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UFC 270 winner quit job as a stripper eight weeks ago, says pole dancing helped her BJJ

UFC strawweight Vanessa Demopoulos talks about her recent career shift, from being an exotic dancer to full-time MMA fighter.

Many fighters have a unique backstory about their life pre-competition. In the case of UFC strawweight Vanessa Demopoulos, it’s leaving her job as an exotic entertainer to put her 100% focus on fighting.

What makes this story noteworthy, however, is that the career shift just happened a little over a month ago. The 33-year-old former LFA champion and Dana White Contender Series alum talked about it during her UFC 270 post-fight scrum.

“I don’t think it’s a secret, I was an exotic entertainer for 13 years,” Demopoulos told the media. “And I didn’t actually say it 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 full-time on MMA, take this extremely seriously in the gym every single day.”

Demopoulos, who is on a minimum $12K/12K contract, won her UFC 270 prelim fight against Silvana Gómez Juárez via armbar from the back after getting knocked down by a right hand. She credited that win to her background as a pole dancer and what she referred to as her “stripper guard.”

“A lot of my jiu-jitsu actually comes from my expertise as a pole dancer,” she said.

With the win, Demopoulos now improves to a record of 6-4.