Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

back to training! Serena’s fight, TUF tryouts

Posted in fight on May 31st, 2017 by roxyfighter

After my Fusion Fight League fight, I told myself I’d take like a month off from kickboxing and do mostly grappling. Then my Invicta fight got set. After that, I told myself, okay, a month off…but now who knows when my next fight is? I went back to full MMA training Monday. I’m not one to take “time off” anyway. MMA is life to me. I don’t want to be doing anything else. Vacation is not doing kickboxing and cardio. lol
I want to make sure I helped my friend Serena train for her fight in Tuff-N-Uff on June 17th. I wasn’t really able to last week because I was trying to recover from my own fight while taking care of the crazy aftermath of my fight and then TUF tryouts.

Serena is one of my best friends and trains super hard every day.

(I’ve started teasing her for always flexing in pictures, but she HAS gained a lot of muscle over the recent months and that is something to be proud of.)
She’s like me in that she has to be held back or she’ll burn up, rather than have to be encouraged to go to the gym. I’m so proud of her and her outstanding work ethic. It’s ironically stupid that she lost her last fight because she’s been making massive improvements in her technique and game. I want her to have confidence in what she’s built up, and know that she can still win. Having been on a 5-fight losing streak, I know how hard it is. After I lost, and therefore lost confidence in myself, I made a change in my training, trained hard, believed in it, and went into the fight with renewed confidence believing that I changed myself into a different fighter in the past and I could achieve good results. And the second those negative thoughts start coming into your head, you have to replace them with positive ones. Remind yourself what you’ve been doing, remind yourself of your growth, remind yourself of your gameplan and how you can win. Because you can’t just banish thoughts without having anything take their place. “Replacement of thoughts” is the key, I think. Coach John used that phrasing and I like it.

Anyway, she’s looking sharp and strong and is the best version of Serena southpaw I’ve ever sparred with!

Here are some new photos that came out from Fusion Fight League April 1st, taken by Ryan Hall, matchmaker of that event and photograher.

He really got great close up pictures of our eyes and facial expressions! I don’t think I’ve seen my expression like this before!

I always rant about my awesome coaches but seriously, they teach me something and I literally go out and do it.
Of course, I have to be able to go out and execute the techniques, but I can’t say enough how grateful I am.

My friend Candy lent us (mostly Serena) the Attack on Titan Playstation 4 game! Which Serena kept inviting me to play, but it was bad timing, because I don’t consider video games relaxing. Anime is relaxing. Video games take mental effort and I never wanna play in the evening after training. Serena is away dogsitting for a week… I took the liberty of starting a game…. sorry Serena? ^^;; I probably won’t finish it because it’s freaking me out that Titans are chasing me, but I just wanted to play a little. Thanks, Candy!!!!

And in the Attack on Titan anime Eren did freaking DE LA RIVA SWEEP on the armored titan! HAHA JIUJITSU FOR THE WIN!!! sort of…

Oh yeah, the Ultimate Fighter tryouts. I did the tryouts! “Oh did you make it?” everybody and their brother are asking me.

Come on, guys.

The first rule of the Ultimate Fighter is you do not TALK about the Ultimate Fighter. LOL Whether people made it or didn’t, nothing is decided, and even if it was, I couldn’t tell you. So quit asking.

It was cool to meet a lot of people I knew there! There are a bunch of women I hope make it!

And I didn’t know a lot of ladies. Upon researching some, I found women from other weight divisions trying out. I totally understand and can’t fault them, but…… the UFC finally opened 125, so I hope 125-ers get chosen for the show, know what I mean? Barb Honchak was there! ooooooh I hope we both get chosen so we can have a rematch ! She choked me out some number of years ago and I want to prove I’m better. 🙂

Whoever was in charge of matchups chose me and Lauren Murphy to grapple. Then we made friends. 😀 Our match kind of got a lot of press. News sites were posting videos, and I didn’t expect that. At the time, I was excited…I was hoping they’d put me against someone good! I wore my Vegeta rash guard. 😀

Here’s a cool video of the tryouts with a bunch of interview and training clips of me!

I’m so glad I wasn’t injured so that I could do tryouts. I’ve been getting a lot of press, I think, riding the wave of my Invicta victory and then going straight to tryouts. I had my fight braids still in.

Capitao was yelling at me all week, “GO HOME! YOU NEED TO REST!” but I kept trying to do his jiujitsu class. lol Did I listen to him? Kind of. Not really. Finally Monday, I did MMA class.

So I’ve been wanting to interview Jennifer Maia for the website I occasionally write for,, but I couldn’t speak Portuguese, so I emailed Invicta asking them to set it up. They told me to wait, and then never got back to me. That was October. Dude, she’s the champion and I haven’t seen ANY interviews out about why she started MMA or anything about her! That’s too bad! She seems like a good person. Well guess what. I can speak Portuguese now (kind of) so I just Instagram messaged her and she agreed to do my interview! My friend Thais will help me translate this! (She doesn’t know this yet, but she will :D) I’m so excited!!!

yeah, I interview my opponents.

okay gotta go train now.
Here’s a nice interview I did.

My Invicta 23 experience!

Posted in fight on May 23rd, 2017 by roxyfighter

I flew to Kansas City Wednesday night, and Thursday was a little crazy. One of my coaches had to catch a later flight, and the other coach’s flight got delayed like 7 hours because of snow in Denver. My friend Jessica suddenly couldn’t come because of travel arragement issues, and I rearranged our sleeping arragements last minute. But it worked out. John arrived in time to do the photo shoot….thanks, photo team, for waiting a little longer for us!

I got to chat with Mike and Kristy Crilly, fans who became sponsors, and then friends!

It was epic.
Then I cut weight a bit with mitts and jump rope in a sauna suit.
Friday I woke up early and finished my water cut in the bathtub, weighed in, and went out for burritos with my team, new friends, and Tonya Evinger! 🙂

I ordered “Big as yo face burrito!” haha it was!

Then weigh-ins were fun. For me. Sarah apparently hated them. 😡 As she got in my face on the stage I remember thinking, “Her hair is so cool. WHOA here she comes!….okay we’re doing a close-range one. Where should my eyes focus now?”

Friday was fight day. I woke up and immediately felt my guts clench. I get a nervous stomach and diahhrea before fights, usually starting after breakfast, not before. :/ It’s an interesting phenomenon because my mind and emotions are perfectly calm, but my body KNOWS what’s going on. I couldn’t eat as big a breakfast as I had intended!

After my coaches woke up and ate, we decided to go to a small aquarium downtown so I could distract myself. Last time, we went to a small Zoo in Montana and it made my nervous guts go away all day. 🙂 So that was fun and perfect!

I think I managed a small nap around 2 PM. Then Fight time! We went to the venue, I took my Imodium AD, (thank GOODNESS for drugs), waited around, John wrapped my hands, I warmed up, and did my thing.

I was definitely in trouble in the first round. The first punch rocked me. I remember getting hit, things went dark for a second, and then I circled out and tried to be active while brain was recovering. Later, people told me I fell down and popped back up. I must have had a Rock Lee moment there. (He got back to his feet while still unconscious)

Her punches were SO hard. Coach John was reminding me that she would come out the strongest in the first round, and I should do feints and pulls and make her miss and then come in. That’s what I did, and ended up clipping her on a forward charge and knocked her down. In my haste to hit her, I went right into her guard, which isn’t really good. But from there, I proceeded to play my ground game. She has really great submission defense. She hit me another time that made me feel a little wobbly, but I think I did a good job of not letting it show.
(image from Sherdog)

In the second round? When I tried for the armbar, man, I thought I could get it! When she started picking me up, I thought “OH FUDGE, I’m in the air! nooooooooo not another slam” and tucked my head.

Then I managed to hook her leg and hold on for dear life. FOR DEAR LIFE. lol (I’ve lost two big fights by KO from being slammed on my head)

I got a few knock downs!

(invicta photographer)

In the third round, I managed to avoid her strikes and get a single-leg and did some ground and pound.

She was blocking and trying to buck me off, and I was a little surprised when the ref stopped the fight, but then she didn’t get up….. :/ and then the cutman came over and said, “Let me wipe the blood off you.” I was like, “Blood?” and my arm was covered with blood. I tried not to look at it. Ironically, I think I drew the most blood in the card and I’m the fighter who least wants to. It was a really weird feeling. My adrenaline was crazy, I was a little worried for her at the same time being thrilled…. I didn’t really see that I had cut her because her hands were in the way. I saw a little blood, but I didn’t realize it was so much because I had gotten off her by then. I was so excited I had won, but I knelt down out of respect until she got up. I’m kind of irritated the staff wouldn’t let my coaches in the cage immediately. :/

This was a huge victory, not just winning the fight, but winning it against Sarah since she’s so good. I also managed to knock someone down, something I haven’t done much of in the past. Coach John said my strikes were stronger, and he was right. I’m so happy I could do the techniques he taught me. Also, my jiujitsu is better. Capitao has been making a big effort to teach me things, in class, and also pulling me asside after class. He always has time for my questions and enthusiastically supports me, emotionally, as well.

I won my previous fight by armbar, but I felt that my ground and pound wasn ‘t that strong, so the very next week I asked John to give me a ground and pound private session. He taught me so many little details and I used them ALL in this fight! Like, how to punch from sitting on the stomach vs grapevined and putting pressure, or how to make your opponent turn their face to the side underneath you and aim punches, how to elbow from a high position knees under the armpits, or from pinching my knees together while they’re on their side, or from a position sitting on their hips. Etcetera! (please ignore the fact this is a run-on-sentence)

My dad said on the phone yesterday that learning from your wins is just as important as learning from your losses, and it’s a sign of a successful person. He chuckled that like three different websites called me “vicious.”

I went and read the forums, like, reddit, and sherdog, and not a single person had any critisism about my striking or technique. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Even the sherdog guys, who are usually the meanest, were impressed! YAY I IMPRESSED SHERDOG. hahaha

My coaches were so happy with me, and I’m ecstatic that I could make them proud and show the world that I used their coaching to win and be successful.

I also couldn’t have done it without my great training partners at Team Syndicate. I never want to train anywhere else. Also, my sponsors help me pay my bills! Thank you for your love, support, products, and financial aid!

And I have the best fans who would support me if I won or lost. I love you! And my friends Katie and Candy, also Luz who traveled a distance to watch me fight, and Eric H also! I have more pictures and more things to say but I’m in a hurry because I have to leave for the Ultimate Fighter tryouts now. lol thank goodness I’m not injured. Wish me luck..

Great fight, Sarah. I hope you heal up fast.

Invicta prep! Mental challenges, my student, Rowdy Rollers BJJ, team, choked out, sponsors

Posted in dream, every day, fight, friends, fun, training on May 13th, 2017 by roxyfighter

Do you ever get that day where you’ve been working hard and one day you feel like crap and you decide to stay home and take a day off from exercising because you know you’d just have a bad performance and it’s better to rest up and be better the next day?

That’s the smart thing to do, but I never do it. I cannot rest.

I’d rather go and fail or do poorly, than not go. “You can’t ‘not even try!'” I would tell myself. Even my dad said to me one time, “Resting is difficult for Modafferis.” Everyone with my dad’s bloodline is constantly on the go. You should hear about what my Aunt Connie does daily… raised three kids while working as an elementary/middle school music teacher full-time, taught private piano lessons daily after school, taught choir after school (or what is school chorus? whichever!) and on weekends at the church AND THE SCHOOL, and SANG masses at her church…

She’s amazing. I don’t think she knows that I admire her. I love my Modafferi bloodline, but I’m also glad I have my mom’s bloodline, too. Her family is long-lived…. everyone’s lived into their 90s, and my grandfather was 102 when he passed. Maybe I’m not a vampire after all, but her blood is keeping me looking young. Or maybe she’s a vampire?!?!

But I digress.

Two Thursdays ago, I kinda lost it. I was so mentally tired. I’m not afraid to say it because most people don’t know about what a fighter goes through mentally. Taking care of yourself mentally is just as important as physically, for fighters and non-fighters alike. I found a pretty good balance in my normal life, but when I fight prep, my rest periods go towards conditioning.

I’ve been told that if a fighter doesn’t cry or have a fit at least once in their training camp, they’re not training hard enough. I’ve been doing MMA, jiujitsu, conditioning, plus teaching my kids jiujitsu and privates for weeks on end, only skipping martial arts on Sunday. But that’s my yoga day (I hate yoga so I’m still forcing myself to ‘train,’) and chore day.

Thursday I did my stairs conditioning, went into BJJ, felt unmotivated but did it anyway because BJJ is life, and then did MMA class. My mind was just so tired. I felt like the past weeks were one continuous day. I’d been sleeping but I felt like I hadn’t, you know?

I remember standing in front of my first sparring partner, Serena, raising my hands, hearing John say “Work Time!” and a little voice in my head said, “Again? I don’t want to do this right now….”

Damnit. Whenever the audible voice pops up in my head, it’s bad news. I haven’t heard myself think for ages. It’s something that shows I’m not focused, that I haven’t tapped into my subconscious instinct for feeling the fight.

We sparred and I performed like crap. In the second round, I sparred with Jessy, and performed like crap. One time she hit me and I saw flashes of white. After that round, that was it.

(Jessica happened to be taking pictures during my horrible round. ug! noooo)

I went into Casey’s office and cried on him for two rounds. -_-

It was weird because nothing was really wrong. I was so excited about everything. I was too excited. I was excited about my fight – great camp, no injuries, I’m in phenominal shape! My personal life is fine, my kids classes are spectacular, the UFC is opening 125, my future looks bright… “Why…am…I…crying?” I cried to Casey. lol My mind seemed solid, but my emotions were tired and my body was just randomly crying.

There was a disconnect there.
I’m gonna make fun of myself with a “feels” meme now.

“You know,” Casey said, “You are one of the most mentally strong people I know. It takes a lot of mental strength to do what you do.”

I keep thinking back to college, where I was SO stressed out because I had to juggle tons of classes, studying, part-time job, training, personal life, etc. I thought that was the most stressful time of my life. But I guess it’s not fair to compare stresses in different time-periods, just like it’s not fair for two people to compare their stresses. We are different people at different stages of our lives. If you’re stressed, you’re stressed. Don’t belittle it. Saying, “You shouldn’t be stressed because I just got fired and my pet died and my boyfriend left me” really doesn’t make me feel any less stressed, and in fact, makes one feel guilty.

Anyway. I felt a little better after that. Thank you, Casey, for always being there for me. He suggested I stop training for the day. (It was my third session of the day anyway) but then one of my favorite Rob Zombie song came on, and I felt the need to redeem myself. It’s never too late. One of my favorite quotes came from Ronda Rousey when she said, “Training to be a champion on your worst day.” On my honor as a martial artist, I will finish the class.

So I sparred with Mike, and I had a great match! Really great. I felt reinflated, if that makes sense. Thanks, Casey, thanks Mike, thanks Rob Zombie. Then I did the drilling cool down at the end and can say proudly that I finished class and didn’t give up.

I was kind of hiding from Coach John during class… I didn’t want him to see me cry. ._. Later when I talked to him, he said the same thing as Casey. “Fighters aren’t always going to have perfect days every day. It’s just one of those days.”

I went home and took an ice bath (gah!) and watched Transformer movies online for the rest of the day. lol Lorenzo had been telling me to take a break, but I had no time to take a break! I’ve been going non-stop….lucky I haven’t gotten sick.

Friday I had a really hard conditioning session with Lorenzo. x_x ug. I was able to push through that with no problem. Then the weekend was a little rearranged, and I was hoping that would help me mentally recover. It did!

So Saturday I coached my student Preston at his first jiujitsu tournament. There was only one other kid in his division. He used to be hesitant to do takedowns, and if he felt himself failing, he would fall on his butt (and promptly get mounted) rather than risk being thrown and slammed. So we’ve been training takedown strategy so much. I’m so proud of the fact that he went out there and bravely grabbed his opponent!

His opponent tried o-soto-gari, which is HIS favorite throw, so he pushed forward and tried for a single/ double leg takedown! I taught him to think o-soto, and if it didn’t work, immediately switch to the double-leg. Jessy’s been working a lot of wrestling with him, too. He started the takedown but they fell awkwardly and the opponent got on top and held him down with kesa-gatame, scarf hold.

Preston managed to almost get out, but then the opponent tried to mount but Preston got half guard. WEEeeee! getting half guard instead of getting mounted was something else we trained a lot!! They got restarted in the middle. I yelled to Preston to get his guard back. He got his guard back and immediately tried for the choke! He’s so good at it! His opponent spent the next minute fending off his choke.

Preston couldn’t get it and unfortunately lost on points. 🙁 The opponent was really good…really smooth. Seemed too good. I asked casually to the coach next to me, “How long has your student been training?” He said, “Oh two years.”

What? Excuse me, but usually a student training for two years doesn’t have a white belt with only one stripe on it……………………………..or compete in a white belt division… just saying……………

But that makes me even MORE proud of Preston for doing so well against an opponent with over double the experience he has.

So on Monday, I promoted Preston to gray-white belt.

The IBJJF guidelines say after 6 months the kids get a new belt, but I think that’s too soon to learn the basics. I want my gray belts to be strong and have a good base, especially if they’re gonna compete. I have a list of techniques they have to know. And Preston knows them. Preston has been training for about 7 or 8 months, and he’s learned so fast because he comes literally every day and does private lessons with me twice a week.

I’m so so proud of him!!

On Sunday, I went to Las Vegas Rowdy Rollers, an all-female open mat organized by Mylene from Chris Engle’s BJJ school.

I had such a great time!

I love Mylene! She’s so cool and skilled and nice and talented. *_* Last January? when I rolled with her, I was a purple belt and she was brown.
This time, she was black and I was brown and she STILL whooped my butt, but I felt like I didn’t get whooped quite as badly? Maybe it’s my imagination. I think I fixed some mistakes, but it’s hard for me to remember. She had given me some tips so I really wanted to show that I had improved.
Jiujitsu is fun!!

And I rolled with this lady only known as “Tammi” and when I went home and googled her, I found that she’s some BJJ world champion who beat Mackenzie Dern at one point? Holy cannoli! That’s why she wiped the floor with me. hah! Tapped me out with this nifty shoulder lock from guard.

Monday I felt back to normal!! Alexa Connors joined Syndicate and Monday was the first day we trained together! I love training with her! Thanks for the training and welcome to Syndicate!

We really have a great team of female fighters at Syndicate. Here’s another pic of another day, and Serena and Alexa aren’t even in the pic…

Also had a great mitt sessions with John this week, and shark tanks. I was on fire this week. Hard training, solid mentally. I know I’m well-prepared for my fight against Sarah D’lelio. It’s next Saturday! Broadcast on Fightpass. I leave on Wednesday.

I hope this is the official fight poster…it’s cool. My face is on it. XD

These photos taken by Jessica Bakan, our resident photographer. (She is also for hire, if anyone needs a professional photographer for profile pictures, weddings, fashion shoots, whatever. contact Bakanphotography at )

On Monday, I was grappling with Captain. I’m pretty hard to choke, if I do say so myself. So he got me in this guillotine. I’m fighting it but it’s pretty tight. I’m still able to breathe so I’m wiggling and fighting, and I can feel him transitioning to something. I’m starting to get dizzy and fade out, so I decide to tap, but one of my arms is trapped somehow and the other one was twisted under us, so I tried to reach and tap his hands. I’m sitting at a desk in my University in Japan just finishing up a test. It was my International Persuasion class. My classmates are all around me. My friend Katie was there. Then the teacher says, “Okay everyone outside! Recess!” That’s weird, recess at this age? So I get up and file out into the grassy field and I’m chatting with people. Then the world kind of turns on it’s side and I see people grappling with each other. I’m so confused. I sit up strait and say, “Where am I? Where am I? Where am I?” like three or four times. I look around. What is going on? I see Captain staring at me and then starts to laugh. It took me about 60 seconds to realize that I got choked unconscious and that was a choke dream!! I stood up and fell back down. LOL It felt like a week had passed! I was so confused. He said he didn’t feel me tap. He said it was a head-arm triangle, realized I wasn’t moving and let me go. I don’t even remember the head arm triangle. LOL I think I went out as I was trying to tap. oops
So here’s a meme that I made earlier this year and I’ll post it in honor of this moment.

Captain’s been going out of his way to help me prepare for my fight. He planted himself next to me when we were drilling in John’s class all this week and gave me tips.

I’ve been watching My Hero Academia, a GREAT anime, and I’ll post a quote from it!

I’m very grateful to my sponsors for this fight.

Dragon Do Fight Gear, Remove it Restoration, Jenkins Jiujitsu and Aaron, Top Notch fighter and John, Nick Braccia, Fight Face Custom Mouthguards, crew, Cryohelmet , , Katie, Howard Fidler, Aardvark Painting and Robvark, Thug Life Celia, My Consumer I.T. and the Crilly family! I can’t wait to meet you guys.

Preparing for Invicta 23, kids classes, TV, life etc

Posted in every day, fight on May 2nd, 2017 by roxyfighter

My last few blogs were actually stories. This is an update!

Things are going splendidly. I didn’t really stop training much after my previous fight, so my weight is still low and my cardio and stamina are great.

Actually I really suck at maintaining my weight. I’m either gaining or losing. I gained a pound and then went strict with my diet, and before I knew it, I was literally at fight weight and felt drained on a Monday when I should feel refreshed. SOOOOO I ate a lot of tacos for two days in a row. lol And ice cream. And now I feel better.

My next fight is May 20th in Invicta 23 in Kansas City, MO. Invicta made these cool posters! 😀

Working with Lorenzo doing physical training has been helping SO much.

I’m also so glad I added BJJ gi into my schedule on a regular basis, despite it being really physically hard to do double sessions in a row.

I feel it’s helping build and maintain my strength, and it motivates me so much for training, especially on Thursday when I have to do kickboxing right afterwards.

Captain and Casey are the best jiujitsu teachers for me!

I respect them not only because they are good teachers and kind to me, but because they are struggling with their own goals and careers. We look up to people who work hard in the face of diversity, right?
John, as well. Can you imagine not only managing a business, but a gym, which is a living, breathing organism with all kinds of personalities with all sorts of needs.

I’ve been learning new ground and pound stuff from him and little details about things I didn’t even know I didn’t know. Like, wow.
I’ve become super conscious of this nowadays because I’m in an instructor role. I’m taking time to coach my kids at tournaments.

My kids class is growing and growing and now the average is between 15 and 20 every class! Serena used to help me out once in a while, and now I’m depending on her twice a week! Monday I had TWENTY THREE kids! My new record! I’m so pleased!

And because Serena acts goofy when showing technique, the kids pay attention even better!

Nice pictures by Jessica Bakan, our resident photographer.
I love this kid Chris! He works so hard and is very talented…he tried to knee bar me the other day and I kinda adult-muscled out of it. lol
And his little sister Bailee is awesome, too! <3 I'm gonna take pictures of me raising my arms in joy and victory for the rest of my fight camp.

Lately I’ve been watching Sherlock, per Katie’s suggestion.

I’ve also been watching Fairy Tail. On ep 61 now. It’s not too deep and I’m not emotionally evolved in it…I watch it before going to bed and my brain shuts off. LOL It only takes like 2 minutes but then I go from thinking about everything to literally nodding off. Natsu is freaking cool, though. He has Luffy’s stupidity but not quite as bad, Naruto’s stubbornness, and Goku’s love of fighting. I love when he yells “Moette kita ze!” (I’m all fired up now!”) and “kakatte koi ya!” (bring it on!)

Also, I’m excited about the new Attack on Titan! I read the manga like a year ago when it came out, and the anime is almost the same. Slight changes but I like it, because it feels new. As my friend Candy put it, it feels like I’m “living it.”

I’m doing an AMA on Reddit tomorrow (Wednesday) at 6:30 PM PST on the subforum rmma. If you don’t know what that means, ignore this sentence. lol

Congrats to my high school friend Jared on his marriage, and his new wife Christina. I’m sad I didn’t make it. :/

I’ve been trying to rewatch the Transformers so I can see the newest one. I discovered iTunes rentals. The second one wasn’t as bad as the 19% Rotten Tomatoes made it out to be! Well I’ve only ever seen the first one.

I have some nice sponsors for my fight but I still have spots open on my banner and shorts for company logos, names, screen names, funnny words, whatever! lol email me to inquire: