This weekend, Roxanne Modafferi is set to have a rematch with Jennifer Maia. The two met in 2016 and the split decision went Maia’s way. Now, Roxanne Modafferi is looking to get that scrap back in San Antonio.
Modafferi’s martial arts career started as in taekwondo and quickly moved to judo. In just three years, she earned her brown belt…and then she graduated high school. So where did mixed martial arts come from? “My judo friends got me into jiu jitsu and they also liked watching MMA. I wanted to try it as I thought it was the ultimate challenge of my skills.” 38 professional fights later, here we are. Modafferi has fought in the UFC, Invicta, Cage Warriors, and Strikeforce among others.
Sometimes, you get the break you’re looking for. Roxanne didn’t leave it up to the UFC brass to find her. She took matters into her own hands. “UFC didn’t call me to do the ultimate fighter, I applied and prayed that I would get chosen.” That’s a moment most fighters would kill for. “I was ecstatic when I got chosen! The experience changes your life.” And it has. She’s now a fighter in the biggest mixed martial arts promotion on the planet.
In her last fight, Roxanne took on sister of the champ, and highly touted Contender Series prospect, Antonina Shevchenko. Many people counted her out in the fight but Roxanne Modafferi went in there and showed her veteranship and got the job done in a razor thin split decision. “Antonina is a very skilled fighter, especially in the realm of Muay Thai, but I didn’t see her as like a top five female fighter in the world,” Modafferi says. She continues, “I knew I wouldn’t have a problem if I could take her down. I didn’t really feel like I was such a big underdog or it was such a big upset. I have 43 MMA fights and she has 9. She has like 40 kickboxing fights, and I don’t know how many grappling competitions I’ve done over the past 15 years, but around that. I’m just relieved that I was able to win and I think I impressed some people.”
Let’s run it back!
As for the rematch with Maia, Roxanne is business as usual. With it being such a close fight in 2016, Modafferi has been working hard to improve her skills to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. “Jennifer is a well rounded opponent so I also just train everything. Every day I try to improve my weaknesses and strength in my strengths. I can’t tell you my secret training methods,” Modafferi says with a grin.
Originally, Roxanne Modafferi was supposed to take on Liz Carmouche who has found a breath of fresh air in the UFC’s women’s flyweight division. As history would have it, Carmouche was pulled from that fight to take on the champ, Valentina Shevchenko. I asked Modafferi how she interpreted the UFC taking her opponent for a title shot. “I interpreted the switch as the UFC trying to find somebody who is on a winning streak who can face Valentina, says Modafferi. She continues,“I was okay with that as long as I got another opponent to fight on the same card. I’m happy with the rematch offer.” And she did. Getting a win back is high on Roxanne’s list and she’ll get the chance to do that.