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A UFC strawweight says she quit her full-time job as a stripper to focus on MMA, and it was the scariest thing she’s done


  • Vanessa Demopoulos is one of the newest stars in the UFC after a winning performance Saturday.
  • Demopoulos left a 15-year career as a stripper to focus full-time on mixed martial arts.
  • She said it was one of the scariest things she’s ever done.

33-year-old UFC strawweight Vanessa Demopoulos says she quit her job as a stripper to focus on MMA, and it was the scariest thing she’s done.

The American won her first UFC match in an 11-fight career Saturday at the UFC 270 event that took place in Anaheim, California.

Demopoulos defeated Silvana Gomez Juarez by first-round armbar — the fourth opening round victory of her burgeoning career.

After the fight, she told reporters at the post-match press conference that she was deserting a 15-year career in adult dancing to devote all her attention to fighting for a living.

“I don’t think it’s a secret that I was an exotic entertainer for 13 years,” she told the media, adding later to MMA Fighting that it was more like 15 years.

“I didn’t actually say this on the mic, so I’d like to say it right now … I walked away from being a stripper to continue this camp.

“I quit dancing six to eight weeks ago just so I could focus full-time on MMA.”

She continued: “That’s where that background comes from, the splits come from, and a lot of my jiu jitsu comes from my expertise as a pole dancer.”

To MMA Fighting, she added that she loved the work, but can do other things that ensure she keeps that same energy.

“I love pole dancing, I love doing all the acrobatics and stuff in the air, but I don’t have to be a stripper to do that.”

Leaving the business, though, was scary, she said. 

“I grew up in the industry, and walking away from it was one of the scariest things I have ever done. It’s just so scary, man, because that was the way I was making money all of these years to fight full-time.”

She finished by remarking: “I’m glad I looked like the new superstar, because I am. I’m definitely the new superstar. They need to keep their eyes peeled on that.”

Demopoulos did not want to talk about the future of her career, simply remarking that she wanted to bask in the moment as a winning UFC fighter.

“I just know right now I’m enjoying this moment to the absolute fullest — [I’m gonna] soak it up.”

Courtesy By INSIDER

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