Maycee Barber is currently one of the most promising prospects in the UFC. At only 21 years of age, Barber is off to a great UFC start with two fights and two finishes to boot, with a professional record currently standing at 7-0. In her last outing, Barber defeated JJ Aldrich via second-round TKO and is now the 13th ranked women’s flyweight in the world.
It is not very often that a fighter looks to accept a bout with an opponent raked behind them, especially when you have already set out to beat the clock in becoming the youngest UFC champion of all time, but that is exactly what Barber would look to do with #14-ranked Paige VanZant. There are only two problems: 1) VanZant continues to struggle with her injured right arm in which she has had three surgeries to attempt to rectify and 2) VanZant, according to Barber, does not want that smoke:
“To be honest, I thought about it a lot,” Barber told theScoreMMA of a potential flyweight matchup between herself and VanZant. “And that’s a hard thing for her to go through. So I, without a doubt, want that fight, and I know that I can win that fight. The fighter inside of me is like, ‘Heck yeah, I want that fight. I know I’d beat her.’ It’s a fight she doesn’t want to take.”
Barber would mollify this apparent trash talk in her ensuing remarks of praise for VanZant to be able to return to competition at all given the physical and emotional stress she has been under with her arm injury:
“…If I put myself in her shoes, I can’t even imagine…I mean, breaking my hand was bad enough, so breaking my arm and having to have that drastic of a surgery over and over and over, it’s got to be a mental battle. And if she makes it through and she fights again in the Octagon, she’s definitely a strong-willed person.”
Who would you favor in a flyweight bout between Maycee Barber and Paige VanZant?