Dear Roxy 22: How do you feel about the UFC as a meritocracy?

Roxanne Modafferi is back to answer your most burning questions about MMA, the UFC, and life in general, 'Happy Warrior' style with her Dear Roxy column.

By: Roxanne Modafferi | 3 months ago
Dear Roxy 22: How do you feel about the UFC as a meritocracy?
Roxanne Modafferi by Chris Rini

Unsure of the right path forward? Have a question that desperately needs answering? A burning desire for knowledge from one of the most experienced veterans in the fight game? Roxanne Modafferi is here to help with her latest ‘Dear Roxy’ column for Bloody Elbow.

Last time around, the ‘Happy Warrior’ brought her voice to questions about the UFC as a viewer friendly product; went back to school with another lesson in MMA math; and the ever present queries about eating like a fighter and how to do it right.

This time around readers had questions about cosplay, the meritocracy of the UFC, and whether or not the promotion should create a clearer path to title contention for fighters. If you’ve got your own questions to ask, submit them to, or drop them in the comments below.

Dear Roxy – Costumes

How many cool costumes have you got? – From Krzysztof_Khan

Dear Krzysztof,

Oh my goodness! A huge box full! Mileena, Kitana (and both their weapons), Jedi and Sith robes, Mario, Wario, She-Ra and her sword, The Red Ranger, various wigs, Naruto Nine-tails mode, Goku, Vegeta’s shirt, All Might, Naruto from Shippuden, Spider-girl, Luffy, Goku’s jiujitsu gi, Princess Leia, Kakashi’s shirt, The Flash’s shirt, maybe more but I forget. I started cosplaying for Invicta weigh-ins to be like Japanese fighters who came out with flashy entrances, and never stopped! I managed to get something in even with the UFC’s strict rules (usually wigs).

IMG 5969
roxy tara weigh in invicta photo
sherdog roxy weigh in she ra

Dear Roxy – UFC meritocracy

How do you feel about the UFC as a meritocracy? First and foremost they are an entertainment business, but lately have seemed to struggle balancing a level of fairness in deciding the title shots. Do you agree, what are your thoughts? — From GenericTopComment

Dear GenericTopComment,

I agree with you! I feel like the UFC is only partially a meritocracy (“a system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement”).  Yes, fighters rise in the rankings and approach the title when they win. However, there is no set formula for this. Rankings are voted upon by a board of media members. The match maker can offer whatever match he feels like, depending on not only wins, but styles, popularity, and entertainment value.

The UFC is trying to sell pay-per-views and TV viewership. They want to give the fans what they want to see. I don’t necessarily disagree completely, but it is unfair to fighters. A quiet guy might be super talented, whereas a boisterous smack-talker might get catapulted to the front because people are interested. You can’t train harder not to be shy.

I feel like some fighters get title shots so soon, while others have to grind and win many many fights in a row to get the shot. It’s super hard to break into the top ten because the top ten are well-known and tend to just keep fighting each other!

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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