Maycee Barber has a lot to prove at UFC 276.
There was a time when Maycee Barber was all in on trying to become the youngest UFC champion ever, and a lot of people thought that was possible. Heading into 2020 she was unstoppable. Undefeated at 7-0, and all but one of her wins came by a stoppage of some sort.
She was ripping through the LFA, Dana White’s Contender Series and then the UFC with five straight TKO finishes. She was unstoppable until she wasn’t. One fight against the most beloved female fighter to never win gold ended all of that. Roxanne Modafferi was seen as a step-up in competition for Barber, but one that she was expected to take.
That didn’t happen and Modafferi outlasted Barber, and in the course of the fight, damaged her knee considerably. Her torn ACL that she suffered in the Modafferi fight kept her out for over a year, and many questioned the decision to let her continue in the fight after the injury occurred. It no doubt didn’t help her in the long run.
When she came back against Alexa Grasso, the hype was still real but a second-straight loss helped end all that. She scored a split-decision win over Miranda Maverick, who is a tough out but from where Barber was prior to her injury, not the best-looking win.
She had a more controlling win over Montana De La Rosa, but her power hasn’t returned like many thought. If she truly wants to be the one who unseats Valentina Shevchenko, she’s got to look better than she has.
Jessica Eye is the perfect litmus test for Maycee Barber at UFC 276
Jessica Eye is an older fighter, and still has something left in the tank, but the soon-to-be-36-year-old is clearly on the downside of her career. She’s still dangerous however and is a cunning fighter who can drag a fight into the deep water.
Barber has shown some endurance since coming back but her power and pop just haven’t been what it once was. She has a chance to prove she can be a finisher once again and Eye is the perfect opponent for that at UFC 276.
Not because Eye gets finished, as she doesn’t, and that’s why. She’s only been finished twice in her career so if Barber can get another TKO or submission win over Eye, then it may convince fans that she’s back to where she was prior to her knee injury, or at least close enough to that.
It was Barber’s finishing ability that made her so dang entertaining to watch and if she’s going to take a run at the title, she’s got to get it back.