Maycee Barber and Hannah Cifers put on a bloody good (and ultimately downright bloody) strawweight battle at UFC Denver on Saturday, as both made their promotional debut.
As much as UFC Fight Night 139 was about celebrating the past, and twenty-five years of the UFC, it was just as much about the future. No fight exemplified that more than Maycee Barber vs. Hannah Cifers. Barber, just twenty years young, had all the potential as breakout star should have in the UFC. She was making her promotional debut at UFC Denver, after winning big on the Contender Series. Hannah Cifers? The soft-spoken strawweight was also heading into her first UFC fight, on short notice no less.
Who would win big in their debut Saturday? Cifers fired off a leg kick early, and showed zero hesitation in attacking. Barber had the clear size advantage, and looked a weight class bigger than the diminutive Cifers. She launched a head kick early and the pair began trading in the clinch. Barber attempted a throw, but Cifers fought that off. The duo then settled down just a little after the chaos of the opening minute. Barber pressed her opponent against the cage, only for Cifers to reverse. Barber then reversed herself, and landed an elbow; off the break, Cifers landed a right hand. Barber, however, had the strength and size advantage, and was finding success with her knees, despite Cifers doing an excellent job with her hands. Cifers also showed a solid takedown defense, fending off all Barber’s attempts to drag her down in the opening round.
In the second, Barber was able to get Cifers to her back, using her size to bully her way into half guard. Barber landed some huge elbows, bloodying Cifers, who grabbed onto a leg. Barber continued smashing away at Cifers with elbows, whose face was a mask of blood at that point. She refused to roll over or stop moving, continuing to defend, but ultimately the ref saved her from herself, waving it off.
Maycee Barber is a BEAST!!
— UFC (@ufc) November 11, 2018
Barber thanked Cifers for taking the fight on short notice after, and said always tried to finish fights, adding “if you want to see a champion, just follow my career!” Barber, just 20 years old, has plenty of time to do it. “I want Mackenzie Dern,” she called out after, saying she wants on a big card.
Maycee Barber def. Hannah Cifers by TKO, Round 2, 2:01