TUF 18: Strikeforce veteran Roxanne Modafferi heading to Las Vegas to audition for coed season

Roxanne Modafferi is Looking To Join The Ultimate Fighter - Esther Lin for Strikeforce

Roxy Modafferi has stated that she plans on trying out for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18. UFC women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and the winner of Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano will be the coaches on the coed 135-pound season later this year.

Editorial note: Some of you may have noticed that a version of this article was recently posted. Roxy contacted me and requested that we take it down, mainly because she goofed and thought she was making a private post on her blog, rather than a public one. While normally most journalists (and bloggers, since we're basically journo's with less formality ... and training) might not back down from a "You said it, I'm running with it" stance, I figured there wasn't any real harm in taking it down. I and Sir Thomas Myers were the only ones who put effort into writing and editing the piece, and if it meant that I wasn't maybe being a jerk to one of the athletes in the sport we all care about at the cost of re-writing an article, that's not the worst price to pay. What follows is a prepared statement that Roxy gave to me to post as an exclusive to Mania before she posts it anywhere public.

"I've decided to go to Las Vegas for the Ultimate Fighter Try outs. The weight division is 135 lbs. I used to fight there, but then after losing to Sarah Kaufman, my manager convinced me to drop to 125. I didn't know how to drop the weight well, and ended up starving myself and losing muscle. I felt a loss of strength down there. I also fought really tough and skilled opponents, on top of that. Now, looking at some of the bigger women who fight at 135 lb, part of me is worried that I'm going to get overpowered. Not part of me, actually. I'm pretty worried. I've been incorporating physical training into my regime lately and I think I've regained some muscle I'd lost. I think I still have a good chance to hang in there and win. I'm a technical fighter, and I think I have a lot to offer.

My supervisor is awesome and gave me a week off on short notice to go this. As for if I can get a 6 week leave of absence is another thing entirely. Unlikely that would go over well with my Japanese office manager. If I get into the house, I may seriously have to reconsider my life style. But that's IF I get in. I have a feeling more than skill will be looked at in eligible candidates for casting - other than talent, looks, appeal, personalities. I'm an unassuming, quirky librarian-looking grappler. I hope they like that. I'm going to be honest: I want my career back. Fighting in the UFC has been my dream since I debuted in my junior year of college, more than ten years ago. This could be my next big break to get into the UFC!

I'm at a turning point in my life. Can my body physically handle a hard training regime? I seem to be having bad luck with injuries lately. I'm determined to hold it together. I owe it to myself to try this. I'm afraid, but I'm going to do it anyway. I'm very intimidated of these huge muscled girls cutting over ten pounds to make 135, but I'm gonna go for nothing but to beat them all up to be the first Female Ultimate Fighter! And to be honest, I want to make it to the finals with Tara LaRosa. I would love for our rubber match to be in the Octagon. I hope we both get in."

It's been a rough few years competitively for Roxanne Modafferi.

She was riding high a few years ago after a close win against 125-pound stalwart Tara LaRosa at the gloriously insane one-off promotion Moosin: "God of Martial Arts." It was a great fight that snapped LaRosa's 15-fight win streak and bumped Modafferi to a 15-5 record.

That win earned her a shot at a bigger stage and Sarah Kaufman.

She made the highlight reel, but not in the way she would have liked, getting slammed in one of the most memorable slam knockouts in the history of the sport (up there with Quinton Jackson, Matt Hughes and Gerald Harris). That fight kicked off a five-fight losing skid and she's been struggling to re-invent herself at 125 pounds to little success.

However, as numerous fighters of all skill levels have found out, there's nothing like the touch of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) to help one's struggling mixed martial arts (MMA) career along.

Fighters from every walk have gotten notoriety bumps from the popular reality show, and while it might not really make one a star like Forrest Griffin or Rashad Evans, it might just help someone get some fights and money they might not get otherwise (Junie Browning, Darrill Schoonover, Jamie Yager, etc).

In short, while she's on a downswing in her career, she'd be a name with a bunch of legitimate fights (and wins) against some of the most widely-recognized names in the sport (Marloes Coenen, LaRosa, Kaufman, Rosi Sexton, Shayna Baszler).

Time will tell if she even gets in, and if she does, whether she's the sleeper Roy Nelson of the bunch or the veteran who some young up-and-comer makes a name on.

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