Coming off a tremendous performance against Loveth Young, at LFA 81, Vanessa ‘Lil’ Monster’ Demopoulos (3-1) in the LFA, 4-1 overall as a professional, is looking to make the jump to the UFC in 2020. The only thing I can see getting in her way; our current situation, a global pandemic. Demopoulos is setting the groundwork for a run at the LFA woman’s strawweight title. ‘Lil’ Monster’ was getting ready to resume full training after serving a thirty-day medical suspension. The result of an orbital injury sustained in the first round of her three-round decision victory on January 31st.
Demopoulos used her significant advantage on the ground in rounds two and three, mixing up ground-and-pound with submission attempts to walk away with her arm raised. Overcoming adversity is something Demopoulos has been doing for quite some time.
“I played football in 7th. and 8th. grade and I was the only girl on the team,” Demopoulos said. “Back then girls didn’t do that kind of thing. Being the only the girl on the team, they always put me up against the toughest guys because they wanted me to quit.”
It wasn’t like she spent most of the games on the bench waiting to get in the game for a field goal attempt or a punt. ‘Lil’ Monster’ played in all the games, both defense and offense, on the line, getting hit.
“I didn’t play kicker,” Demopoulos explained. “I was offense tight-end and defense middle-line, so I was getting hit and I played every game. I was in weightlifting club with them and I would outlift the guys. I really wanted it and the guys who made it the most difficult for me ended up quitting.”
When it came to wrestling back then, it didn’t matter how bad she wanted it, the coach was hesitant to have a girl on an all-boys team, with their raging hormones. The coach telling her:
“Look, this is a very compromising age. I can’t tell the difference between a grope and a grapple.”
They attempted to recruit another female on the team to mitigate the coach’s concerns however Demopoulos’ prowess on the football field and in the weight room, scared off any potential training partners. A catch-twenty-two situation for sure
‘Lil’ Monster’, is riding out the lockdown in Florida. UFC 249 version 2.0 is set to take place in Florida on May 9th., at the Vystar Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. Demopoulos trains at Black House MMA in Los Angeles. I asked her to describe what it was like traveling from L.A. to her sister’s home in Tampa during the age of COVID-19.
“Travelling out of LAX you know it’s a major International Airport, and the place is empty – except everyone who was there boarded my flight” Demopoulos revealed. “I wasn’t expecting the plane to be packed.”
Demopoulos plans on heading to her home state of Ohio when the gyms reopen – which is set to happen much sooner than Black House MMA in California. She wants to be ready to roll as soon as the lockdown is lifted. Riding the wave of momentum from her last victory to her ultimate destination, the UFC.