Once again, readers have questions, Roxanne Modafferi has answers. The ‘Happy Warrior’ is back tackling anything and everything from training, and fighting, to diets, anime, or general life skills in her ‘Dear Roxy’ column for Bloody Elbow.
Last time around, we fielded questions about hard sparring and how much is enough. We also talked about competitive spirit, and what it’s like to leave a lifetime of sporting behind. We also talked about the draw to return to the cage and make one more go at it all.
In today’s mailbag, we’ve got questions about recovering during training camp. What it feels like to have put so much work into a fighting career at a time when the biggest stages weren’t available. And also, how to choose the right kind of manager in a business that seems filled with shady characters.
During training camp, what recovery protocols do you engage in? — SquidDrive
My entire life was a training camp because I always wanted to be ready for a last minute fight. Funny enough, I never actually got offered a last minute fight, which is kind of a shame because I worked insanely hard to stay prepared. That made it easier to get ready for fights, though, because I could work on preparing game plans for my opponent rather than worry about getting back into shape from an out-of-shape state.
I took an ice bath for a minimum five minutes after hard training sessions (which was most of them). I didn’t learn about this method until around 2014. I started doing yoga around the same time because my body felt broken 100% of the time, and my rival and friend Tara LaRosa swore by it. People had been telling me for years to try yoga but finally when a fellow fighter said it helped her back pain, I gave it a try. I’ve been doing a mini-yoga session every day since then. It’s basically my stretch routine.
So yes, ice baths, hot yoga, and also sports massage for thirty minutes every Sunday. I also only started doing that in 2015 when I learned these recovery techniques. Before all this, my life was constant pain but I didn’t know any better.
Does it bother you at all that your prime was spent fighting in relative obscurity? The enduring memory of Roxanne Modafferi will undoubtedly be the ‘UFC run Roxy’, but there was once a time you were on top of the sport on the women’s side. Do you ever wonder about how things might be different for you if the sport was more widely accepted on the women’s side back then? — AdambuddySokoudjou
Actually, I’m glad I started and finished fighting in the age that I did. I don’t think I was in relative obscurity, to be honest. Tons of people know me from my earlier days; newer fans only know my UFC career. I had people mailing me letters when I was still living in Japan, so that’s how I know.
I’m happy to be counted as a pioneer by hard-core fans. As you may have noticed, I’m not a natural athlete. I’m just a dork who trains really hard. My best strength is persistence and pain tolerance. Nowadays, fighters are turning into “super athletes.” Athletic types are finding out that MMA offers money now, whereas before it didn’t, so why would athletes enter the fight world in the past? Now they have reasons. It used to be only for martial artists and brawlers.
My body type has a hard time holding onto muscle—I’m quick, I have endurance, and I’m skilled in jiujitsu, but I think that would have made me average by today’s standard. If I started training today, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into the UFC in the near future. However, fifteen years ago, I could get by not doing any strength training (and in fact I felt broken half the time). But, because I had better endurance and jiujitsu, I could win fights and make a career. I regret nothing.
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If you’d like to submit your own questions for ‘Dear Roxy’ feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Dear Roxy”, or reach out on twitter @RoxyFighter with the hashtag #DearRoxy. Or simply leave your questions in a comment below on Substack or BloodyElbow.com. Look forward to hearing from you all soon.
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