September 29th 2016
Name – Crystal Demopoulos
Nickname – Lil Monster
Record – 4 wins 1 loss
Weight – 115 pounds
Team – Ronin Training Center
Where are you from ?
Cleveland, OH but I train in Columbus, OH.
How long have you been training ?
7 Years with everything.
How did you get in to MMA ?
Started off just getting into shape with Thai Boxing. Which quickly lead to competing ! After helping out so much with Ronin Training Center it just made sense to expand on the Martial Arts we had to offer. Fighting MMA was just the next challenge. And who doesn’t love a great challenge.
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
My nickname is “Lil Monster”. My original coach Cory Minton would scream at everyone daily “We build machines and we create monsters!” Once I was out working most everyone in the room he started calling me Monster. It just stuck from there !! So much so that there were people who for the longest didn’t even know my real name.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
I grew up fighting. Can’t remember how old I was when the first one happened, but it was something I would pile up suspensions for consistently. Never hit a girl though until I got in the ring.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
They were MORE than supportive! They loved the idea of me being constructive with my aggression.
What is your current record ?
4-1 in MMA. Very extensive Jiujitsu medal count. Including World Championships, Pan Americans, Pro Trials, American Nationals and so forth.Have a solid Thai Boxing record also but didn’t keep great track of it back then.
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
It’s no secret I Love armbars.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
I’ve never had one. When I started girls weren’t a thing really. Just always kept my head to the grindstone to becoming the absolutely best version of myself possible.
What team do you currently train with ?
Ronin Training Center is the school.
Vitor Olivera GFTeam is our Jiujitsu team.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I like a great fight. Wherever that goes I’m comfortable with it.
What does being fighter mean to you ?
It’s always more than fighting. It’s being a real live warrior/gladiator preparing for a battle of life or death. Have a passion for performing and inspiring others to overcome their fears. Fighting plays a huge part in that as well.
What weight do you fight at ?
Straw weight 115.Light feather and Feather for Jiu jitsu 114 or 126.
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
My super fun positive and bubbly personality meshed with my developed attitude and mindset. Good looks can help along the way also.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Get to battle that person with ever peak in the mirror, I’d love to show that girl how fucking strong I am. All other fights don’t seem like a dream as much as something obtainable in time.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
“Your hardest battles have been fought in the gym. This is the fun part.”
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I was never going to be broke !!
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My coaches and training partners. They showed me everyday how much I can do and keep on going.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
George St. Pierre… He truly showed what being a specialized artist was all about and how bad ass and effective it could be.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
What drives or motivates you ?
I was a huge fuck up growing up !!! When my grandmother was passing from cancer I asked for one message she wanted to leave me with. Her response has shaped me she said “I just want success for you” I carry that with everything well-rounded in life. I’m driven to not only be successful but to be significant in others lives as well. This is bigger than me.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
There’s a million things I’m already doing outside of fighting. Just can’t imagine the mess I’d be had I never started fighting in the first place.
What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
Micheal Bublé “Feeling Good” and dancing and being goofy until the walkout time.
your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage ?
Too many things to type. There’s a book to be written on that moment alone.
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
Walk in the park with my dog. Preferably near water.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Winning the Pan American Gi and NoGi in the same year for IBJJF Jiujitsu.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
Being ourselves (goofy, silly, cute) and still being respected as serious athletes. We have to act so tough all the time or people won’t take us serious. Girls operate different. We are more vicious and strong than we are some “tough guys”. That is more to be feared and embraced.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Know WHY you’re doing it in the first place. Understand what you will be trading and what you could potentially lose in this pursuit. Because not any part of it is easy, but if allotted will all be worth it.
Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
We are here to stay !! I see WMMA becoming more mainstream and we will see some incredible talent coming up soon.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
I know exactly where I’m going.
What are your goals within the sport ?
To be the best possible version of myself every single training session to eventually turn into a super hero character.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Cory Minton, Vitor Olivera, Aaron Boggs, Luke Zachrich and everyone at Ronin Training Center.