Roxanne Modafferi More Excited for Jennifer Maia Rematch Than Original Fight

By Cole Shelton Jul 16, 2019
Roxanne Modafferi is set to return to the Octagon on Saturday at UFC San Antonio. There, "The Happy Warrior" was originally supposed to take on Liz Carmouche. However, just weeks before her fight, Carmouche was put into a title shot at UFC Uruguay and left the former "The Ultimate Fighter" finalist without an opponent until Jennifer Maia agreed to step in on short notice.

For Modafferi, nothing really changes in her training camp now having to prepare for a different opponent. "I have been working on some Liz specific things, but I was just working on myself," she said to "I had enough time to adapt so I'll be fine."

Although Carmouche is ranked third, compared to Maia's ninth, Modafferi would rather fight Maia and there is a simple reason why. Back in Invicta 19, the two fought for the flyweight title where it was the Brazilian edging out a split-decision. For the American, she is ecstatic to get the opportunity to right the wrong of her loss.

"I'm so excited for this rematch. This is one of the ones that I thought was close, so I can't wait to get it back," she said. "I'm more excited for this fight than to fight Liz Carmouche for that reason. I'm just thrilled, I have evolved as a fighter and I know I can win."

With a win, Modafferi could very well be in the title conversation. She is ranked sixth and would be on a two-fight winning streak. And, she thinks she could very well be just two wins away from receiving one.

"A win over Jennifer would keep me up top and keep me in the running for that title shot," she explained. "Unlike the men's division when you need to put together a solid winning streak, in this division, because it is so new you need a little less. But, regardless, I am focusing on this fight and becoming a master of my technique."

Even though Modafferi lost the first fight, she is more than confident in her skills to win this one. It was a split decision, where the judges had it 48-47, 49-46, and 47-48 for Maia. Since then, "The Happy Warriors" is 4-2, including winning the Fusion Fight league flyweight title, as well as getting back into the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

She knows how much better she has gotten since their first fight and can't wait to showcase it on Saturday. She is confident she gets her hand raised and expects the fight to be entertaining for the crowd given they have gone five rounds before and have already felt each other out.

"I'm not really sure, it could play out multiple ways. I know what I want to do, which I won't reveal publicly," she stated. "I think it will be a lot of striking, just a good fight. Just wait and see, it will be non-stop action as we went five rounds before."

In the end, Modafferi knows winning this fight is crucial. In a newly-formed flyweight division, winning multiple fights in a row shows you are a true contender and will keep on getting her big fights and ultimately a title shot. After already being cut once, winning secures her roster spot in the UFC going forward.

"It is so important. When I win, I feel relief like I still have my spot in the rankings and in the UFC, so I am relieved and happy."


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