UFC Vegas 73 Preview: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Vanessa Demopoulos – Strawweight Clash and Keys to Victory3 min read
Get ready for an electrifying showdown in the women’s strawweight division this Saturday May 20, 2023, at UFC Vegas 73. Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Vanessa Demopoulos are set to collide in a highly anticipated battle that promises to captivate MMA fans worldwide. WMMA Rankings brings you an exclusive fight preview and keys to victory for this exciting preliminary card matchup.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz, a seasoned veteran in the sport, enters the Octagon with a professional record of 14-7-0. The 37-year-old fighter has faced the best in the division, including a memorable title challenge against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in November 2016. Despite a challenging period from 2018 to 2021 with five consecutive losses, Kowalkiewicz showcased her resilience and determination with impressive victories in 2022. Her submission win over Felice Herrig and dominant decision against Silvana Gomez Juarez served as a powerful reminder of her capabilities and the experience she brings to the cage.
Vanessa Demopoulos, with a professional record of 9-4-0, is a rising force in the strawweight division. At 34 years old, she has quickly made a name for herself in the UFC. After a debut loss to JJ Aldrich in August 2021, Demopoulos made a pivotal decision to focus fully on her MMA career, leaving behind her previous career as a stripper. The results speak for themselves, as she secured impressive wins over Silvana Gomez Juarez, Jinh Yu Frey, and Maria Oliveira. Demopoulos’ determination and commitment to her craft have been evident in her recent performances.
Keys to Victory – Karolina Kowalkiewicz:
- Utilize striking volume and accuracy: Kowalkiewicz’s crisp striking skills and precision will be key in this matchup. She should aim to land significant strikes while avoiding reckless exchanges.
- Maintain distance and avoid the clinch: Kowalkiewicz must use her footwork to control the distance and keep Demopoulos from closing the distance for clinch work or takedowns.
- Showcase takedown defense: As Demopoulos has shown grappling prowess, Kowalkiewicz needs to defend takedowns effectively and stay on her feet where she can dictate the fight.
- Mix in effective counter-strikes: Kowalkiewicz should capitalize on Demopoulos’ offensive advances by countering with well-timed strikes, punishing any openings she creates.
Keys to Victory – Vanessa Demopoulos:
- Close the distance and initiate grappling exchanges: Demopoulos’ best path to victory lies in her grappling skills. She should look to close the distance, engage in the clinch, and initiate takedowns to capitalize on her ground game.
- Establish control on the ground: Once the fight hits the mat, Demopoulos should seek dominant positions, control Kowalkiewicz, and actively work for submissions or ground-and-pound.
- Mix striking and grappling effectively: Demopoulos should use her striking to set up her grappling attacks, creating opportunities for takedowns and keeping Kowalkiewicz off-balance.
- Exploit defensive vulnerabilities: Demopoulos should study Kowalkiewicz’s previous fights to identify any defensive weaknesses and exploit them, capitalizing on any openings she finds.
The strawweight clash between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Vanessa Demopoulos is set to be a battle of experience and determination, taking place on the UFC Vegas 73 preliminary card. With the prelims scheduled to start at 4pm ET, WMMA Rankings will be closely following the action, providing comprehensive coverage of this exhilarating matchup. MMA fans can anticipate an evening filled with thrilling fights as these skilled athletes step into the Octagon. Stay tuned for a captivating display of women’s mixed martial arts at UFC Vegas 73!