a second-generation talent in the industry, following in the footsteps of her mother and father.

“I just kind of followed the family footsteps right there,” she said in an interview with Cageside Press. “My dad was a DJ, and my mom was an entertainer, and that’s how they initially met. So when I was growing up, it was a very common discussion—talking about the clubs, the scenes. When I became an entertainer, my father actually taught me how to hustle and how to be a professional in the industry. So it was kind of nice to have that support.”

Back On Track

The victory on Saturday puts Demopoulos back in the win column. ‘Lil Monster’ is 2-3 in her last five bouts, including a loss to Cory McKenna on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020. Her other losses came against tough competition; Lupita Godinez and JJ Aldrich.

With an infectious smile, positive attitude, and a renewed focus on mixed martial arts, we look forward to seeing what Demopoulos brings to the Octagon in the future.

Follow me on Twitter at @SuperbeastCraig to see my latest work. Follow us on social media at @OTHeroicsMMA to stay updated with all things MMA.

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