The rebirth of Roxanne Modafferi isn’t over quite yet.
“The Happy Warrior” is set to welcome Brazilian prospect Mariana Morais to the Invicta cage at Invicta FC 14, Sept. 12, at the Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City Missouri.
Modafferi is looking to cap off an impressive 12 months that began last September during her rubber match against Tara LaRosa. Much like Luke Skywalker when he went into Jabba the Hutt’s palace to rescue his companions, Modafferi had changed. She was calm, poised and displayed an array of impressive skills, particularly in the striking department. It was as if fans were seeing a brand new fighter. She not only earned the judges’ decision but also snapped a six-fight losing streak.
The Happy Warrior carried the momentum of the LaRosa fight into her match against prospect Andrea “KGB” Lee, who replaced Modafferi’s original opponent, Vanessa Porto. After a back-and-forth battle, Modafferi earned the split decision to hand Lee her first professional loss.
Modafferi would face Porto at Invicta FC 12 in what was not only a rematch but also a fight that would determine who would face Invicta flyweight champion Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak. The Warrior previously fought Porto in 2008, finishing her via TKO in the third round of their fight. Despite Modafferi’s impressive performance – particularly in the first round, the judges would award the fight to Porto.
Morais should provide an interesting challenge to Modafferi. The Brazilian is riding a five-fight winning streak and eight of her wins have been finishes – three of which are under a minute. However, The Happy Warrior has impressive grappling credentials. She’ll also have a big advantage when it comes to experience, having competed 29 times. Modafferi is also one of the most beloved fighters in mixed martial arts. While the Kansas City crowd will show respect to Morais, they’ll no doubt be cheering on The Happy Warrior.
Part of her transformation can be attributed to her becoming a member of Syndicate MMA. Since joining the Las Vegas-based gym, Modafferi has improved many aspects of her game. It’s refreshing in a way. Many athletes refuse to change or adapt in an effort to improve themselves because what they did in the past worked for them – or because they don’t think it applies to them. It’s kind of like listening to older writers who refuse to take a photography class or use social media because “that’s now how they did it.” But Modafferi has embraced the change and the extra hours put into the gym and it’s paid off for her.
Invicta Fighting Championships has also been a good fit for Modafferi. Fighting in the promotion gives her a chance to face not only some of the most well-known names in mixed martial arts, but also rising stars like Lee and Morais.
With some time away from the cage, Modafferi will be looking to get back on track to title contention and fans will be waiting – as well as to see what new tricks she has in her arsenal. If she wins, it will be the latest chapter in the book titled “Rebirth of The Happy Warrior.”