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LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 29: Roxanne Modafferi (R) punches Valeri Letourneau in their elimination fight during filming of season eighteen of The Ultimate Fighter on May 29, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started for fun, and it started getting more and more serious when I started competing in Judo in high school, and then jiu-jitsu tournaments. I wanted a bigger and tougher challenge, and wanted to become stronger, physically and mentally. MMA is the epitome of these. Now, I want to prove to myself and the fans that I can use the skills I've learned to beat my opponents.
What ranks and titles have you held? I hold a championship belt in IFC women's middleweight division, Fatal Femme Fighting's lightweight division, and I am a K-Grace MMA tournament winner.
Do you have any heroes? My mom and dad are my heroes. They inspire me to persevere, work hard, and stay positive. Also, Shiuchiro Katsumura, my former coach from Japan, and my new coach John Wood
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It's been my dream to fight in the UFC since 2003, when I made my pro debut in Japan. It feels almost unreal, and the highest honor for me.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I earned a Bachelor's degree in Japanese Language and Literature, minor in Linguistics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked as an ELS English teacher (English as a Second Language) at Berlitz Japan. I taught little kids, teens, and adults.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I won multiple grappling tournaments. I never had any MMA amateur matches. There weren't any opportunities for me at the time!
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Winning the Fatal Femme Fighting's belt and defending it. Also, beating three women in one night (Hee Jin Lee, Megumi Yabushita, Marloes Coenen) to win the K-Grace tournament.
If any, list ranks in any martial arts styles: I'm a brown belt in Judo, and purple belt in BJJ.
Favorite grappling technique: Rear naked choke and triangle choke
Favorite striking technique: Superwoman punch