If you’re a mixed martial art (MMA) fan, you might be familiar with Roxanne Vincenta Modafferi or The Happy Warrior. Catherine Danyla is the mother of mixed martial artist, considered one of the pioneers of women’s MMA. Catherine’s daughter started training taekwondo in her teenage years.
Over the years, Roxanne has fought in different weight classes; her last was in the flyweight division. Although little is known about Roxanne’s childhood, her mother once commented that she thought her daughter chose martial arts to channel her feelings during a hard time.
What is there to learn about Catherine Danyla and her warrior daughter? Please keep reading to find out more.
Catherine Danyla Bio
Catherine Danyla is not a familiar name on the internet or in the limelight since she chose to stay out of the spotlight. Her daughter is the reason for Catherine’s popularity. The details of Catherine’s age or career are unknown.
When Roxanne was 13 years old, Catherine and her father were going through a nasty divorce. Coincidentally, their daughter aired her desire to learn taekwondo and her mother supported her instead of viewing her as a strange child. Catherine’s daughter celebrates her on Mother’s Day by sharing sweet words praising her for raising her and supporting her. She posts the message on her social media platforms like Twitter.
It’s unclear what Catherine’s marital status is. What is clear is that she raised a strong daughter who beat all odds to earn her place in the mixed martial arts world.
Catherine Denyla’s Daughter
Roxanne Vincenta Modafferi was born in Wilmington, Delaware, United States, on 24 September 1982. She is 40 years old as of 2022. Roxanne is of Italian and Lithuanian descent. Her training began in taekwondo aged 13 in Pennsylvania and moved on to Mark Lawler’s Kenpo Karate in high school. She also attended the Dalton Judo Club in Pittsfield, where she trained for three years and gained a brown belt in style. Roxanne eventually graduated from Lenox Memorial High School. She taught at a Royce Gracie Brazillian Jiu Jitsu association for three months before leaving home for university.
Roxanne majored in Japanese Language and Literature and a Linguistics minor at the University of Massachusetts. She continued to train and perfect her martial artistry through college. She attended the Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy in Somerville to perfect her striking.
Roxanne was in Tokyo, Japan, from September 2003 to June 2004 for her junior year, where she took the opportunity to train at the Cross Point club. She learned Muay Thai and BJJ. After graduating in May 2005, she secured a teaching position in Japan. Her martial arts career began when she won by split decision at Fatal Femmes Fighting in 2007. She became K-GRACE Women’s Open-Weight Tournament Champion in May 2007. She defended her FFF title in 2008. She made a debut in Strikeforce in November 2009 but lost in the first round. In 2010, she won the King of the Cage: Torymon in Okinawa, Japan.
She fought and won many battles but lost several as well. In November 2021, she announced she would have her final MMA fight. Roxanne faced Casey O’Neill on 12 February 2022 at UFC 271, lost via split decision, and retired.
Roxanne is lucky to have a mother like Catherine, who supported her from a young age through her sports career.