Maycee Barber continued her undefeated streak this past Friday night (Oct. 18, 2019), knocking out Gillian Robertson at UFC on ESPN 6 (watch it) inside TD Garden in Boston, Mass., keeping her perfect professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record intact (8-0, 3-0 UFC).
With the win, Barber could set herself up for a fight against Paige VanZant, something she’s wanted for some time. As far as the root of the beef with “12 Gauge,” Barber says it has all to do with the fact that VanZant has not lived up to UFC’s brand-building expectations.
“At first it was just a fight I really wanted — she’s got a big following,” Barber explained on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “She has the social media, the fans that a lot of people want to see. The way I look at it is that she didn’t hold up her end of the deal. She came into the UFC and UFC backed her. They gave her all of the support and built her as an athlete.
“They viewed her as a girl, who is beautiful, talented, well-spoken and she has all of these things and we think she can fight,” she continued. “So they built her up and she didn’t hold her end of the deal. She didn’t continue to evolve as a fighter. Instead, she fell into the fame, which is great for her if that’s the path she wants to take.”
Indeed, VanZant recently stated that she makes more coin on social media than she does fighting for UFC, revealing that with only one fight left on her current deal with the promotion, testing free agency is something she is considering.
For Barber, getting her hands on VanZant is something she wants before she potentially leaves the promotion
“I view her as someone who is so beatable. She does not belong in the position that she is in with UFC because there are so many other girls out there like me who work our butts off day in and day out. And I would maul her. So, I want to take that from her.”
UFC president Dana White is very high on Barber, once again heaping praise on her following her win in “Beantown.”
“She’s a gangster this girl. I love everything about this girl,” White said at the post-fight press conference (via MMA News). “You should see the crazy texts she sends me like all the time, including tonight. As soon as the fight was over she started texting me and she wants to fight everybody and ‘I told you, I told you I was going to do this’.
“I love her attitude,” he continued. “I love how bad she wants to be a world champion. I love how she finishes fights. She fought a very tough girl tonight and she stopped her. She looked incredible. She’s fun and it’s going to be fun for all of us and the fans to watch her grow over the next couple years.”
If you recall, White had similar praise for VanZant early on, but that seemed to have died down after her inconsistent run inside the Octagon. That said, since Barber does have White’s backing, a win over VanZant would, in fact, ensure that she is “The Future” star UFC needs to help push the women’s Strawweight division.