Up-and-coming contender, Maycee Barber, has had her eye on a fight against Paige VanZant for a while now. For the most part, "12 Gauge" hasn't paid any mind to her, letting the cal louts just fall by the wayside.
Even when Barber allegedly tried to slide into Austin Vanderford’s (VanZant’s husband) direct messages, VanZant, didn’t budge, refusing to respond to a fighter she says isn’t worthy of her time. “12 Gauge” took to Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to break it down.
“I don’t know, I think it’s part of the division. Everybody wants the money fight, and there’s people in line, so. It’s an interesting fight, but I do think there is disrespect in the UFC and in MMA, and it gets too much attention. It gets too much validity,” VanZant explained.
“Being a disrespectful person shouldn’t be valued, and I definitely won’t give her the time of day. I’m not going to take the bait, and that’s why I’ve stayed quite the entire time.”
To hear VanZant tell it, she was going to accept the bout until Barber played herself by crossing a line that should never be crossed.
“Actually, I was going to say ‘yes’ to the fight, but I think it’s completely inappropriate to slide into someone’s husband’s DMs trying to get a fight. Messaging my husband on Instagram trying to agitate me.”
According to Vanderford, the message wasn’t any form of trying to break up a happy marriage, but rather trying to get the low down on a workout routine. The intention, however, was clearly to get a rise out of his wife.
“So that’s why I have stayed relatively quiet about this and I’m just not going to reward disrespectful people. It would be a reward for her to fight me and she doesn’t deserve it.”
Barber is 7-0 thus far (2-0 UFC) in her MMA career. And at just 21 years of age, she has the chance to up her cred and become the next star for UFC, something she fully intends on doing.
One thing she wont get, though, is a fight against the one-time “it” girl, who only has one more fight left on her current UFC deal. Meanwhile, sliding into a married man’s DMs just to pick a fight probably won’t endear her to a lot of fight fans.