Maycee Barber entered the UFC with high expectations for her career, and she’s not about to let recent setbacks alter those plans too significantly.
The 24-year-old flyweight once aimed to break Jon Jones’s record as the youngest champion in UFC history. Unfortunately, back-to-back losses against Roxanne Modafferi and Alexa Grasso as well as injury trouble in 2021 derailed those hopes.
Speaking to The Schmo after a training session at Team Alpha Male, Barber outlined a slightly-altered goal for her career.
“I might not be the youngest champion ever, but I can definitely be the youngest female champion,” Barber told The Schmo. “That’s another goal of mine, that’s another plan. Right now, it’s fighting Jessica Eye, beating her up, getting a finish, getting a win. And then moving forward and taking on the next one.”
“The Future” is set to meet longtime UFC veteran Jessica Eye at UFC 276 after Eye’s original opponent Casey O’Neill pulled out. A victory over Eye would give Barber 3-straight wins and potentially allow her to regain a top spot in the women’s flyweight rankings.
“I feel like [Eye] and Jojo (Wood) are both the gatekeepers of the sport. I mean they’re obviously really good fighters, but at the same time they’ve stuck around in the Top 10 for quite some time. And I was there for a little while, got injured, and now I’m back and I wanna break into the Top 10. So I feel like fighting Jessica is a perfect matchup for me and is a perfect spot for me to start working my way up into the Top 10.”
While Barber missed out on surpassing Jon Jones’s title reign at age 23, the 24-year-old still has a chance to beat Rose Namajunas as the youngest female champion in UFC history. Namajunas first won the UFC strawweight title in 2017 at age 25.
What do you think of Barber’s plan? Does she have a chance to become the youngest female champion in UFC history?