Roxanne Modafferi has been in this situation before. The veteran of 39 fights has been written off in a fight before against a surging young prospect only to beat them and she expects to do the same at UFC 246 against Maycee Barber.
Although she is fighting Barber, this was not the original plan. According to Modafferi, she was offered Lauren Murphy while her teammate in Joanne Calderwood was offered Barber but for whatever reason, those fights did not get made.
“It did come out of nowhere. They told me I was going to fight Lauren Murphy, well they offered her and I said sure. Jojo [Joanne Calderwood] said she might fight Maycee and I’m like that doesn’t make sense, Jojo is ranked way higher,” Modafferi said to MMA News. “I was waiting for the bout agreement and they were like well actually Maycee. I was like, ‘well that makes more sense than JoJo fighting her.'”
Now, against, Barber, Roxanne Modafferi isn’t underestimating Barber’s skillset but she believes her experience may play a factor. She’s also planning on derailing the hype just like she did to Antonina Shevchenko in Russia.
“I don’t have a desire to fight anybody in particular. I’m more than willing to derail that hype train as I have done in the past with Antonina Shevchenko and a few other fighters,” she said… “I think it is going to be exciting, both pressure fighters, I think it is going to be a great entertaining fight. I don’t underestimate her either, she is young, seems very well-rounded and strong. I’m stoked for this fight.”
For Modafferi, who is the biggest betting underdog on the card around +650 while Barber is a -1000 favorite, she is telling all her friends to bet on her. She doesn’t understand why she is overlooked in the fight so much.
Where Modafferi may have success is on the ground. She is known for having very good jiu-jitsu. Yet, with Barber training with Ben Askren, Modafferi thinks the undefeated fighter may shoot on her.
“I feel like it is going to be a slugfest until somebody gets a takedown. I didn’t think she was going to shoot on me until I started reading Twitter and everybody is talking about her training with Ben Askren,” she explained. “So, she may shoot on me so I don’t know where this fight may go. It is probably going everywhere.”
In the end, Roxanne Modafferi is expecting to get her hand raised and showing her new and improved game. Then, she wants an active 2020 that sees her get into the top-five conversation.
“I just want to win and stay active in the game and be considered top-10. It is just important for me to win this fight. After my last fight, I’ve been focused on certain things I’ve been lacking and filled in holes in my game… I just want to show those in the fight. More, than thinking about the future of where I stand in the rankings. I want to show I’ve improved in my technique.”
To do all that Roxanne Modafferi needs to pull off a massive upset and beat Maycee Barber at UFC 246.