Maycee Barber is on a win streak again and she expects the good times to continue to roll.
Less than a month away from her 24th birthday, Barber was victorious at UFC Vegas 52 on Saturday, earning a convincing unanimous decision win over Montana De La Rosa. She has now won two straight since suffering back-to-back losses to Alexa Grasso and Roxanne Modafferi, and she spoke to the media backstage at UFC APEX in Las Vegas about the recent adversity she’s had to overcome.
“I feel like that was something that I’ve always had that fire in me,” Barber said. I’ve always wanted to be like I’m gonna go out here and dominate, finish, and beat these girls up and walk through and wreck them. Obviously, tearing my leg and tearing my ACL and then taking a loss, sometimes your light gets dim a little bit. But you know, my mom sent me a post, she’s like, ‘When it gets dark, that’s when stars shine the brightest.’
“So I definitely got to reignite that light and let it shine tonight and yeah, the old me it never left, it was just a little bit hidden, but it’s definitely starting to shine through a lot more now.”
What made Barber’s performance on Saturday even more important is the fact that her win over Miranda Maverick last July was highly controversial, with fighters and media questioning the judges’ decision.
Barber was asked how she deals with outside negativity and she pointed to her experience as a prospect that was put on a fast track to the UFC.
“I know I’m gonna be the best in the world,” Barber said. “It’s just sometimes things get a little bit more difficult. I’m not old, I’m 23, so I grew up in the UFC basically. This is my 13th fight. I had one amateur fight and then I went to pro and my whole goal was to get to the UFC so I knew that going through LFA and going through the Contender Series was to get to the UFC, so it was putting a bunch of pressure on myself.
“Literally, as soon as I got to the UFC, that was my first-ever injury, that was my first-ever loss, my first-ever concussion, so I had to learn all of that on the biggest stage in the entire world.”
Barber used to regularly boast that she would be the youngest champion in UFC history, a goal that is now out of reach, but she has no regrets about the first impression she made with the fans.
“No, I would not go back and change anything about who I am,” Barber said. “I’m still the same person that walked in that way, I’m still the same person that’s gonna continue to do that. I believe in myself.
“I know I’m gonna be a champion, I know I’m gonna wreck these girls, and it’s just taking the time to work through all of the things and learning all the techniques that I need to learn, but at the end of the day I know that I can fight and I know that I have the heart of a champion and I’m gonna beat all of these girls.”