Despite a perilous opening moment in her May 20 bout against Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta 23, veteran flyweight Roxanne Modafferi was kept her composure and eventually finished her opponent via TKO in the third round.
“My coach told me that (D’Alelio) would probably come out hard in the first round and throw hard strikes, so I should watch my distance and move in and out and make her miss then land my own strikes,” Modafferi told MMAWeekly.com. “That’s what I intended to do, but she caught me in the opening seconds with a really hard punch (and it dropped me).
“She was pretty scary in the first round and wobbled me a few times, but I managed to follow the game plan and went in and out and landed my own strikes. I was able to take it to the ground and work my game.”
The win over D’Alelio was Modafferi’s fourth in her last five bouts, including three finishes. Combined with her continued growth as an all-around fighter, Modafferi feels her success has her at the height of her 14-year MMA career.
“I feel like I’m in my best spot ever,” said Modafferi. “I feel very confident in all of my skills. I feel like I’ve improved a lot. I want to prove that I’m the best in my division and want to keep going to the top.”
Part of what could take Modafferi to the top is a second stint on The Ultimate Fighter. She recently attended tryouts for the upcoming 125-pound edition of the show, and by all accounts could very well end up in the hunt to claim the UFC’s inaugural flyweight championship.
“My coach keeps reminding me that the winner of this year’s (TUF) will get the championship belt,” Modafferi said. “So if I can make it through the house and win a bunch of fights in a short period of time, I can be the UFC champion. That’s my end goal. If the TUF house is where I have to go to achieve that goal, I’ll do it.”
Having had experience as part of TUF 18 in 2013, Modafferi believes having that experience can do nothing but help her should she find her way back onto the series.
“I think I’ll have an advantage,” said Modafferi. “Especially at try-outs, girls were asking me how it goes, and I was able to give them advice and stuff. So yeah, I think I’ll have an advantage there.”
As Modafferi stated, the goal is to become a UFC titleholder, and there’s nothing more she’d like to do than bring a belt home to the team that has helped take her to the next level in her career.
“I’m so grateful to my coaches and everyone at Syndicate MMA for helping me develop my skills,” Modafferi said. “I’m going to be champion and bring the belt back to Syndicate.”