Vanessa Demopoulos has endured numerous modifications in her life these days however she’s anxious to make use of that upheaval as motivation to take the subsequent step in her profession.
Following three straight wins within the UFC after shifting to the strawweight division, the 34-year-old Ohio native not too long ago modified coaching camps however not essentially as a result of it’s one thing she wished to do initially. In keeping with Demopoulos, her transfer from Phoenix to Denver was one in every of necessity however fortunately she discovered sanctuary in her new residence at Manufacturing unit X whereas coaching underneath extremely revered head coach Marc Montoya.
“So politics sort of pushed me out of Phoenix, unlucky for everyone,” Demopoulos revealed when chatting with MMA Combating. “I liked my coaches on the market. I liked my crew. I used to be very comfortable. We’re on a 3 combat win streak proper now however while you’ve acquired to maneuver, you’ve acquired to maneuver.
“I had the choice to go looking the nation just a little bit and when I discovered my technique to Denver, I wished to test issues out for just a few weeks. I actually fell in love with the ambiance. Marc Montoya’s an incredible coach. The blokes there are like an enormous household and I used to be like yeah, I feel this can be a place I can come to.”
Demopoulos admits that the sudden change of surroundings was primarily out of her management however she holds no in poor health will in the direction of her former coaches in Arizona. Greater than something, she’s simply comfortable that she was in a position to settle into her new environment in Colorado whereas making ready for arguably the most important check of her profession at UFC Vegas 73.
“It wasn’t the chosen circumstance for myself and politics do suck generally,” Demopoulos mentioned. “They’re actual and it’s a part of enterprise. It’s a part of the combat sport and sadly, I used to be a sufferer to that however I’ve made the very best of the scenario. I’m very comfortable the place I’m at. I nonetheless love my outdated coaches. There was no dangerous blood. However I really feel like all the pieces has turned out all wonderful.
“My supervisor Jason Home truly steered that I come test this place out. After I got here by, I used to be right here for 2 weeks and I may have gone to different gyms as properly however actually, I simply fell in love as quickly as I acquired right here. This setting is ideal for me.”
As she will get able to conflict with one-time UFC title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz on Saturday, Demopoulos was grateful that Montoya guided her by way of the coaching camp whereas proving that he’s the sort of coach who will stroll over glass for his fighters.
It’s that sort of sacrifice that has earned Montoya such fierce loyalty from his fighters.
“The story was very public — Marc Montoya did have most cancers and he was having surgical procedure the next week of somebody’s combat and he nonetheless went to the combat, did his job after which he went and acquired the surgical procedure he wanted for his most cancers!” Demopoulos mentioned. “Are you kidding me proper now? This man is an absolute animal.
“He’s nonetheless in there coaching with us. He’s the one main the pack. He leads from the entrance. He would by no means inform us to do one thing that he himself doesn’t know how one can expertise. It’s wonderful. It’s very comforting to have somebody who cares simply as a lot if no more about what you’re doing than you do. It’s very uncommon. It’s very onerous to seek out. I’m actually grateful to be right here.”
Because of Montoya and his crew at Manufacturing unit X, Demopoulos feels greater than prepared for no matter Kowalkiewicz may throw at her.
Taking up a veteran with championship stage expertise is precisely the sort of combat that Demopolous wished as she seeks to graduate from the ranks of prospect to contender within the UFC.
“I feel I’m very underrated by lots of people in my very own proper,” Demopoulos mentioned. “I’m able to rise to the challenges. Even previous to being within the UFC, all the ladies that I fought have been high tier for the extent I used to be at. A lot of the women that I fought previous to the UFC are within the UFC now. I used to be ready strolling in right here. I had most of my challenges previous to arriving, which is why I’ve been in a position to have the success that I’ve had.
“I’m simply actually blessed and grateful and I do have numerous expertise. I’ve been competing around the globe in jiu-jitsu and now I get to do it on the highest stage of MMA. I’m trying ahead to this.”
Along with her notorious post-fight celebrations, an infectious persona and combat expertise to match, Demopoulos is anxious to show she’s not solely prepared to hold with the very best fighters at 115 kilos however she’s ready to take her place as one of many new faces of her division.
“I’m a star,” Demopoulos mentioned. “That is one thing I’ve been dreaming of my complete total life. I’m an entertainer. I used to be constructed to shine. Even in my earlier discipline, I really like being on stage. I really like being in motion. That is my excessive after I step into the cage, after I step into the world. I couldn’t be extra excited to get to carry out for everyone.
“That is an honor for me. I’m very excited and I’m so comfortable that the group loves me as a lot as I really like them.”