Dear Roxy 21: Has the UFC product fallen off?

Roxanne Modafferi is back with another edition of her 'Dear Roxy' column, tackling reader questions on the UFC, training, and life after fighting.

By: Roxanne Modafferi | 3 weeks ago
Dear Roxy 21: Has the UFC product fallen off?
Roxanne Modafferi weighs in for UFC 271. IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Have a question that desperately needs answering? Roxanne Modafferi is just the person to take it on. The ‘Happy Warrior’ is back once again digging in to reader quandaries over fighting, training, and life in general.

Last time around we tackled recovery protocols; how to get back to fighting shape after a bout. We also looked at fan appreciation and the differences between fighting in smaller shows around the world and competing on MMA’s biggest stage in the UFC. And we looked at MMA management; what it means to have a good manager, and how to find one.

This time around, we’re tackling the UFC as a product from the consumer standpoint; is it still the best in the world? We’ve also got fun with MMA math, and what it’s like being a ‘former fighter’; how hard is it to give up the game? To wrap it all up we’ve got more questions about diet and what to eat on fight day.

Dear Roxy – UFC vs. the world

Do you agree/disagree that the UFC product has fallen off a little bit, or are other orgs starting to catch up? especially ONE. — From OneSeraph

Dear One,

I’m not sure, honestly. I heard someone say that the UFC is the best promoted organization, but not necessarily the best. I mainly follow the UFC because it was my dream to fight in it, and most of my friends fight in it. I’d be interested in watching, for example, Bellator, but I don’t want to subscribe to Showtime.

I don’t watch OneFC because of the time difference. I’d have to wake up in the middle of the night or not go to bed to see it. I watch my friends fight in the PFL because it’s on ESPN plus, which I subscribe to in order to watch my friends in the UFC. I think there are highly skilled fighters in many other organizations, but viewership and marketing is super important.

Dear Roxy – The new MMA math

How many Demetrius Johnsons would it take to beat 2 Ngannous? — aroundmedianoche

Dear around,

I think three! So this past week I taught a private jiujitsu lesson to two sisters, 11-year old Scarlett and 10-year old Violett. I thought it’d be fun to have them versus me. Well, the bigger more skilled Scarlett pulled guard, and screamed, “Choke her, Violett!” Violet jumped on my back and sunk in a RNC. Scarlett grabbed my arms so I couldn’t reach up and defend the choke. It was a most excellent plan.

Luckily for me, I tucked my chin and Violett didn’t adjust, so I eventually squirmed out. Eventually I mounted Violett and tried to armbar her, but Scarlett kept grabbing my arms so I couldn’t. Considering the high skill of Demetrius Johnson, he’d be more deadly than my girls. However, Ngannous is more massive than me, so the size difference between him and Johnson would be greater than me and the girls.

Dear Roxy – ‘The itch’

Post fight career options. Not just for you, but fighters in general. We see a lot of “past their prime” fighters keep fighting to the point where even we fans are concerned. Are they doing it for the money, or just because they can’t give up the sport? Is there a draw to the sport that you still fight personally? — From pilot64d

Dear Pilot,

I think every fighter has their reason. I’ve read interviews where they mention “the itch” to keep fighting, or where they admit they need the money. I no longer have the itch. It makes me feel stressed just thinking about all the pressure leading up to the fight now. I have lots of losses in a row, and those are so so painful. My heart breaks every time I visualize them. I don’t want that pain anymore.

Photo: Roxanne and 1st MMA coach Kirik Jenness at IFC in 2005
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Photo: Roxanne and Kirik after last UFC fight Feb 2022

Sometimes I think I should go out there and try to get one last win, but my husband said, “You’ve already won fights at the highest level. What more do you want?” I mean, I want another win, but I guess that’s true. I’ve been saving my money so I can work the job I love and am good at – teaching! We get paid crap, but I love it! I’m really glad, also, that I don’t want to fight anymore. It would suck to still have the itch but be too old. Now I’m checking off life goal boxes. Adventure, check. Fame and fortune, check. Marriage, check. House….? Kids….?

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Dear Roxy – Fight day food

What’s your diet like the day of a fight? How close to fight time do you stop eating entirely?  — From LearningToBee

Dear Learning,

Well, I’d like to have large, wholesome meals, but my stomach starts getting nervous around noon, and I don’t feel like eating after that. I am able to have a big breakfast, and I try to keep my tradition of pancakes for carbs, eggs, and nuts. For lunch I end up having a deli sandwich at Subway, or some such place, with meat, veggies and bread. After that, I bring bananas and granola bars to snack on for the rest of the afternoon and evening leading up to the fight.

To read the rest of this editorial, please subscribe to the Bloody Elbow Substack. Paid subscriptions there fund Bloody Elbow during its transition from being a Vox Media property to an independent publication (a change that began on April 1, 2023). Your paid subscriptions are helping build our new site and keeping hope alive that our staff will remain in tact. If you haven’t already, please pledge with a paid subscription today.

If you’d like to submit your own questions for ‘Dear Roxy’ feel free to email me at, 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 Look forward to hearing from you all soon.

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About the author
Roxanne Modafferi
Roxanne Modafferi

Roxanne Modafferi is a former UFC fighter with 19 years of MMA experience. She’s fought for titles in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Invicta. A jiujitsu blackbelt, she teaches jiujitsu at the gym, and English in the classroom. Roxanne has self-published three books in addition to contributing articles for this site. In her free time, she watches anime and plays video games (Twisted Metal, Skyrim, etc).

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