Make it back-to-back impressive UFC performances for Maycee Barber.
The 20-year-old prospect improved to 2-0 inside the Octagon on Saturday night with a furious second-round TKO of JJ Aldrich in the opening main card flyweight bout of UFC Nashville at Bridgestone Arena.
Aldrich entered this bout on a three-fight win streak and she lived up to her billing as being the stiffest test yet for the young Barber. The Ultimate Fighter 23 product was aggressive from the start and she scored the first significant blow of the bout, dropping Barber with a straight left. Barber managed to recover and find success with her versatile kicking game, but still struggled to get past Aldrich’s jab and initiate any consistent offense.
In the second round, Barber increased the intensity and she turned the fight into a more back-and-forth affair. She was able to get in close to initiate a clinch, which she used to punish Aldrich with elbows. From there, her confidence only grew until she was able to land a right hand that staggered Aldrich. Barber poured it on and while Aldrich tried to clinch up and survive, Barber continued to fire away.
After several unanswered strikes that left Aldrich leaning against the cage clutching her face, referee Keith Peterson stepped in to wave off the bout at 3:01 of round two.
“I don’t quit,” Barber said post-fight. “I don’t know, I just knew that that’s not the end, I’m not just gonna drop over and quit, and that’s not something that you can really choose. That’s the first time I think I’ve ever been dropped though, so there’s a first for everything.”
Barber, who is now 2-0 in the UFC and 7-0 as a pro, added that she didn’t want to make the same mistake other fighters make by grappling with a hurt opponent. “I knew I needed to break off and strike and finish,” she said.
While she acknowledged she needs to improve, Barber made no apologies for her action-packed style and kept up the confidence that she is quickly becoming known for.
“I’m gonna be a brawler no matter what and this is my time,” Barber said.
Aldrich fell to 3-2 in the UFC and 7-3 overall as a professional. This was both hers and Barber’s UFC flyweight debuts.