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Roxanne Modafferi still a 'good Jedi' after UFC 246, addresses Maycee Barber mic incident

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LAS VEGAS – Roxanne Modafferi was a 6-to-1 underdog entering UFC 246, but she didn’t let that faze her.

At this point in her career, Modafferi (24-16 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is well-acquainted with the underdog label. Like she’s done so many times before, Modafferi pulled off the upset Saturday. “The Happy Warrior” defeated highly-touted 21-year-old flyweight Maycee Barber by unanimous decision in the featured prelim bout.

“This win was super gratifying,” Modafferi told reporters backstage after the fight. “I’m very relieved and pleased with my performance. I felt like my strikes have gotten stronger than they’ve been in the past. I have awesome coaches at Team Syndicate – coach John Wood, coach Mike Pyle, A.J. Matthews, (and) my trainer Lorenzo Pavlica.”

Modafferi has often expressed her love for movies, comic books and anime. Post-fight at UFC 246, Modafferi channeled her inner Star Wars.

“I’m still a good Jedi, except in the cage,” Modaferri said. “I always let it go. I really wanted to use some elbows (to) make me seem a little more scary – maybe cut her a little bit. My hands are a little bloody. I guess I did that, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be scary. The results speak for themselves.”

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The most pivotal moment in the 15-minute fight occurred early in Round 2, when Modafferi connected on glancing punch. The shot sent Barber (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) backward, injuring her knee in the process. Despite Modafferi’s competitive experience, this was a first.

“This is the first time in 45 fights I’ve know an opponent was injured,” Modafferi said. “This game is merciless. You have to keep going and try to win.”

Despite knowing Barber’s injury, Modafferi said she didn’t target her opponent’s unstable knee. “I don’t think I would have done that, actually,” Modafferi said. “I didn’t do it. I wanted to hit her in the face.”

As soon as the judges’ decision was read, Joe Rogan entered the cage to interview Modafferi. In an unusual move, however, Barber went the Kanye West route and grabbed the microphone from Rogan. She gave a few statements before allowing the victor, Modafferi, to have her moment.

“That was interesting,” Modafferi said. “I was very curious to know what she was going to say. She apologized for her performance. I won, so whatever. I hope she feels better soon. I’m very glad that I won. I think I performed well. She’ll be back. I’ll be back. All good.”

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So who’s next for Modafferi? The women’s flyweight contender is keeping her options open and welcoming all comers.

“Whoever, bring it on,” Modafferi said. “I’m not afraid of anyone in the 125-pound division. Just make weight.”

UFC 246 took place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

Gallery

Roxanne Modafferi def. Maycee Barber at UFC 246: Best photos

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