Roxanne Modafferi had two days to enjoy her win in May before learning she had two months to prepare for a title fight.
Modafferi eked out a decision in a difficult rematch with highly ranked Tara LaRosa on May 21, a Friday. Before the weekend was out, Modafferi found herself lined up for another much-touted opponent on July 23 -- and this time, there's a major championship on the line.
Strikeforce 135-pound women's champion Sarah Kaufman is scheduled to defend her belt in less than two weeks against Modafferi at the Strikeforce Challengers show (11 p.m. ET July 23, Showtime) in Everett, Wash. The bout matches up the top two fighters at 135 pounds in the Unified Women's MMA Rankings.
Fighting Stances spoke to Modafferi about the upcoming challenge. Excerpts from the conversation:
Q: It's been years since you've had just two months between fights. Coming off a particularly tough fight with Tara, how does have a slightly compressed training camp change your preparation?
Modafferi: To be honest, I don't really have a camp, so to speak. I train as hard as I possibly can all the time, so my schedule is around my work -- I'm an English teacher. My training, the way it changes for a fight -- inside my training, I try to do things specific to my opponent.
Your striking in the Tara fight was the best I've ever seen from you. How much of that was due to a recent improvement on your part in that area, and how much of it had to do with the particular style that Tara has?
That's an interesting question. I've been working really hard on stand-up, so I got a coach a year and a half ago, and we've been doing private lessons a bunch of times every week.
I don't really like stand-up, to be honest -- you can quote me on that. (chuckles) But it was my weak point and I've worked really hard at it.
I like to think it was a combination of both, the way my stand-up improved and the way it fit with her style.
Sarah Kaufman has some of the best striking in your weight class. How do you prepare for someone with that kind of power and accuracy?
I ask anyone I can to punch me a lot. (laughs) And just experience different people's styles. That's all I can do.
What do you take from Sarah's fight with Takayo Hashi in February?
That I shouldn't back up straight. (chuckles)
read entire interview...
MMA gear now available at the UG Store