Rosi Sexton is all geared up for an exciting weekend, fighting an opponent she rates very highly and respects very much, but that doesn’t mean she’s going into her Cagewarriors 40 clash with Roxanne Modafferi with anything other than intentions of winning the fight… by any means possible.
“I have wanted to fight her for ages and have been following her since I first saw her fight back in 2003,” Sexton explained to MMAWeekly.com.
“I thought it would be a good match-up, we have a complementary style, but she was at 135 pounds and I was at 125. Now we are fundamentally the same size, so I kept an eye on what she was doing.”
For Sexton, this bout marks the second of back-to back fights on a Cagewarriors event, and is a return to her roots in some respect. She knows the stakes are high against an opponent of Modafferi’s caliber and being the headline bout of the evening on home soil.
“It’s a great honor to be given the chance to headline such a show. My third ever pro fight was in 2002 on Cagewarriors 3 in London, so it has kind of all come full circle. I didn’t really think the Modafferi fight was going to happen to be honest.”
For two leading lights in women’s MMA to collide, several things have to line up: finances, logistics, and contracts. Sexton is currently signed to Bellator and is hopeful of a place in their proposed upcoming women’s tournament, but she needed to stay active. She is grateful that the promotion and her management team pulled out all the stops so that the bout could go ahead.
“Ian Dean came to me after my last fight and said, ‘What do you think about fighting Roxanne?’ I said yes, and he said, ‘Great, I’ll get back to you.’ Then went away and made it happen.
“I couldn’t believe it. Three days after asking me and the bout was agreed, I have been training since.”
And train hard she has, integrating with a new camp in Next Generation in Liverpool and being thrown around by teenagers.
“After the last Bellator fight, I switched camps. I needed to add more things to my game, to have a fresh set of eyes on what I was doing and coaching me. Up until recently I didn’t have a team behind me, so I always had to push myself, but now I am part of a team there are people working with me on skills, sparring, and so on.”
And the teenagers?
“There are a lot of really talented teenagers in the gym at the moment. They looked like kids at 15 when I first saw them, but six months of training and they have put on 10 kilos of solid muscle. These are the next generation of MMA fighters in training, not with a bias towards one sport like we are now, just completely fluid at all levels.”
Again, another fresh set of experiences and training methods for Sexton, one that she hopes will pay dividends when if comes to the bell ringing on Saturday night.
“I never like to leave it to judges, but not many people have succeeded in putting Roxanne away. She is a very tough fighter, so I am prepared to go three full rounds with her. I am confident anywhere the fight goes. I have been working on my striking and obviously my grappling, as we are both from a grappling background.”
I don’t think it’s a big secret that wrestling is one of my strong points, so I would like to take her down and punch her and I am sure she knows that. But it could be one of those crazy WEC-style fights. We both want the win. She is looking to bounce back from her Strikeforce loss and I want to make my way back to the top of the division; everything is on the line for this fight.”