Roxanna Modafferi has been fighting forever, and her career is a snapshot of accomplishments and ups and downs. And because she’s been kicking ass as of late, she gets to fight Jennifer Maia for the flyweight belt, so giddyup!
Apparently Roxy saw Fabricio Werdum and Chas Skelly fly through the air and kick, so she does the same, running across the cage and throwing a kick that hits nothing. Maia sets herself and starts wading in with punches to the head, and though Roxy keeps her head on a swivel and is constantly moving, she’s gradually getting tagged more and more. They clinch, and the rest of the round is spent with Maia trying to impose her will while Roxy tries to make space and chip away with her jab.
Round 2 sees Maia head-hunting and Modafferi tagging her with a jab that halts her in her tracks. With two minutes left they wind up on the ground, and though the Brazilian is on top, Roxy’s guard is a constant stream of armbar attempts that have Maia stuck in defense-mode. In the final minute Roxy sweeps her and winds up on top, and the horn sounds with her in that position.
They resume their striking contest in the opening two minutes of the third, and then Roxy lands a beautiful takedown and is in Maia’s guard. Maia threatens with a triangle, they scramble, and when Maia winds up on top Roxy is instantly threatening with deep armbar attempts.
Maia stops pursuing in the fourth and let’s Roxy come to her, which allows her to counter-punch and score. After three minutes the Brazilian catches a kick and throws the American down, and the ensuing storm of punches that Roxy absorbs while trying to get up definitely gives Maia the round.
The fifth and final round has a very visibly exhausted Roxy moving much slower, and therefore presenting a much more hit-able target. Which isn’t to say Roxy doesn’t score – her striking game, which is based on weird angles and being unorthodox, has her landing a spinning backfist and a kick here and there.
Results: Jennifer Maia def. Roxanne Modafferi via Split Decision