Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

The Re-birth of Roxyfighter

Posted in fight, friends, fun, training on May 28th, 2014 by roxyfighter

May 28th was one of the turning points in my MMA career, and in my life. It was the day I beat Valerie Letourneau to earn my place in the Ultimate Fighter 18 house.
roxy win tuf 18 entrance

It broke my 5-fight losing streak, and gave me confidence in myself again that I can still hang in there and win. It was so important mentally for me, but ironically, that fight doesn’t count on my official record. Therefore, shows me with a 6-fight losing streak, which bugs me.

In the TUF house, I learned so much. I had hoped to learn more striking, but I learned lots of wrestling and jiu-jitsu.
team tate coaching staff
I adored my coaches. I learned how to cut weight by watching those around me struggle. I made friends and relationships, and shared experiences we will never forget.

I grew as a person. One thing I realized was that I tend to be a little self-sacrificing. I’m too nice sometimes. Should I change myself? No. I decided that someone with a Disney-child-like niceness CAN survive in this world as long as I protect myself.
Like innocent Plato and Ralph the dog. They were assaulted and abused. But they survived.
plato and ralph
Very symbolic.
Therefore, I made a few private vows to myself after several incidents.

“Rise up. Get stronger. Fight again.” That’s the sign I made for Plato after he was assaulted and abused. Then I added, “Don’t back down.”
plato and roxy thumbs up
Yes, Plato is flicking off the camera.
No, the bruising all over my face is not from a fight.

(if you are curious as to know about the assault, check out these youtube videos:

After I got out of the house, my life changed. I applied those vows to my daily life, and it was hard, but better. I’m first. My life revolves around me. No more working overtime for free. Care about ME first.

Since I had lost, there was no guarantee I’d be chosen to be on the undercard of the TUF 18 finale, but I decided to risk it. I quit my job I loved, left the country and friends I loved, and moved back to the US.

To Las Vegas, no less, on Bryan Caraway’s recommendation. My father freaked out. My mother almost immediately offered to join me. So I moved in September 2013, and my mother joined me in October.

I visited a few gyms and was actually just about to join one, when I visited Syndicate MMA to honor a promise to my friend Amanda Lucas (Hallikainen). There, I met Heather Clark and John Wood. Heather and I clicked, John’s coaching style resonated with me, and I fell in love with the gym.
group pic syndicate on mny wall
This picture is hanging on my wall. Members in this picture have since changed around a bit.

I learned so much. I was chosen to fight in the finale against my former teammate.
ufc tv tuf vs
She had said that I didn’t train hard. I’ll show her that I train hard! I trained so hard through injuries, and made it to the finale. And I lost by decision. But I was so proud of my performance.
roxy raquel striking

I knew I had improved, and I knew I had to keep going. John Wood is an awesome coach. “We can keep your striking style awkward and work with it,” he assured me, and he has.
heather roxy john lockerroom

Back in the US, I can buy things cheaply. I get recognized wherever I go in Vegas, especially Walmart! I’m recognized 90% of the time I go into Walmart. lol I’m so happy when people say hi, or message me on Facebook or twitter or where ever. I’m honored that people want to talk to me. 🙂

For fun, I watch anime – lots and lots of anime. ichigo vs kenpachi

And write a Japanese blog once a week. It helps me keep up with my Japanese language skills. I only am able to really speak on Skype to one Japanese friend, since the time difference is so backwards. I miss Japan so much and want to visit.

I teach kid’s jiu-jitsu classes at Syndicate in the afternoon, write for, and do marketing for several sponsors. Good thing I saved up some money from my job in Japan. I always had it in the back of my mind, funny enough, that someday I might want to stop working to fight, and I had to have money in the bank to support myself. I therefore never bought expensive stuff, I never traveled, never went on long vacations, never went to expensive restaurants. Let’s see how far I can stretch it.

I’ve been training hard, just waiting for another chance to fight. I hope I fight soon….

I still love my gym. I’ve been training a lot with Jamie Moyle, who is just about go to pro and will rock the pro 115 division.

I can’t believe it’s been one year already. I achieved one of my life goals that I had from the very beginning – fight in the UFC.
roxy winking UFC
It was more like a dream, because a goal has to be possible, and when I had my dream, there were no women in the UFC. I have more goals and dreams and I’m continuing to chase them every day. Thank you for reading, and for sharing this time with me as I follow my dreams.

BJJ, UFC, fun with Serena

Posted in fun, training on May 26th, 2014 by roxyfighter

Last week was fun.

My body had been feeling kind of beat up, so I skipped a few team MMA practices (which I always feel guilty and crappy about) and did Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes (which I always feel ecstatic and thrilled about). I LOVE GI BJJ!! And I felt pretty good afterwards, like I did a light weight-training session, from all the gripping and pulling. I’ve always said that I need to work another gi class into my training. :/ I’m not sure when. Right now I just do it if I don’t feel up to the harder MMA class.

I leave the class feeling soooo happy! except guilty I didn’t take the MMA class.

Training with Serena has been fun. She’s pretty talented, and I’m enjoying helping her improve her game by teaching her new stuff. Every time someone comes in from a different gym, there are different habits and things people do and are used to. 🙂 This trip- it’s been three weeks so far! – has been really good for her. And for me! and everyone! She’s a great training partner!
ladies funny pose two photobombers
Wow, three weeks already?!

Watching the Bleach movie number 1. And the movie “In Bruges.” Tragic irony. Well made. Not my cup of tea as plots go, though. Started watching Blue Velvet and got disturbed, so I quit. I don’t need to see sexual violence….. *shiver* geez.

roxy serena mgm grand
Saturday I went to see the UFC with Serena! 😀 It was her first live sports event! Obviously first UFC live.

This is her “omg I’m in awe” face.
serena in awe

Oh Serena. She punches me, I choke her, she buys me ice cream, I braid her hair, and we go around wearing the same T-shirts. #GirlFighterFriends

I got to meet up with my wrestling coach from the Ultimate Fighter 18, Jack Anderson! Chiawana wrestling team is lucky to have him. 🙂
jack anderson and roxy
I was so excited to see my former training partner Mizugaki fight! And Mike Chiesa, who is from Washington, did his camp here at Syndicate, so I saw him everyday, and my coach helped cornered him. We saw Dan Henderson and Cormier fight live (Poor Hendo), and other fights were unexpectedly awesome! Like Barao vs TJ Dillshaw? omg?!
roxy and serena in the crowd ufc 173

With Serena and Tapout’s Skrape! (click to enlarge)
roxy serena skrape

Yay Mizugaki-san!
roxy  mizugaki shu group vegas

Gojira, gift package, Adventuredome, friends

Posted in amusing, earth quake and aftermath, every day, friends, fun, training on May 19th, 2014 by roxyfighter

Last Thursday was pretty good sparring. I sparred really hard with Serena. She’s good at stand up, and I’m helping her transition into MMA…the HARD WAY! MHWAHAHAHAHA… *insert evil cackling*

Friday I took the day off from doing anything, except I helped teach the kid’s class in the afternoon. That was fun. 😀 Glad I got to move around a little, but my body was hurting. I felt fresher on Saturday, and I did the BJJ class. Casey had us do this choke, and then we rolled. I loved being in a gi again! 😀 Then I did kickboxing sparring.

I wanted to start at 12 on the dot, but lately we’ve been starting a little late. I got warmed up, and another member who had come to spar said, “Roxanne, you are the ranking belt. You start class!” But only Chaz or John start class. So I called out in my best, deep, manly voice, “Okay, 12 o’clock sparring, guys! Let’s get warmed up!”

After all, who wants to listen to some girl? Apparently, my manly voice must have been manly enough to summon people, and before long, we had a group shadow-boxing to warm up. 😀 😀

It was great. XD And in the evening, I watched Bellator. I had REALLY wanted to see it! It was exciting! Chandler vs Brooks was awesome! Man, those guys have stamina. It was cool to see Tito and Rampage fight, since many of the the guys I used to watch when I was first starting out have retired by now…. I honestly didn’t care who won. I just wanted to see them fight. Except I know King Mo personally, so kinda was pulling for him. and Michael Page was freaking amazing. XD

Sunday was nice. I did Yoga x_x in the morning, and took Serena to Circus Circus’s Adventuredome around noon. It was a last minute thing. I wanted to sit home and wallow after Yoga, but I had tantalized her with talking about it last week, so it would have been cruel and unusual not to show her. And I had fun. Next time, let’s get a group and go adventuring longer. 😀
roxy serena adventuredome

We then joined Jamie and her BF and saw Godzilla! 😀
roxy serena godzilla poster
We are wearing our Syndicate Godzilla shirts! 😀 On the back it says “Steppin on Fools.” I LOVE IT SO MUCH OMFG. (syndicate is not just a gym name, it’s a clothing brand) They’re on sale here:

roxy serena jamie godzilla1

Godzilla was good! I really enjoyed it. Except for the beginning when the power plant starts melting down? I freaking cried like an angry baby all over Serena, remembering Fukushima. 🙁 I was in Japan at the time, right? The movie producers did that on purpose. Also the tsunami, and tell me that plane crashing into the building later on didn’t remind you of 911? But Godzilla kicked @$$ and the movie was riveting.

The other day, I got an anonymous gift box!
anonymous gift
And as for what’s inside…watch this video!

Today’s training was awesome. Great mitts and other stuff. Great wall-take down stuff and drilling and going live and ground and pound and and and…stuff.

Wednesday, my non-day off, & Yoga Revenge!

Posted in amusing, family and holidays, friends on May 14th, 2014 by roxyfighter

Wednesday is supposed to be one of my two active recovery days, the other, being Sunday. But Roxy doesn’t get days off. Roxy’s body loves days off, but Roxy’s mind can’t tolerate it. That’s why Roxy watches so much anime – because it’s the only way she can get her body to lay down and stay still to recover.

I keep scheduling stuff…now, Wednesday is super busy! I love super busy! It’s the only way I know how to live my life. When I’m feeling great, it’s great. 🙂

But I’m tired. And frustrated. And cranky. 🙁 Today, despite taking half a caffeine pill, my brain was processing stuff like a 1998 computer running the Internet on a dial-up modem. Very frustrating. And the usual aches and pains….. which I’m doing my best to ignore.

I was really grumpy despite an awesome mitt session. I went out with Serena this afternoon, and she bought me lunch at this place called ‘Rice Trax.’ I really enjoyed it! 😀 grilled BEEF and shrimp on white steamed rice. SO DAMN GOOD!!!!!! Thank you, my friend! We bought her some knee pads so she can knee me in the face train more safely. ;D

This happened yesterday, so I made a MEME today.
bruise on serena and roxy2

I think it’s pretty funny. If it’s not funny, then it’s unpleasant, so I’d much rather decide that it’s funny. Right?

Notice our sponsorship shirts: Herbal Papaya and Mei-Li Fighting 😀 😀 😀

Yoga was……haha. So Yoga reminds me of my sessions with Jake Steckel. Can be tortuous and I wanna tap out like ten times, but I feel so great afterwards.

My body hates me. I can’t imagine why, considering I abuse it constantly only do martial arts and get punched and kicked and joints tweeked and smothered and neck cranked and fallen on and slammed to the ground and struggling to lift heavy objects, and getting my ligaments stretched and work out. Do you work out, bro?

So, seeing that my body hates me for some unfathomable reason, it likes to ignore my suggestions. Like, “Jab faster.” My arm is like like, “No, I think I’ll aim myself five inches below John’s focus mitt.” Or my legs, “please step here.” they’re like, “No, biotch, I’ll just trip and make you fall, neener neener neener. Haha now coach thinks you don’t know how to step. HAHAHA.”

It thinks it’s SOOOO funny, don’t you, body? Yeah, I know, this is your revenge time. Or like sparring, when my arm is like, “I’m tired. I think I’ll just stop functioning now.” and I get hit in the face? So funny, I could cry.

And then….there is yoga.
teacher: and everyone sit down into chair!
*class squats down and holds it*
Roxy’s legs: Okay you can stand up now.
Roxy: no way, shut up.
legs: but…owww burning…
Roxy: that’s RIGHT! How do you like that, huh?
legs: pleeeeease ….straighten up.
Roxy: Feel the pain, you @#*#$#!! 😀 😀 😀
legs: 🙁


teacher: lower! Lower!
legs: not lower! not lower!
legs: I hate you!!!!

*a few flows later*

teacher: Now grab your toes with you toes with your peace fingers and pull!
Roxy’s legs & back: aaaaah!
Roxy: hahaha ! :F Take that.

I come out of yoga feeling very disheveled and hated by myself. It is a huge mental battle and screaming fight every step. But like my stiffness, pain, etc from MMA is halved. I hate love Yoga.


I really don’t want to do ANYTHING for the rest of the day. But I have other stuff scheduled. It’s a challenge.

Body: Just give me ice cream and we’ll call it even.
Roxy: no, shut up.

I’m mean, aren’t I?

I watched Star Trek with Mom today. 🙂 yeah

Team Syndicate MMA welcomes Female Fighters

Posted in training on May 10th, 2014 by roxyfighter

Syndicate welcomes female MMA fighters

We’re trying to build our group of women here at Syndicate, so I’m writing this blog entry to tell a little about the training environment. I moved from Japan and choose Syndicate for good reason. I love the MMA team practices, lead by Coach John Wood and assistant coaches John Gunderson and Mike Pyle. Chaz Mulkey runs a fantastic Muay Thai class, as does Master Nope and Shawn Yarborough. Vinny Magalhaes (former UFC vet) heads the jiu-jitsu program. We have a strength and conditioning program, too.

We have classes in the morning, afternoon, and evening, for those who need to juggle work or school. (Team MMA practices are from 11:30- 1 every day, though. You have to have basics down to join the team MMA practices)

The pro girls at the gym are myself, Liz McCarthy, who just started training with us recently.
(click on all pictures to enlarge)

revgear at syndicate

Sofia Bagherdai has been coming regularly.
sofia and roxy2

Jamie Moyle is a tough-as-nails amateur who’s fighting in June to win the Invicta pro contract.
meili shorts
Michelle (next to me in house pic) is preparing for her first amateur bout sometime soon, and Brittany (below, red shirt) is our resident Tae Kwon Do/ Hapkido black belt transitioning into MMA. Fanny (next to Brittany) is our Muay Thai girl transitioning into MMA.

syndicate women

Different weights, different points in our careers, all getting along choking each other and punching each other on a daily basis. Come join the fun. 😉 There’s no special class for women – we train right along side the guys, who are very cool and supportive.

team practice 4.14.14
(click to enlarge)

Syndicate has a two fighter houses where people can rent a room monthly. Some people come from out of town to do a camp, or possibly stay longer. Spaces are limited, so you can contact Syndicate to check availability.

crew over johns for ufc 3.15.14 -2
(watching the UFC at coach John’s house)

Or contact me! Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a pro or ammy or whoever. 🙂