Roxanne Modafferi enters the cage for her retirement bout against Casey O’Neill on February 12th at UFC 271. This flyweight fight transpires at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on February 12.
The AllStar’s John Hyon Ko spoke with the tenured fighter ahead of the fiftieth mixed martial arts contest inside the Octagon (factoring in her bouts across two seasons of The Ultimate Fighter which are categorically exhibition bouts).
Waking Up In Pain
For someone who has fought in MMA since November 2003, this swansong has only been on the mind of Modafferi for a relatively short period of time.
“I knew like a year ago that I felt like the time is approaching. Just got tired of waking up in pain every day. I really want to commit myself a hundred percent. I wanted to reach 50 fights. So I made a goal, an achievable goal. I love fighting.
“I’m actually really looking forward to doing more jiu-jitsu. It’s like, man, I just want to do Jiu-Jitsu now. I’m tired of punching people. I just want to do jiu-jitsu. So for me, it’s just like a morphing of activities rather than quitting. I’m still going to be doing jiu-jitsu and that’s really what I love the most.”
The Happy Warrior notices similarities between herself and her opponent as she offered thoughts on the O’Neill bout.
“She reminds me of myself a little bit with her aggressive style. Just charge straight ahead, try to take them down, ground and pound. I love that. So I’m excited to face her. Any matchup I would get would be tough. I know she’s young. I have my own strengths and weaknesses. But we’re going to make it a fun fight.”
There is a sense of complete freedom for the 39-year-old veteran. Something that seems to inform the approach for this last foray into the cage.
“One of my goals is to try a bunch of stuff. I have a few super attacks that I’m practicing in training. I have landed them. Those are some of my goals. To be able to do that and get a nice highlight reel.”
In regards to what would represent the perfect ending for this bout, Modafferi was fairly focused on a particular outcome.
One that has eluded her over a combative career that’s spanned across four different decades.
“A knockout. I don’t have a knockout on my record yet. I would like that but I’m not going to hunt for it. I’m just going to do what I can do to win the fight and have a fun fight.”
What are your thoughts on the vast resume of Roxanne Modafferi leading into UFC 271?