Vanessa Demopoulos prepared to get used to familiarity with UFC opponents like Emily Ducote

Vanessa Demopoulos has another big opportunity in front of her next month, and from here on out when those happen, they might seem a little more personal.

Demopoulos (10-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) takes on Emily Ducote (13-8 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 241 on May 11. For Demopoulos, a win would give her five in six fights – which would put her in great position in the women’s strawweight division.

But it will have to come against someone she’s got some familiarity with.

“Not only do I know a lot about her – Emily’s a sweetheart,” Demopoulos told MMA Junkie Radio. “She came here to Las Vegas. She trained over at Xtreme (Couture) and, in fact, me, her and Hannah Goldy all went hiking together over at Red Rock. So we’ve spent a little bit of time together. It was nice to kind of get to know her on a little bit of a personal level.”

Demopoulos has been training in Las Vegas, where she utilizes not only Xtreme Couture, but the UFC Performance Institute. She said that has been a game-changer for her, especially when it comes to nutrition.

Then there’s the consistency in her coaching, which she thinks was missing earlier in her career.

“I feel like everybody’s really on the same page,” she said. “Being a part of the PI and being able to have access to my food, have access to recovery, have access to the strength and conditioning, the PT, the facility – it just makes my life so much easier being in fight camp and being able to be here in Las Vegas.”

This fight camp, though, for Ducote was for someone she’s spent time with. And even looking down the road, her division’s champion, Zhang Weili, spends a lot of time at the PI, herself.

In a division that isn’t the biggest in the UFC, and given her training in Las Vegas where so many fighters come through at one point or another, Demopoulos is confident this situation will happen again.

“When we got the fight contract, it’s not like I (called) her out. She didn’t hit me up, either,” Demopoulos said. “We both knew that it might happen even while she was here. It’s OK. It’s going to happen. I feel like for being here in Las Vegas, we see so many people, it would be almost impossible for me not to fight somebody that I knew.”

Demopoulos got back in the win column this past October with a decision over Kanako Murata in a fight in which Murata was a decent favorite. Earlier in the year, she had a three-fight winning streak snapped by Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 241.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie