Having just turned 24-year old, Miranda Maverick is 2-0 in the UFC, one of the top prospects in the flyweight division, and is now looking at a fight with another top 125lb prospect.
That would be Maycee Barber, and Maverick’s reaction to the booking wasn’t what you might expect.
“My reaction was, it was almost like a forced choice sort of thing. If you don’t take a fight against Maycee Barber, one, she talks a lot,” Maverick (9-2) told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview recently. “Two, they already were like ‘well she’s only like one rank above you, you can’t jump three and expect to get that when you won’t even take one fight above.’ I was like, ‘that’s a point but I also have all these other points why it’s not a smart fight in my opinion, currently, currently for the UFC.'”
In Maverick’s opinion, the UFC is “kind of stagnating” the women’s flyweight division. “Not necessarily on purpose, but they’re making it that way. They whine about these divisions being stagnant, then we see them pitting young fighter against young fighter and knocking them out of the ranks before they even get enough momentum to go on into the rankings,” Maverick opined. And that would seem to be the case with Maverick vs. Barber.
“I can see where, we were number four, number five, great fight. Perfect fight. Fan favorite, all of it. But I wasn’t even popular enough, one, to even get enough hype built up for this fight,” continued the Invicta FC alum and Phoenix Series winner. “In a couple fights, that’s when to make that kind of fight. That’s when to make that big fan fight, and a favorite. But I kind of knew they were going to do it — when I met Maycee the first time, they made me walk back out of the room and come back in so they could video it.”
For Maverick, it wasn’t a matter of skill. “From a business perspective, it would have been smarter to do something else. And for me, it was a pay thing as well. I’m getting paid less than probably any other ranked opponent anywhere. Because I started with the UFC, had two fights, and was getting paid like I only had two fights. So renegotiated a little bit, so that was better, still not prime what I wanted, but it’s better. And now I’m able to fight, possibly win, and get more money than her losing. Possibly not, I’m not sure.”
While Maverick is set on winning against Barber later this month at UFC on ESPN 27, “I don’t think one win or loss, at a ranking of 14, 13, 13, 12, whatever we are now, really matters. Like ‘oh they’re the next contender for the title.’ It takes a while to climb that ladder, and I want to take my time climbing that ladder.”
Watch our full interview with Miranda Maverick ahead of UFC on ESPN 27 above. The event takes place Saturday, July 24 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.