After an impressive win over Gillian Robertson at UFC Boston, Maycee Barber does not expect Paige VanZant to answer her callouts. Thankfully, she has other options, including Antonina Shevchenko.
Boston, MA — Maycee Barber just may be the future after all. At UFC Boston, in a battle of top flyweight prospects, Barber battered and finished Gillian Robertson within a round. Robertson entered the fight with a 4-1 record in the women’s flyweight division. Both fighters had been listed on ESPN’s Top 25 Fighters Under 25 list.
To see Barber win so decisively simply reinforced the idea that she very well may become the UFC’s youngest champ ever — a goal she has been steadfast in maintaining since arriving in the UFC last year.
In any case, Barber was absolutely beaming after the fight. “I feel great. I think I’m pretty healthy. I like that the best,” she told reporters including Cageside Press backstage after the bout.
It wasn’t just striking where Barber expected to have the edge. “I also knew I was going to out-grapple her as well,” Barber claimed. That despite Robertson being given the edge in the grappling department by most pundits. “She pulled guard or something, that kind of threw me off a little bit. I was expecting a single leg. But once I stopped the first couple attempts of her coming in… I also felt her strength, and it wasn’t anything like mine.”
And while many were seeing Robertson as a test to see if Barber was deserving of all the hype attributed to her, Barber was sure she belonged. “I absolutely knew it,” she exclaimed.
Maycee Barber has also been consistent in her belief that she’s one of the strongest girls in the weight class. Not that she’s looking to test it by putting her chin out there. “The idea is never to just take a punch and then just march forward,” she explained. “But I do know that I possess a strength that not many women, if any women in the division possess the strength that I have.”
That strength comes naturally. And through live fights, not strength training. “I actually didn’t do any strength and conditioning for this camp besides a little bit of conditioning with my coaches,” she revealed Friday. “But not a single weight was lifted in this camp. I just hit hard, and I put in the work, and it doesn’t come from strength training, it comes from hitting over, and over, and over, and over…”
When talk, as it always does, turned to what comes next, Barber was asked if she thought Paige VanZant would answer the call. ‘The Future’ has been calling out VanZant for a while now. “I doubt it, but if she does, I’ll be here.”
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 19, 2019
Barber also agrees with her coach and training partner Ben Askren that she might mess up VanZant’s Instagram model aspirations. “I absolutely will ruin her Instagram career. These elbows hit hard, and they will cut you up,” she stated.
She has other options, however. “We’ve talked about a couple different things, I’ve had a couple different conversations. There’s Antonina Shevchenko,” she suggested. “Obviously any of the girls in the division. I really don’t care. It’s whoever Dana [White] and my team, and all of us decide on. We’ve talked about a couple of different names, but we’ll see.”
As to whether her return will be soon, “yeah, my hands are good,” Barber said, noting that she broke her hand in her last fight which led to a longer layoff. “This fight I came out pretty great.” Which means a quicker turnaround could be in order.
Watch the full UFC Boston (UFC on ESPN 6) post-fight press scrum with Maycee Barber above!