From Stripper To UFC Fighter: “My Worst Concussion Was Falling Off A Pole”

MMA champion currently on the UFC roster who prior to mixed martial arts had quite a different path to that of most other fighters – was a stripper. Her name is Vanessa Demopoulos.
The UFC fighter also quotes falling off a pole as being her worst concussion to date, despite getting hit in the head on a daily basis in her new job.

Vanessa Demopoulos is a UFC fighter and former strawweight champion in the LFA who made her octagon debut in 2021. Her first fight in the UFC did not go as planned, as she lost to JJ Aldrich. That prompted Vanessa to a three-fight win streak, the last of which came against Maria “Spider Girl” Oliveira at UFC Vegas 65 in October.

Vanessa Demopoulos on the beach

Vanessa Demopoulos, nicknamed “Lil Monster”, recently told The MMA Hour about her transition from stripping to loving up, and what prompted her to become a UFC fighter in the first place, as she juggled both jobs at once for a while:

It was the worst. Staying up late, constant stimulation, overstimulating your nervous system that late at night. I’d get home, I couldn’t sleep. My body automatically wakes up so early for training that even if I go to sleep late, I was only getting three hours of sleep because I’d automatically wake up. It just wasn’t good for me in a lot of aspects. I have to give a lot of my emotional energy to the job, and I just want to focus on fighting.

Vanessa Demopoulos on the beach

“So I took a risk, actually. I really didn’t have the money to quit and I believed in myself enough and I was like, ‘I’m going to make this happen, no matter what.’ So I burned the bridge and I walked away,” added Vanessa Demopoulos.

The UFC fighter claimed that despite all the striking, slamming, and ground and pound happening in training and fights, her worst concussion to date remains a nasty fall off a pole:

Vanessa Demopoulos on a pole

[It hurt] like hell. I had the worst concussion I think I’ve ever had falling off of a pole. I fell straight down, it was almost two stories.

“I instantly woke up and ran, and then I had this giant bag of ice on my head, and I fell to sleep on the bag of ice, so that’s how I knew that I was badly concussed. For sure [worse than anything I felt in fighting.]



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