A strawweight fight between Kanako Murata and Vanessa Demopoulos has been confirmed for the UFC Vegas 80 card. The two will face off at the Apex Centre on October 7th.
Murata (12-2) saw her eight fight winning streak snapped at UFC Vegas 29 in 2021. While her record was blemished by the defeat to Virna Jandiroba the 29 year old earned praise for showing incredible heart.
Her arm was dislocated by an armbar late in the second round. Not only did Murata refuse to tap but she wanted to continue fighting with the doctor eventually forced to step in and stop her coming out for the second round.
That fight was over two year’s ago and Murata’s recovery appears to have taken a long time, although she appears to have been back in training since 2022. She will be fighting at the Apex Centre for the third time at UFC Vegas 80.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 19, 2021
Demopoulos (9-5) has three wins from her five UFC fights. She is a former LFA strawweight champion while Murata held the Invicta FC 115lbs title before signing with the UFC.
This is currently the only fight on the UFC Vegas 80 card. Neither fighter is currently ranked and both are coming off losses that snapped impressive winning streaks.
Demopolous had won three in a row prior to her decision loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Vegas 73. She had beaten Silvana Gómez Juárez, Jinh Yu Frey and Maria Oliveira during this run.
The American is a BJJ black belt who also competes regularly in submission grappling. If the fight goes to the ground she will surely be looking to target Murata’s arm after such a well publicized injury.