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LFA sees first ever Women’s Strawweight champion


Photo: Vanessa Demopoulos flexes for the camera (Leonardo Carrizo/LFA)

On Friday, July 17, The Legacy Fighting Alliance crowned its first ever Women’s Strawweight champion.

Vanessa Demopoulos made history in a come-from-behind victory over Sam Hughes ay LFA 85. Against all odds, Demopoulos pulled off an inverted triangle choke to claim a technical submission victory in the fourth round.

Right out of the gate, Demopoulos was in a bad spot. Hughes was able to land heavy shots and apply serious pressure before Demopoulos landed an illegal up-kick in the second round and was penalized by the referee.

Demopoulos knew that she would have to look for a finish in order to come out on top.

This decision by Demopoulos played right into Hughes’ game plan.

“I intend on dragging her into deep water,” Hughes said to Sherdog’s Jason Burgos in a pre-fight interview. “If it goes into the third or fourth, I’m so excited for that. I have the cardio for that.”

What Hughes didn’t know however was that Demopoulos was ready to meet her at every step of the way. 

“I have been in deep waters before,” Demopoulos told Burgos. “You have to actually…kill me to get me to quit fighting. When you’re in deep waters, you find out who you really are. We will see what she is made of.”

Of her five professional fights before LFA 85, three went to decision. Going into the championship rounds is something that Demopoulos didn’t have much experience in, but it was enough to keep Hughes at bay and hand Hughes the first loss of her career.

Now, Demopoulos will go down as the first LFA Strawweight champion in history. Although the LFA’s history is brief, watching it be written right before our eyes makes it all the more exciting.

In 2017, the Legacy Fighting Championship merged with the Resurrection Fighting Alliance to form the Legacy Fighting Alliance. Since January of 2017, LFA has hosted 86 events with two more being scheduled to round out July.

The promotion was initially shut down in the beginning of March as a safety percussion against COVID-19. On July 10, fights resumed in Sioux Falls, SD. This would be the home to four total fights, all happening in the month of July.

In LFA’s second event back, Demopoulos cemented herself in the promotion’s history. No matter how big LFA grows or how vast the Strawweight division becomes, Demopoulos has a bright future ahead of herself and proved that she can weather the storm and get finishes when it counts.

Although there is no telling when the next time Demopoulos will be in the cage, there is a good chance she will move up the rankings very quickly.  

With this victory over Hughes, Demopoulos improved to 5-1 as a professional fighter and has her hopes set on signing a UFC contract in the future. 

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