by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Patiently awaiting her opportunity to step into the Strikeforce cage, Roxanne Modafferi will finally get her chance, albeit on only nine days notice, as she faces Marloes Coenen in a fight that could determine the number one contender for Cris “Cyborg” Santos’ 145-pound women’s title.
A veteran of several top promotions, such as GCM and Hook ‘N’ Shoot, Modafferi brings a ton of experience into her second fight with Coenen. Modafferi defeated the Dutch fighter by split decision in mid-2007. Working with manager, Shu Hirata, Modafferi has spent the majority of her time in Japan, but now looks to conquer American women’s MMA.
“I’ve been training my butt off consistently,” Modafferi said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com on Thursday. “I don’t have to worry about weight-cutting. Right now, I’m a little heavier than my usual competition weight, but it turned out to be a good thing.”
The fight with Coenen will take place at 145 pounds, which is 10 pounds heavier than Modafferi’s typical fight weight of 135 pounds. While definitely not ignoring the size difference, she is confident her experience will carry her across the finish line.
“She’s definitely bigger and stronger than me. But so are most of my training partners,” stated Modafferi. “It’s just another challenge of the fight. I have beaten bigger opponents before.”
The body of work that Modafferi has put together brings her to the unique position of fighting in Strikeforce for the first time in a bout that may end up on the CBS portion of the fight card, which would be another huge step forward for women’s MMA in the United States.
“I am thrilled beyond all belief,” Modafferi said when asked about joining Strikeforce. “I train my heart and soul out every day. So to me, it means a validation of all my hard work, and a chance to show my skills to the world. Objectively, I think we are both trained veterans, and hopefully it will do female fighters proud too, if it’s shown on TV.”
With such a short time to prepare, Modafferi believes that she knows what to expect from her opponent, and she’s ready for the battle ahead.
“I don’t know if she has any weaknesses. I pretty much see her as a dangerous, well-rounded opponent,” she said. “I’m just going to go in and assume she’ll do everything right. I have to focus on my game and roll with it.”
“I’m going to punch her in the face, and execute my new power-move: su-pa-tobi-hiza-bakku-fisuto.”
Not overlooking her opponent in any way, the chance to fight for a title could loom overhead for the winner of this fight, and Modafferi admits it would be a dream come true.
“To be honest, Cyborg is big and scary! I never suspected I’d have the chance to fight her, since she’s out of my normal weight division. But my dream is to defeat all women fighters in the world,” Modafferi said. “So she would be just another opponent to beat on the way to reaching my dreams.”
As she prepares for the biggest opportunity of her life, Modafferi also thanked the people that helped get her to the stage on which she will perform next Saturday night in Chicago.
“I just went freelance, actually, but I want to thank all my former training partners at Wajyutsu Keisyukai, as well as ‘Big Brother’ Hiroyuki Abe and Megumi Fuji for their guidance, and my fantastic coach Kiuma Kunioku. Thanks to Sprawl, iFight Athletics, and also my bosses for being so understanding,” Modafferi said in closing.
Roxanne Modafferi will face Marloes Coenen at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers on Nov. 7 in suburban Chicago.