For Modafferi, fights have been hard to come by since moving to Japan soon after graduating college. Contrary to popular belief, the University of Massachusetts graduate’s motive for moving to the “Land of the Rising Sun” was to further her command of the Japanese language, a foreign tongue she’s been studying since high school. A job offer to teach English with no official teacher certification was too good to pass up.
While fights since relocating to Japan have not been as frequent as Modafferi would like, a fight against the ever-elusive D’Auguste could be even more difficult to have come to fruition. D’Auguste has not fought since August of 2006 and has all but disappeared from the fight scene after getting married last year. But Modafferi isn’t giving up that easily. She remains hot on the trail of D’Auguste in hopes of being granted an opportunity to avenge prior loss to her during Ring of Combat 8 in March of 2005.
While Modaferri’s calls have thus far gone unanswered, she continued to make them in a recent interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com (www.FiveOuncesOfPain.com) and ProElite.com (SamCaplan.ProElite.com) in hopes of ensuring that D’Auguste gets the message.
Sam Caplan: You started training traditional martial arts as a teenager but what was your first exposure to MMA and what attracted you to it?
Roxanne Modafferi: My first exposure to MMA was when my Judo friend invited me over his house in 2001 to watch the UFC on pay-per-view. I thought it was violent and kind of scary – lots of blood and injury – but the more I saw it, the more I got interested in it as a sport, once I accepted that a broken nose wasn’t always the result of a fight.
Sam Caplan: You started in Tae Kwon Do and eventually migrated over to Judo before you started training BJJ and Muay Thai. As you were making the conversion from traditional martial arts to MMA, did you encounter any resistance from your TMA instructors? There just seems to be a paranoia in certain traditional styles when it comes to MMA.
Roxanne Modafferi: I didn’t encounter resistance because I stopped those styles before continuing to the next. My Judo sensei wasn’t super thrilled at first – he worries about me – but he supports me all the way. And I just found out, Mark Lawler, my old Kempo instructor in PA, began MMA classes.
Sam Caplan: We’re actually doing this interview through a series of e-mails, which is no big deal. But one of the reasons why we’re doing the interview via e-mail is pretty interesting. You’re currently living as a full-time resident in Japan. What brought you out there?
Roxanne Modafferi: I want to be fluent in Japanese, and someday make a career using my language skills. I’m also interested in teaching, and so I’m doing that full time now. Actually, in terms of fighting, it’s great training and easy to watch a live fight, but difficult to find anyone my size to actually fight. I’d have more opponents in the States.
Sam Caplan: Is living in Japan something of a short-term living situation, or do you have plans to return to the States?