Women’s MMA pioneer Roxanne Modafferi has announced her retirement from mixed martial arts. The 49-fight veteran took to Instagram on Thursday to share that her fight against Casey O’Neill at UFC 271 will be her final one.
“I’m fighting Casey O’Neill in February! Please tune in! This is fight number 50, and my last MMA fight,” wrote Modafferi.
Modafferi has 44 fights on her official record and 5 exhibition fights from two separate stints on The Ultimate Fighter, for a grand total of 49 trips to the cage throughout her storied 18-year career. The 39-year-old made her professional debut in 2003 against Hikaru Shinohara, who she submitted with a first-round armbar at Smackgirl: Third Season 7 in Tokyo.
After competing almost exclusively in Japan for the early years of her career, Modafferi went on to fight in several well-known promotions that include Strikeforce, King of the Cage (KOTC) and Invicta Fighting Championships. Her first run in the UFC came after appearing on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2013. Following the season’s completion, Modafferi met a fellow cast member in Raquel Pennington at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate Finale, where she was defeated by way of unanimous decision.
Modafferi signed with Invicta FC and spent the next four years of her career under its banner before securing her spot on Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter, which was created to crown the first women’s flyweight champion. Though she was originally a semifinalist, Modafferi still fought for the women’s flyweight championship after she was tapped to replace Sijara Eubanks on short-notice at the The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion Finale in 2017. ‘The Happy Warrior’ lost to Nicco Montaño by unanimous decision.
Since then, Modafferi has alternated between wins and losses in the UFC. She is currently on a two-fight losing streak after dropping unanimous decisions to Viviane Araújo and Taila Santos at UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny and UFC 266.