Combat Sports

Roxanne Modafferi Announces Her Retirement

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Just days shy of her 18th anniversary in combat sports, Roxanne Modafferi announced her retirement from mixed martial arts following her upcoming bout with Casey O’Neill at UFC 271 on February 12, 2022. “The Happy Warrior” announced on Instagram. “I’m fighting Casey O’Neill in February! Please tune in! This is fight number 50! And my last MMA fight…” Since her pro-MMA debut in November 2003, Modafferi has worked for multiple organizations including King of the Cage, Cage Warriors, Invicta FC, Strikeforce, and the UFC.

History Of A Pioneer

In 2013 Modafferi appeared on The Ultimate Fighter: Rousey vs. Tate. She defeated Valerie Letourneau before dropping her next two bouts to Jessica Rakoczy and Raquel Pennington. Modafferi spent the next three years competing in Invicta FC going 5-2 and earning herself another opportunity with the UFC on The Ultimate Fighter season 26. A successful run earned her a shot at the inaugural women’s Flyweight title against Nicco Montano. Though she came up short in her first and only shot at UFC gold, Modafferi became a mainstay in the division racking up wins against division standouts Andrea Lee and Antonina Shevchenko. Her most notable victory came against Maycee Barber at UFC 246. Modafferi entered the bout as a 6-to-1 underdog and scored a unanimous decision victory earning her the 2020 Upset of the Year. 

Outside of mixed martial arts, “The Happy Warrior” stays active on social media engaging with fans, participating in AMA’s on Reddit, and sharing her love of anime. You would be hard-pressed to find a picture or video of Modafferi without a big smile on her face, something she always carries with her into the cage. Roxeanne has a fantastic story spanning almost two decades in this crazy business. During her career, she has published two books. Memoirs of a Happy Warrior chronicles her time as a college exchange student in Japan while her second book, How to be Positive, gives us her unique perspective on looking at every situation positively.

The 39-year-old Modafferri has 44 professional bouts and five exhibition bouts from her stint on two seasons of TUF. Her fight with Casey O’Neill will be her 50th and final mixed martial arts bout in a long and storied career. Should Modafferi stay true to her words and walk away from the cage, she will retire with the most fights in women’s MMA history. Modafferi will have her hands full when she steps into the Octagon for the final time at UFC 271 on February 12. She meets the undefeated Casey O’Neill (8-0) who is coming off of three straight victories by way of stoppage. The location and venue for the event are yet to be announced.

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