After surviving one of the most tumultuous coaching clashes in her first TUF outing, Roxanne Modafferi’s second stint on the show was as smooth as silk.
After 17 seasons of TUF, we thought we had seen it all. Forrest vs Stephan, backyard brawls, Kimbo Slice and, of course “Let me bang, bro!” But the tension seemed to reach its peak when Ronda Rousey and career rival Miesha Tate went head-to-head as coaches of TUF 18.
Roxanne Modafferi punched her ticket to the TUF house with a first-round submission over Valerie Letourneau. She found herself on Team Tate and admittedly not in the greatest of fighting shape after a lengthy stay in Japan.
“I was just barely hanging on there for season 18,” Modafferi said. “My body was a wreck because they have crappy physical body care in Japan. My training methods were very poor and I could barely train because I was always injured.”
Modafferi would go on to lose her next fight in the TUF house and would head to the regional circuit for the next four years. After an impressive 5-2 Invicta FC record, “The Happy Warrior” would go on to land a spot on the TUF 26 cast. Although she was hoping to advance to the UFC as opposed to a second season of TUF, the house was about to see a whole different version of Roxanne Modafferi.
With the very first flyweight title on the line, there was even more at stake for Modafferi, and with a healthy dose of work with Syndicate MMA in her system, she breezed through to the semifinals with two TKO finishes. The new atmosphere paid off well.
“I did like the second season much better,” Modafferi said. “Everybody was an athlete, all the females, so focused on the goal of winning and getting the title. Everybody went to bed early, literally everyone went to bed early. No one was awake in the house after 10.”
Priorities had completely flipped. Diet, sleep and training had replaced a large amount of the drama Modafferi tried to get used to during season 18.
As it turns out, “The Happy Warrior” thrived in a more civil environment and ended up in the finals, taking Nicco Montano five rounds before losing a hard-fought decision.
Despite never winning a season of TUF, Modafferi managed to navigate her way through two full seasons without ever looking foolish to the fans, never embarrassing herself or her gym either. At the same time, she never faded away into the background as one of the “ancillary characters.”
Modafferi consistently proved to be exactly what her nickname indicates, not once, but twice. Would Modafferi preferred to have earned her way into the UFC after he first season? Of course. But now that all is said and done, there’s very little she would have done differently. Neither season was viewed as a failure, just another reason to keep pushing.
“I was so close,” Modafferi explained. “You know, it’s incredible to have achieved what I achieved but it’s still a bummer that I was so close, and I’ll never get that chance again. But I’m going to look back on it as a grand adventure.”
Relive TUF 18, 26 and every other season of the groundbreaking series TODAY, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!