Roxanne Modafferi is one of the most experienced fighters in women's mixed martial arts, having begun fighting in 2003, in Japan. In 2013, she fought her way onto The Ultimate Fighter season 18. Seeded last, she was eliminated by Jessica Rakoczy, but the series drew her back to the USA from Japan, which eventually led to John 'Big' Wood's Syndicate MMA where she has undergone a tremendous career turnaround. Pre Wood she went 0-6; now she is ranked #8 in the world.
"The Happy Warrior" did a rare second run on TUF, and this time she was seeded first. That run ended with a fight for the inaugural UFC flyweight, where he lost a decision. She has alternated wins and losses since, most recently defeating Andrea "KGB" Lee for the second time at UFC on ESPN+ 35 on Saturday night.
At the post-press conference, she talked about it all.
“It was a tough fight. Thank you Andrea for a great fight," she began. "I think the plan was kind of to stick and move, go in-go out, always take the angle. I think it was going great. I got the takedowns when I wanted to and also that jab at the end, always kept moving. I was very pleased with my performance tonight. I had a great preparation for this camp. I tried to go in with a clear mind and not have one single goal. I really wanted to catch one of her kicks. I think I did kind of catch a kick and made her fall down. I was working on body locks leading up to this fight. I really wanted to try out my wrestling. I’m so happy I did a little bit out of everything that we worked on this camp.”
“[Evolving] feels so good. it means so much to me to get this win, to prove I still belong in the top 10 and I can be a contender. Evolution is the key – never just settling and just doing what you are good at, always trying to learn and improve. Just evolve with the times. That’s the key. My next evolution will be just continue to improve my striking, my jiu-jitsu, my wrestling, Roxy-fu, and remind myself of techniques that I once knew and I forgot. That seems to be coming up a lot lately.”
“I’ve been fighting for 17 years and I think this was my 47th fight. I just want to fight somebody in the top 10 – whoever the UFC matchmakers want me to fight. Whenever they call me, I say yes.”