Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

TUF 25 blog week 4 – Nicco vs Lauren

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30th, 2017 by roxyfighter

TUF 26 blog, episode 4

Wednesday July 26th,

I enjoyed working with Vinny today. He reviewed rubber guard with me. I forgot to write in my journal if it was a class or just private training, because we sometimes broke the class and everyone did whatever they wanted, so I often pounced on Vinny and asked him to teach me jiujitsu-y stuff. So yeah, I’m trying to use rubber guard better in MMA situations, or use it to transition, and he taught me some details. Then Luke held mitts for me. I really hate training at night. My body shuts down. When we got home from evening practice, I ate a Quest bar and was about to fall asleep, but listening to Rachael sing in the shower was nice. We aren’t allowed to listen to music, and we’re not allowed to sing either, because of copyrights or whatever. I hope this doesn’t embarrass her by saying this, but she has a really pretty voice and I took my sleeping ear plugs out to listen. haha I think the staff eventually came out and asked her to stop. :/
I woke up at 3 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Thursday July 27th,

Today’s practice was great. We did hard- take-down/ get up scrambles. Team Gaethje coaches emphasise getting back up, rather than allowing yourself to get pushed back and just accepting guard. They have excellent points. “No fight is won from your back!” I actually partially disagree. If you can submit them or sweep them from the bottom, you can absolutely win. That’s definitely a wrestler’s mentality. However, they have a point. These days people are really good at defending submission attempts, and even black belts get pounded out from being on bottom guard. We got a very passionate speech by the coaches during practice. Half of us are jiujitsu girls, the other half, wrestlers. I’ve had times in training or fights where I had to make a split second decision: I’m loosing my balance and going down. Should I try and bounce back up but have to give up my back or allowed myself to get gripped in the process, and have a 50% chance of failing and getting my back taken or mounted? Or should I cut my losses, get my defensive guard position, and work for submission or sweep? It’s a split-second decision, which is made by calculating how tightly are they holding on to me as I’m going down, and can I wriggle out enough to have a high enough percentage of bouncing up before they pin me?

The stuff we were working today was specific situations that it’d be better to scramble to get back up, though, so that was fine. The faster someone can get up, the better, in general.

Today after practice, we showered, ate, hung around, and watched Nicco and Lauren fight! I had never trained with Lauren, but I knew she was coming down a weight-class, was former Invicta champion, and was in the UFC. I had grappled against her in the TUF tryouts and I like her energy. She seems like a good person.

I had no idea about her past, actually, so it was great to get to watch the episode and hear her talk about how she persevered despite hardships earlier on in life. That’s amazing.

I didn’t know Nicco that well, and hadn’t had a lot of opportunities to spar with her much yet. I enjoyed drilling technique with her. I was impressed with her ability, not only technique-wise, but the fact that she could control her power and intensity down to the percentage. If I said, “Hey, let’s go 50% power,” she could. If I said, “Hey, let’s go 33.5485%,” I’m sure she could do that, too. Hahaha It takes skill to do that. I haven’t really seen her fight so I feel like she came out of no-where, so to speak, but she is very skilled. And super nice. And slept in the bunk above me. 😀 She is Navajo, and chatted with us roommies about her home. She taught us a few words in Navajo. I walked in in the middle of the conversation, part of which got shown on TV.

They have sounds that aren’t in the English language and sound funny to our ears. I’m a linguist so I was really digging it, but everyone else cracking up was making me laugh, too. XD

So I was really impressed with their fight, especially Nicco’s kicks, cage reversals, and defense, and offence. Lauren is super aggressive and strong.

Actually, there were two fights in one day, but they split it into two episodes so they could highlight each fighter. Ariel and Montana also fought on this day. Being the Ultimate Fighter, I was going home and taking notes on everybody’s fighting style, after fights and even after practice. This is not devious – this is because I have a sucky memory. haha! Who knows if or when I’d have to fight a teammate, right? All’s fair in love, war, and the Ultimate Fighter.

Friday July 28th,

It feels like I’ve been here forever. Each day holds something new and unusual, so time perception slows down. Yesterday, I got Matt to spar MMA with me. It was fun! Thank you! He’s super skilled, the closest in size to us out of our coaches, and knows how to go hard without smashing us with power. Our coaches are such good sports.

I was pretty sore and got a good workout, but I still worried about being off my normal strength and conditioning routine. I rode the assault bike for a few rounds. I was thinking about throwing a heavy ball, but couldn’t find one the weight I wanted. And after training in class, I didn’t really have motivation because I was sore and sleepy.

TUF 26 episode 3 blog

Posted in Ultimate Fighter/UFC on September 15th, 2017 by roxyfighter

I couldn’t seem to fit in strength and conditioning sessions to my training well. I’ve always struggled with that, though, because doing upper body aggravates various nagging pains and I can’t train MMA on the same day. I missed my trainer Lorenzo. I wished we had a sled or TRX at the TUF gym.

On Tuesdays, we had the morning off (kind of), got sports massages (thanks for bringing in therapists, TUF and UFC!), and then in the evening, we went to the UFC Performance Institute (aka The PI). I think everyone liked it but me. I just had a massage, and I was in recovery mode, so the last thing I wanted to do was do a hard strength and conditioning session three hours later. Am I wrong? We had MMA practice every day besides Tuesday. I seemed to be the only one who was complaining. :/ And if I went “lightly,” the exercises were useless, not strengthening me, and just stopping me from recovering. Oh well, every body is different, right?

So I want to apologize to the trainers who were trying to help me and I was giving them attitude. I tried to just clench my teeth and do it, but I exude negative energy all over the place. I can never hide my feelings, no matter how hard I try. I think I even cried in the bathroom. I was really frustrated at my body, and the situation. I had really wanted to utilize the equipment and get training, just not on Tuesday, which was the only day we could go. Sorry. So the first time we went to the PI I was fighting in a few days, so I didn’t have to work out. I cut weight. The next time I went I forced myself to try it, and felt crappy afterwards. The third time I kind of hid upstairs on the mats and grappled someone and ignored the fact I was supposed to do S&C…. Thank goodness that didn’t get shown on film. I actually cut weight two times there…. Haha One time I did a body scan. If you look carefully, there’s one quick scene of my head sticking out of the cryotherapy chamber. There were more things I didn’t get to try. OH! The body scan was great! I had been worrying about my bone density because…… TMI alert, but if you really wanna keep reading……..

For about 7 years while I was living in Japan, I stopped getting my period. Maybe like twice a year. I went to the doctor and he confirmed that it was probably because of my strenuous exercise and low weight and body weight.

But…. he calculated and I didn’t have that low body fat. It was like 25 or 27%, I forget exactly now, but I was confused because I thought I would have lower. Anyway, the body takes calcium from your bones due to some estrogen balance, so he told me to take calcium pills. Female athletes: 14 to 20%, Fit women: 21 to 24% , Healthy/acceptable: 25 to 32%, Overweight: 33% plus.

I got scanned and it showed that my bone density was great! Even above average! YESSSSsss! And I was 15% body fat I think? That blows my mind but makes sense. I’m like 10 lbs heavier now than I was in Japan when it was calculated, but gained more muscle, so cool? So I felt super accomplished.

/end TMI

Female athletes have problems most people have no idea about.

The resident nutritionist gave us hand-outs about how to weight cut properly! I knew it all already, and actually, the fact that I was already doing it was great reassurance.

So Justin said he was going to take us bowling, and I was so excited! Until I heard everyone was leaving at 8:30 or 9. I had been going to bed by 9:30. I literally cannot sleep in, so if I go to bed at midnight or 12:30 after getting home, for example, I’d still be waking up at 4:30 AM. Sadly, I decided to pass. Nicco, my teammate and bunk-mate also passed, so I didn’t feel like a total loser. LOL Everyone else got all dolled up, had fun, and danced a lot. This is why I’m single. I prioritize sleep over going out. I feel like I’d be a boring girlfriend, unless my man were also a morning person….

okay so moving on from that….

I felt like I needed a few more rounds of hard sparring, so I plotted with Maia and Rachael in our room before bed. The next day in class, we did clinch work for technique that day, and then requested sparring afterwards after class broke. He approved. Karine was on medical suspension from having just fought, poor Gillian got sick with food poisoning, and Montana just made weight, so it was just Maia, Rachael, and I. It felt great! We did one minute rounds shark-tank style with Vinny watching and timing us. We did one round with each other, and then the odd person out did flurries of ground and pound on the heavy bag. Then assistant coach Luke jumped in and we did added specific wall wrestling in addition to full MMA sparring. Before practice, I had done abs in the living room by doing navy seals and mountain climbers sliding on the hardwood floor with socks, so all around, it was a fantastic session.

We went more lightly at night. I asked Luke to hold mitts for me. He showed me a few combinations that I liked that kinda fit into my style.

That’s what was going on with me during the time the third episode was filmed. I really liked seeing Ariel and Montana’s home videos. I didn’t know much about Ariel but ended up chatting with her more later on in the season. I found out how she used to do rodeo a lot! How unique! I like her a lot.

Montana ended up being one of my most frequent sparring partners. Due to our fight schedules, we ended up training more with certain people.
Her ground is sick! Her wrestling is better than mine, so I got a lot of practice defending take-downs. lol And her long arms. And this! I was constantly trying to stop her from taking my back or defending it. haha I loved training with her.

She talked a lot about her daughter so it was cool to watch the episode and see footage of her.

The fight was good.

Montana sunk in a D’Arce choke and at first I thought Ariel had defended it so Montana should switch to something else, but she didn’t let go and then Ariel tapped. Alrighty then! wow. I was impressed.

shout out to my sponsor Mei Li Fighting! She makes my favorite shorts. They’re so comfortable, durable, and cool-looking. They’re designed for women but fit men and there are men’s cuts, too.

It was a “smile and carry on” kind of week

Posted in every day, friends, training on September 12th, 2017 by roxyfighter

“Why are you always so happy?”

I get that a lot. I’m not always happy. I just try and use thinking techniques to see the good in situations (Pollyanna’s Glad Game anyone?).

Last week, for example, was terrible for me. However, I have family, friends, and my home, so it’s nothing compared to what people in Texas or Florida or the Islands south of there are going through, so let me just get that out of the way and say best wishes and safety to them.

When I got back from the Ultimate Fighter, I found the Syndicate training schedule had been changed. My recovery periods, sparring days, massage days, and physical training days got all discombobulated. I’ve been trying to find a new balance and for the past two weeks, I haven’t been successful at all. It has been sucking…..

Captain stopped teaching jiujitsu classes at Syndicate. That was the biggie of the week. I am pretty upset to put it lightly.

Hopefully he’ll be able to focus more on his MMA training because I’m sure it was a hard schedule for him to teach morning and evening in addition to training. I really like Casey’s jiujitsu classes, so that’s good. Tom Lawlor teaches a great no-gi class. See how hard I’m trying to be positive? I also consider Captain a fight trainer since he corners me and makes an effort to teach me jiujitsu for MMA.

I lost motivation to train last week, which never happens, and actually went home early on Thursday because I just couldn’t. I did a lot of strength and conditioning, though. That’s good.

On the positive side, I’ve taken a few private lessons with Captain and they were RIDICULOUSLY USEFUL. I started implementing all these little details and I’ve gotten a TON of stuff on various people over the past week! That’s really really important and good!

Every day I have to get stronger and better somehow! It’s a race! Every day is a race.

On another positive side, I’m home at Syndicate instead of being locked in the TUF house. I have my car, my friends, my head coach, etc. One of my sick family members is doing better lately, so I’m relieved about that.
I’ve been talking to my Aunt Mary more, which is really nice. I’m trying to keep in touch with my extended family more now that I’m an adult and not in Japan anymore, but it’s still hard, you know?
I’ve been talking to my dad more, which is nice. Same deal- he’s so busy he doesn’t call me that much, and I don’t want to bother him. But I miss him! Lately I’ve been trying to call more.
I made phone dates with my mom to talk every Sunday at 3 PM, because with our schedules, we just weren’t talking AT ALL, which is unacceptable. Now it’s weekly! 🙂
My computer stopped erroring and making me restart it.
I’ve been doing a lot of strength training lately.

My cardio suffered a bit…well, maybe that was because I didn’t do ANY SPARRING CLASSES LAST WEEK. Which was my choice, of course…. or not. I’ve been doing stairs regularly! A few of my training partners went out of their way to say I felt stronger and I hadn’t even been talking about the training I’ve been doing! So that’s good. I guess I can’t do everything. Maybe these past few weeks were meant to be the “strength training.” I’ve gained some weight but not a lot.
I’ve been enjoying watching The Ultimate Fighter episodes. I’ve gotten some nice fans reaching out and writing to me! thanks guys! I’ve also been getting a bunch of foot fetish people…. ummmmm I know I post pictures of my socks all the time, but I didn’t realize it would bring those guys out. Well, feet are great! I really love my feet. I don’t think I’m at the “fetish” point, though. One guy wrote about how he loved my ‘beautiful pink soles.’ um, I don’t know who’s feet you are looking at because they are obviously not mine. My feet are gross fighter’s feet, yellow skin, calloused, with super short nails because they keep breaking. Don’t look at my feet. LOL

My kids class has been good.

I’ve been now running into the problem where my best students don’t want to train with each other. WHY NOT? Because they are 5 or 6 years old, and there is no good reason. “I don’t like him” or ” I don’t wanna” or “he’s goes rough.” yeah, he’d say the same about you. But I want them to go because of size, strength, and skill. The second I stand over one pair for too long, somebody off in the corner gets bonked and starts crying. “Oh you clunked heads and bit your lip. Where is your mouth guard? Home? THEN TOO BAD! Suck it up. -_- ” But I can’t say that. Then if I go try and comfort him, (I say ‘him’ because honestly I haven’t had many female tears. Just saying) I hear some commotion and somebody’s goofing off or going too roughly. So there’s a skill in managing a big kids class. It’s not easy. I venture to say that I’m good at it. It took A LOT OF WORK to become good at it. Some kids ask me, “Can we free roll now?” but that’s actually my least favorite time of class, because I can’t just pair them up and say “Go.” I have to make sure they are paired with partners they will actually do jiujitsu with. Not grab by their hands and swing around, or run around each other in circles. LOL

Oh, the joys of teaching 5-7 year olds. It’s either get student complaints (why can’t I go with him!?!?!) or get parent complaints (he was going too roughly on my daughter). So obviously, sorry kids, do what I say because I’m twice your size. 🙂

I’ve made rules I try and repeat a lot at every opportunity, so hopefully they’ll hear my voice in their sleep. For example, no fighting until I say ‘fight.’ (i.e. You there, near the wall! Stop trying to choke Jet! It’s only warm-up time!). Never complain about your partner I assign to you or I’ll make you sit in a corner, because it’ll hurt their feelings. And I don’t care what you want.

I punish them mercilessly for those two things.

oooooookay anyway.

Last week, I went with Serena to Texas De Brazil for dinner.

It was a really expensive Brazilian BBQ restaurant that I love but never go because I could do a lot of things with $100 besides have one dinner. hahaha but I always think about it before every fight. “Man, I’m training so hard, with my next fight money, I’m gonna go!” but I never end up going. But Serena was also having a crappy week, so we went, screw it!

Serena and I also hung out at Captain’s to watch the UFC this weekend. That was great!

When Coach John walked in the gym yesterday I felt the biggest wave of sweet relief wash over me. ;_; He was away for a full week cornering Cory Hendricks, who won by sweet head kick to GNP. yay

So my mood was crap literally every day last week and I had stress dreams. But so many good things happened, as I listed. You need to list and fully appreciate and savor the good things, to help your brain not focus on the bad things. It’s not like you are ignoring them. You have to deal with the negative, but just keep on reminding yourself of the positive.

TUF 26 – episode 2 blog

Posted in Ultimate Fighter/UFC, Uncategorized on September 7th, 2017 by roxyfighter

I love my intro clip!!!!!!!!!!!!

shooting energy blasts is awesome!

Anyway. Welcome to my blog/ journal surrounding Ep 2, which was the first and second week we were in the house.

I hated our training schedule. It screwed up my eating schedule. We trained from 12-2, and then 6 PM-8. I have to try and have a smaller breakfast because I don’t need it to hold me from 4 AM to 1 PM like I do back home. I usually eat so much for breakfast that it was weird not, and I felt emptier. Then, I ate half a lunch before practice and half afterwards. I hated the feeling but we had no choice. The other team got the 10 AM – 12, 4:00 PM-6 time slot.

So I feel like Justin’s style is kickboxing, but his roots are wrestling. I think in his fights, he uses his wrestling to avoid getting taken down, and in turn KOs his opponents. He and his coaches told us from the beginning that we’d be doing a lot of wrestling. I ended up learning some nice things. I liked going with my new teammates and experiencing their skill and style. We also went with the coaches a lot. I ended up getting confused and struggled with certain things because their way of explaining things is different than Coach John’s.

“I’m confusing the sh*t out of you,” Justin said at one point. The cameras were all over us.
It wasn’t his fault at all. “It’s me! Not you!” I said, chagrined.

My brain just absorbs stuff a certain way. Great, now my dumb confused look will be all over TV I thought. What would John say? ‘Stop overthinking it, you do this all the time.’ Alright, fine! ~_~; So I just did some move (the shuffle step) that I might do in a similar situation, and Justin said, “That was it! That was it exactly!” Then I realized the step he was describing WAS what I do all the time, just with a different name. And then everybody says “You’re overthinking it” and I get irritated because it’s not like that. 🙁 I’m “detail-oriented.” Once I told them that, they made a special effort to come over and explain a little more about the situation I would do the move in, distancing, etc, which is EXACTLY what I needed.

Team Gaethje coaches had so much knowledge to give us and were so friendly and supportive in doing it. At the same time I missed Syndicate like crazy, I loved them. I really liked Luke Caudillo’s way of holding mitts. It reminded me a little bit of John’s. I usually asked him to hold for me, and also help corner me in my fight.

We got to go to the UFC Performance Institute every Tuesday. I got to try the Cryotherapy chamber and had it set to moderate. All I felt was cold gas on my skin, but it didn’t feel like it penetrated my body and I noticed zero effectiveness afterwards. Maybe I should have tried the highest setting but I was scared. lol I think I’ll stick with ice baths from now on.

After my fight, the brought over sushi and games. We played a bag tossing game and I was doing quite well. Then charades. We all wrote words on scraps of paper and put them in the pot to draw. The FIRST card I drew was “sex.”


Soooooooooo I made the motions of embracing someone and kissing them……and people were guessing, “Dancing,” “romance,” “love,” “Making out.”


Because I refused to hump the air on national TV. I have an image to uphold. LOL

Anyway. So Karine vs DeAnna. I’ve been making friends with Karine. I could tell from talking to her immediately that she had basic grammar knowledge for simple present for level 1 verbs, a few simple pasts, and the ability to make future using “will.” From my experienced teaching English as a second language at Berlitz Japan, I know how to speak slowly and simply, making sure my words don’t run into each other changing the sound, also avoiding slang. Beginners don’t know slang. “I luveedingcheesenbred.” That looks weird, right? It sounds weird to beginners cuz the “t” often becomes voiced and takes on the “d” sound when spoken quickly. (like water) Also “and” often becomes “n,” right?

/end teacher tangent

I tried to teach her more vocab, and have her repeat incorrect sentences correctly. 🙂 Practicing a language is just like practicing sports: you can’t just think it, you have to do it! Let your tongue practice! I only had a few real “grammar lessons” with her. It was mostly words here and there.
(screen shots are copyright TUF or UFC)

So I met DeAnna here and there at Invictas, and I liked her. Then we got set to fight and fought. I won by decision. I think she lost her last fight. I can’t deny I had mixed feelings leading up to this fight. I wanted DeAnna to get back on the winning streak, but I didn’t want my teammate to lose, either. Gah. Such is the nature of the Jungle.

The UFC brings in someone to cornrow our hair the night before the fights. (THANK YOU, TUF!) I made sure Karine knew the hair braider lady was coming (she had gone to bed, expecting it to be done the next day). Phew, glad I stuck my nose into her business. Then again, having lived in Japan for 8 years, I’ve struggled and been helped numerous times by native Japanese friends who know how things work.

It was really cool to see Karine’s home video now as I’m home watching TUF on TV! She talked about her boyfriend a lot, so I know she missed him! She also drew pictures of the Ararat mountains, and gave me a mini-history lesson of Armenia. I wondered what her gym was like as she described it, and it was cool to see her teaching kids, just like me!

I hadn’t known the story of DeAnna’s dad until she told me one day when we were hanging out or taking a walk, I forget. I liked getting to see her gym and home and pictures, too. And it’s nice not to be the weirdest person in a group anymore! HAHA. Excuse me, not weird, ‘unique.’ 🙂 (I totally would have joined in the monkey business outside if I had known!)

Man, I had heard Emily got hurt but I happened to not be at practice that day. I think it was the day after my fight, so I stayed home. It sucked so much for her. I felt so sad watching the footage. :/

So DeAnna went out there and performed well. Karine got stuck against the cage and couldn’t get out. Holy top pressure. DeAnna is dangerous!

She tried her hardest but it wasn’t enough. When she got back into the lockerroom, she was in tears. Everyone hugged her and tried to comfort her, despite knowing that nothing would make the pain feel any better. We’ve all experienced loss, and it’s the depths of hell. It’s not just that you don’t succeed….. but you’ve sweat, toiled, pushed, struggled, and of course enjoyed many days, weeks, months, years of training to get ready for THIS ONE BIG OPPORTUNITY….and you couldn’t achieve your goal. In front of the entire country, or world. Half naked. Getting physically beaten down, and your entire strength of your body, heart, soul, willpower, ki energy, wasn’t enough. Then when you win, it’s the highest joy and happiness, like it was all worth something.

I’ve said this before, but that’s why I NEVER boo fighters, and I ALWAYS respect all fighters.

After a few minutes, I tried to encourage everyone to just let her be. Let her cry. Let her get it out. Everyone was trying to make her stop crying. If it were me, I’d want just my coach to say a few words and that’s it. (But that’s how I figured out how to hide in the bathroom. lol) I have actually cried a bunch of times on TUF but you’re not gonna see any footage. 😛 I learned my lesson.
Anyway, everybody’s different in how they react. Maybe she needed it. Who I am I to say? Miesha was really sweet with what she said and did.

I was sad and happy at the same time. It was a very bizarre state to be in.

Thanks for reading, guys!

shout out to one of my sponsors who is sponsoring this blog, at

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TUF 26 Episode 1: Roxy’s blog

Posted in fight, Ultimate Fighter/UFC, Uncategorized on September 2nd, 2017 by roxyfighter

When I walked into the TUF gym for the first time…for the SECOND time as a contestant, I thought, “Welcome to the jungle. Here I go again. This time, it’ll be different.”

We saw Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje standing before us on either side of a big TV screen. I admit I fan-girled over Eddie a little bit at first. I’ve been watching him fight for years, and it turns out that we started fighting the same year, 2003, within months of each other! I wanted to be on his team so badly. I knew Justin was the WSOF champ and an exciting fighter, but didn’t know much about him personally.

On the way over, I had said to DeAnna, “Hey, when we are paired up for evaluations, do you wanna be partners? Since we already fought, you already know my game….” I was, not nervous, but I guess you could say wary, because we didn’t know the teams yet. I’d train with my teammates no problem, but I didn’t know who I was fighting first, so I didn’t wanna show them my favorite moves. DeAnna was all for it. When we got split up, we were in different groups. I politely told the staff that DeAnna and I would like to work together, so could we change groups? The friendly staff politely replied no, go with my assigned group. ^^;;

dang it

So I made a bee line for Rachael Ostovich-Berdon, who I was friends with on Instagram. I had posed with her many times at Invicta in our weigh-in costumes. lol

(I screen-capped the episode so images are copyrighted TUF or UFC or whoever)

We were with Team Gaethje’s coaches first. Justin, his striking coach Trevor Whittman, his training partner and wrestling coachMatt Lopez (current UFC fighter), striking coach Luke “Lil’ Hulk” Caudillo (former UFC/Strikeforce/etc fighter), and Vinny Magalhaes BJJ trainer! (fighter and my former teammate!).

Whaaaaat! VINNY?! I gave him a big hug.

Matt had us do strikes into take-down fit ins, to test our ability. Matt took turns going with each of us at least once. Then, we did rounds on the heavy bags observed by Luke. Trevor and Justin sat on a bench and briefly interviewed us. Why do we fight? Our motivation. Our heroes. etc I was impressed. It seemed very thorough.

Throughout this process, I kept hearing crashes and commotion coming from the cage area. (We were on the grappling mats.) “Dang, what are they doing over there?” I thought, about Team Alvarez evaluations. Then they went over to the treadmill and had the fighters run.

After one hour passed, we switched. I admit I was a little nervous …. I got to chat briefly with Eddie and he asked me about living in Japan. He had fought in Japan! Then he said, “OKay gear up. You’re sparring. 70%!”

I was like, “ummmmmmmmmm oh crap.” None of us had trained at all in a week before hand. I didn’t really WANT to spar someone since I didn’t know who I’d be fighting. I didn’t trust people to go easy….I didn’t want to go hard. I didn’t want to get beat up because I was going easy and they were going hard.

My first partner was Sijara. I remember chatting with her during the tryouts. She was so cool! A black belt in BJJ, we both agreed that if we’d get into the house, we’d bring our gi’s and try and get some gi training in. “Hey, Sijara,” I said, putting on my shin guards and she her helmet. “Sooo Eddie said 70% but that seems a bit much. Do you wanna go like 50% or something? Just show our technique?”

She smiled at me. “Oh no, he said 70%, so that’s cool! Let’s just do that!”

crap. ;_; alrighty then!

It really sucked. There was a heavybag in the middle of the cage dividing it so a few groups could go, so I barely had space. I was sliding all over the slippery plastic flooring since it wasn’t quite canvas… “Okay okay what do I know about Sijara?” I asked myself as we started testing jabs. I had followed her on instagram and she posted all these pics of her with her boxing coach. “Okay boxing boxing boxing….” suddenly I was in a front headlock …guillotine…or something. She had my neck and I couldn’t move. lol “JIUJITSU BLACK BELT!” My brain screamed at me. It was kind of a stalemate since I couldn’t move because of the headgear, and our gloves were so bulky she couldn’t quite get a blood choke. I forget if I tapped to get her to let go or if it was a crank or what but I survived that and then we switched partners. I think I sparred Maia? She was so fast. I was getting lit up when I stood in front of her. I couldn’t move well. I didn’t want to hit her back too hard! I looked horrible. Then I went with Rachael and she did some beautiful take downs and spinning stuff and finally I was tired of getting beat up because I couldn’t get my aggressiveness going, and I think I was like “RAAAAR” and flurried hard and took her down. I think it was Rachael I was sparring with. My memory isn’t the best under stress. lol I mean, Eddie is right when he says it’s the best way to see people’s abilities…I just… x_x wasn’t ready.

Anyway, then Eddie said he wanted to test our fitness by having us do sprints. My heart monitor thingies didn’t read my pulse, which is frustrating, but just another part of being the vampire that I am. (can’t eat garlic, look the same as in younger pictures, etc)

After we finished evaluations, I actually hoped that Justin would pick me for his team. My biggest anxiety was not having John Wood coach me. My second biggest anxiety was that my training partners would go too hard in training and hurt me, or we’d train too hard and I couldn’t recover and would get hurt and then everyone would hate me as a partner….surely Vinny would also put in a good word for me? I’ve heard Eddie was a good coach, though. I was just anxious all around. Other girls were probably anxious because they didn’t know what was gonna happen, and I was anxious because I DID know what could.

Eddie won the coin toss. I thought he would pick me, so I steeled myself. He picked Barb! Then Justin picked me! I was so excited!!
Look at Vinny smiling in the background behind Justin. 🙂

On top of that, he opened my envelop and said I was the number 1 seed! How cool!! That was so cool! I thought I would be in the top 4 but didn’t expect to be the first seed.

Later the interviewers asked me if I was surprised, and my first reaction was to say, “I’m not surprised, mother-fudgers!” That would have been hilarious. But even as a joke, I didn’t want to appear arrogant, so I just shrugged and reworded my answer.

After we all got picked, we got driven to the House mansion! THERE WERE PILLARS and STATUES and a ping pong table and a stone table like in Narnia! There was so much vegetation! Huge pantry!

Two fridges! So amazing.
On the way over, I asked, “Whoever goes to bed early, let’s be in the same room.” Maia, Nicco, and Rachael spoke up. Thanks, Nicco, for taking the top bunk, because I always roll out of bed in the morning since I’m used to a Japanese futon being on the floor. And I didn’t want to die one morning forgetting I was six feet in the air. LOL

We had a huge closet Maia nicknamed “The Treehouse” because we often sat in there and chatted. lol

Every morning I woke up, ate breakfast, drank tea, digested that for a few hours, and put on sweat clothes, then went for a walk. I mixed in sprints to get my heart-rate up and break a sweat. After I had a good sweat going, I did yoga stretches, hoping to imitate my hot yoga classes that are so good for my back and shoulders and neck.
(That’s why I’m wearing a hat…to sweat. Not to be weird. I am weird, though, but that’s okay.)

I’ve suffered from nagging injuries, but thanks to yoga, my massage therapist Teri, strength training, stretching, and avoiding wrestling class, I’ve barely suffered for the past two years. Shout-out to Vegas Hot! Yoga and Pilates studio! Love you guys. Best yoga joint in Vegas.

I was already in great shape going into the house, so I just had to keep up my condition, and do a little technique training for Shana. The coaches told me she’s a striker, so the obvious game plan would be to take her down. They said she threw low kicks so I should try and shoot in when she threw them. Alright. They had me mainly working with them, and I’m guessing it was to avoid any uncertainties of new training partners we didn’t know? I was very grateful. I know what it’s like to be a coach, and I recognized all the time and attention they were giving me.

This is Matt throwing strikes at me, and me closing the distance to take him down.
The whole group was from one gym Genesis Training Center in Colorado, except for Vinny and Miesha. They were all really positive, had really good energy, and gave off good vibes. I was still pretty anxious not having my normal coaches John and Captain around, but I just kept telling myself that I knew what I was doing, and they were with me. When you teach, you give a part of yourself to your students, so technique I did that I learned from them, is part of them. I could hear their voices and advice in my head if I summoned it.


The weight-cut wasn’t easy, but it was well-done and I had no problem. Maia woke up early to help me. Thanks, Maia! <3 I wore my Goku hair wig, symbolizing my love for the anime Dragon Ball Z. (On TUF Talk Bisping called it lame, but I don't mind. Of course it's lame and silly, and I'm totally okay with that! I like who I am and I'll never change. I'm just honored they're talking about me on TV! How cool is that!) anyway I relate to Goku a little with his desire to train, become stronger, and protect the ones he loves. He has a pure, childlike heart, and things are so simple to him.

I was very anxious the day of my fight. Last time I was on TUF, I fought Jessica Rakoczy. She was 1-3 coming on the show, but despite my superior experience, I still lost to her via powerbomb slam. I never take anything for granted. I never underestimate anyone. Ever!! Ever since I went to a Judo tournament in high school as a lowly orange belt and threw a brown belt ippon seionage in 5 seconds for the win, I realized what could happen in a fight.

Shana “Danger” Dobson’s striking is good. Her jab was like a homing missile for my face. I used my usual awkward movement, but I kept getting met with that dang jab.

But that’s fine, I’ve faced people with better striking before. I wasn’t gonna dive in.

I’d bide my time….and then I got the takedown and did my thing. I remember what Captain had been drilling with me regarding shoulder pressure lately.

We’d also been doing a lot of half guard passes. That’s exactly what happened in the fight! It was also great to hear Vinny in the corner. He told me in detail what to do and I pretty much did it. When I was hitting her, she was blocking a lot of my strikes, so I was wondering if the ref was going to stop it, but John always told me to just keep hitting and the ref has to. She couldn’t get out.

I’m so happy to have gotten the win, in the same way as my previous fight in Invicta May 20th a few months before.
I saw she hopped back up, not cut or injured. I was really glad.

It was such a relief to get a win. And other than a lump on my forehead, I was uninjured. It was the best possible outcome for me. The worst for her. I remember when I was on TUF 18, my friend Shayna lost early on, and had to spend 6 weeks miserable, knowing she was out of the tournament, but she couldn’t leave. I’m sorry for anyone in that situation, but that’s the nature of the jungle. Fighting is a tough sport.

I can’t wait to see the next episode next week!

Shout-out to my sponsor: webmaster, artist, poet nicknamed “wetdryvac” at
Here are some samples of prints he sent me that he has for sale. He also built my website, and upkeeps my chat room.