Twelve years into her MMA career, Roxanne “Happy Warrior” Modafferi still feels like she’s growing as a competitor and doesn’t intend to slow down anytime soon.
One of the reasons why Modafferi feels she’s able to continue to evolve is that she’s found the right people who have been able to help her add to her game.
“I’m really happy that I’m able to improve my game and prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks,” Modafferi told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve been fighting for a long time, but I feel like being at Syndicate under John Wood has helped me fine-tune everything and I feel like a new fighter.”
One of the reasons why Modafferi moved to Syndicate MMA was a rough patch between 2011 and 2013 where she lost six fights in a row. She has since rebounded with back-to-back wins in Invicta FC last year.
“After each of those losses, I tried to make some kind of major change in order to improve my situation,” said Modafferi. “I changed gyms twice. I got new striking coaches twice. I start lifting weights twice. I thought that by doing that I could win, but I couldn’t win.
“I still felt I had the potential to get better, but until I reached the point where I didn’t feel that, I wasn’t going to give up.”
Modafferi (17-11) is seeking her third win in a row when she returns to Invicta on Friday in Kansas City against Vanessa Porto (17-6) in a rematch of their 2009 bout.
“A lot of time has passed and we’re different fighters – better fighters,” said Modafferi of Porto. “I think it’s going to be an up-and-down battle everywhere. She’s very good at striking and grappling.
“I’ve been anticipating fighting her since last year, so I think I’m very well-prepared for her. I have a general idea of what I think she’s going to throw at me, so I’m confident I’ll be able to handle it and take to her and win.”
Along with Modafferi’s ebbs and flows as a fighter, women’s MMA has also gone through numerous changes. All of which Modafferi is happy to have experienced.
“I think the sport is very hard to anticipate,” she said. “It’s gone in waves. It’s had its peaks and lulls, but it’s really cool to see how it’s turned out, but I never had any idea it’d get to this. I actually thought it was going to take longer. It’s exciting all this has happened in my career.”
As for her future, now that she’s on the winning track again, Modafferi has big things she wants to accomplish for herself in the coming year.
“My original goal was just to get back on a winning streak, so now that I’m winning I’m allowing myself to set some more long-term goals,” she said. “I don’t want to look past Vanessa, but I want to win the Invicta belt.
“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be fighting. I’ll keep fighting as long as my body allows me, but I definitely plan on staying around long enough to achieve (my goals).”