19/04/2024

Casey O’Neill has no intentions of giving women’s MMA pioneer Roxanne Modafferi her dream retirement fight this week at UFC 271. Photo:@ParadigmSports/Twitter.

Australia's Casey O'Neill is hoping to spoil Roxanne Modafferi retirement fight as she looks to continue her win streak and accession up the Flyweight rankings at UFC 271.

Australia’s, Casey O’Neill has no intentions of giving women’s MMA pioneer Roxanne Modafferi her dream retirement fight this weekend at UFC 271.

O’Neill (8-0, 3-0 UFC) will meet number 12 ranked Modafferi (25-19, 4-7 UFC) as part of the UFC 271 prelims. The contest has received extra attention despite it’s placement, due to Modafferi announcing the fight would be the 39 year old’s last.  

While O’Neill respects what Modafferi has done over her 20 year career, she sees the bout as a changing of the guard moment.

“I respect everything that she has done for female mixed martial arts for sure. She was fighting before any of us underground so that’s awesome and good for her,” she told the media.

“This is my time. I’m the new era and I am going to show that on Saturday night.”

O’Neill is currently one of the hottest prospects in the Women’s Flyweight division, holding an undefeated record and winning all three of her UFC fights by finish. Most recently, she defeated current Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko’s sister, Antonina via second-round TKO back in October. The victory also saw her climb to number 15 in the division’s rankings.

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Despite O’Neill’s impressive resume since joining the promotion at the start of 2021, much of the talk heading into this weekend’s fight has been centred around Modafferi’s retirement, which O’Neill feels is unjust.

“I think the people are forgetting she has lost three fights in a row,” added O’Neill.

“She is on her way out and she has done great things in the past for sure, but I’m all about myself and I feel like it has been talked about enough now.

“We all know she is retiring, it doesn’t change anything on Saturday night.”

This weekend’s event is set to take place at the Toyota Center in Houston in front of a crowd of 18,000 and will mark the first time that O’Neill will get to fight in front of a major audience since joining the promotion.

Due to the constraints placed on the organisation due to COVID-19 and varying vaccination mandates in each US State, the UFC has hosted their smaller events at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, the site of O’Neill’s first three fights in the promotion.

This weekend however, having the opportunity to fight on a pay-per-view event and in front of a major crowd for the first time is a moment the 24 year old is looking forward to.

“Every fight feels like the biggest fight of my career, but this is what I dreamed of when I signed with the UFC, was getting that crowd, and having that moment in front of them. It’s just nice to feel the energy of a proper fight week for once,” O’Neill concluded.

UFC 271 goes down on Sunday 13 February and can be ordered via Kayo, here. The Prelims are set to take place at 12pm AEDT.

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