Mayce Barber was once considered the future of the women’s flyweight division. After a couple of setbacks, however, Barber’s place in the 125lb weight class was very much in question heading into UFC Vegas 32. Against a motivated Miranda Maverick, however, Barber bounced back, snapping a two-fight skid — with maybe just a little help from the judges.
Maverick managed to hold center for a good part of the opening round. When it came to establishing distance, Maverick found hers well before Barber did. Barber would circle out to the side, but she didn’t throw much in the way of offense. Maverick, meanwhile, despite a strong wrestling background, was content to press forward on the feet, backing Barber up to the fence and firing combinations when she did so.
Barber came forward a little more in round two — but that allowed Maverick to bully her opponent to the fence, clinching, throwing knees, and working towards a potential takedown. Barber however broke free, and connected with a left. Barber herself then landed a takedown, but Maverick stayed heavy on her whizzer and popped right back up. Barber then went right back to looking for a throw. Maverick then spent some time successfully fighting off a takedown. Later in what was a very close round, Maverick landed a takedown, took the back, and got hooks in.
Thanks to that late takedown, Maverick potentially had a 20-18 lead heading into the third. Were that the case, Barber of course would need a finish. She seemed aware of that, upping her output early. Near the halfway mark of the final frame, Barber briefly got the fight down. Maverick powered up, but ate a left off the break. Barber appeared to be the fresher fighter, but the clock was becoming a factor. Barber definitely did enough to win the round, but the fight was in question.
While there was a strong argument for Maverick, two judges awarded 29-28 scores for Barber. Not the biggest robbery, but a questionable decision nonetheless.
Official Result: Maycee Barber def. Miranda Maverick by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)