Retiring UFC women’s flyweight Roxanne Modafferi has admitted she’s felt “muscled” around by the rising crop of young fighters in her recent Octagon outings.
This weekend, 44-fight MMA veteran Modafferi will close out her lengthy career in the sport. Having competed at the highest levels since her 2003 debut, including title challenges in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Invicta FC, “The Happy Warrior” will hang up her gloves on the pay-per-view main stage in Houston.
In her way of a happy entry to retirement at UFC 271 will be Casey O’Neill, an undefeated rising prospect who showed her punching mettle in finishes over Shana Dobson and Antonina Shevchenko, and her submission prowess by choking out Lara Procópio.
While “King Casey” will hope to continue her march up the 125-pound ladder and maintain her 100% finishing rate in the UFC, Modafferi will look to cause one last upset before exiting the crazy world of active competition for good.
Interestingly, Modafferi’s task this weekend represents one of the reasons behind her decision to call an end to her career.
While she got the better of 23-year-old Maycee Barber and 32-year-old Andrea Lee in 2020, the 39-year-old says she’s begun to feel “muscled” around by the younger generation in her recent appearances, something she’s seen as a sign her time is up.
“I feel like these young whippersnappers are coming up and like, I’m still working hard, I’m still trying to get stronger, but I feel like all these young guys are starting to kind of muscle me around a little bit,” Modafferi said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “I was not that happy with my performance in the last several fights.”
The rise of young and upcoming prospects marks just one of many reasons Modafferi has decided now is the right time to retire.
As well as previously admitting she’s been feeling the accumulation of damage from years of blows to the head, “The Happy Warrior” identified her relationship and newfound option to start a family as a key part of her decision.
“Now I have found the love of my life in (fellow fighter) Chris Roman. So maybe I can think about having a family now. Like, that was never an option before. I’ve been single for like decades, but you know, now I can actually think about that, so yeah.“
Modafferi Is Proud Of Her Accomplishments In MMA
Despite not having a major piece of gold wrapped around her waist and boasting a visibly mixed record, Modafferi is proud of what she’s accomplished over her 17 years in the sport of MMA.
For the Delaware native, the goal was always to make it to the big leagues and compete inside the UFC Octagon. Rather than a crucial part of her journey, becoming champion would simply have been an added bonus.
“My goal (was) basically get to the UFC, right?,” Modafferi said. “So I basically achieved my life goal because my life goal was never to be champion because that was not an option. But then when the opportunity presented itself, I was like, ‘Cool, let’s try it.’
“But I really achieved my life goal – fighting in the UFC. I fought like 11 times in the UFC. Like, it’s awesome. I’m just so happy thinking about it. I didn’t win all of them, but I did my best,” Modafferi concluded.
This Saturday will see Modafferi walk to the Octagon for the final time. As one-half of the only women’s fight on the UFC 271 card, all eyes will be on “The Happy Warrior” in that regard.
Do you think Roxanne Modafferi can end her career on a high by defeating Casey O’Neill at UFC 271 this weekend?