In many people’s minds the stereotypical image of an MMA fighter is of a large, muscle-bound, lantern-jawed, heavily tattooed, mean-mugging monster that you’d be terrified to cross paths with on a dark night, but while they certainly do exist, they are not the only people brave enough to set foot in the cage.
In this article we’ll look at the UFC fighters over the years who have been the exact opposite of the stereotype, from the clean-cut babyfaces through to the comic book nerds who have proved that you don’t have to look and act tough to be successful in the sport of mixed martial arts.
You’d be hard pressed to find a fighter who looks less like they belong in the Octagon than ‘The Happy Warrior’ Roxanne Modafferi, yet she is a WMMA pioneer whose career spans 39 fights over a 16 year period.
A self-confessed nerd,the bespectacled Modafferi’s interests perfectly match her outward appearance, including her love of anime, Star Trek, comic books and cosplay.
However, Modafferi is a classic case of why you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover as in the cage she is a steely competitor who makes up for her what she lacks in athleticism with toughness and crafty jiu-jitsu honed from many years of training.
Modafferi has compiled an impressive resume that includes claiming victories over a string of respect opponents like Marloes Coenen, Tara LaRosa, Antoninio Shevchenko, Andrea ‘KGB’ Lee and Barb Honchak, while she’s also fought for titles in promotions like Strikeforce, Invicta FC and reached the final of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.