Las Vegas, NV – Two female flyweights, two different stories and only one came out the winner at UFC Vegas 52 on Saturday night. UFC flyweights Maycee Barber and Montana De La Rosa met in the octagon to take a step towards what could be contender status for a belt.
Barber (9-2) came in off a controversial split-decision victory over Miranda Maverick in July 2021. After entering the UFC with a lot of hype and fanfare she quickly rattled off three finishes before dropping two bouts by decision to Alexa Grasso and Roxanne Modafferi respectively. She looked to start a win streak against De La Rosa.
De La Rosa (12-6-1), in the UFC since 2017, has shown flashes of promise in her time in the promotion. She came in off a TKO win over Ariane Lipski in June 2021.
With the flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko looking for more contenders to take on this fight had the division watching to see who would take that next step towards the crown.
Barber used a flurry to get into the clinch early and put De La Rosa on the fence. Barber stayed busy with foot stomps, left hands and tried to trip De La Rosa down but instead pulled her on top of her. Barber quickly got back to her feet without letting go of Montana.
The rest of the round was mostly Barber landing heavy shots in the clinch with elbows, and left hands. Round 1 was all Barber.
Second round began with De La Rosa landing a big right hand that forced Barber to clinch and land shots in that position. De La Rosa was able to get her to the fence and land knees and short shots inside.
De La Rosa jumped guard and dragged Barber to the ground and began to work to take the back. Barber was able to reverse the position and get on top, but she De La Rosa grabbed the right arm and held her close. Barber was able to scramble and wiggle her arm out getting her out of danger.
Barber continued to land shots from top, but stood up to land a heavy shot and gave De La Rosa room to stand and shoot. The round ended with De La Rosa on top.
Without being sure how the judges had it both fighters knew they needed the third round.
Third round began with De La Rosa throwing heavy right hands and then a flurry forcing Barber to fire back and clinch. De La Rosa continued to try and throw Barber, but gave her back up standing and ate shots from behind. De La Rosa kept on trying to reverse the position but Barber continued to stay busy and land on her forcing the defensive game plan at that point.
Regardless of position, in the clinch, Barber continued to land elbows clean on De La Rosa. The rest of the round was all Barber as well working elbows in the clinch and short shots to the body as she finished the fight clearly dominating De La Rosa.
Official Result: Maycee Barber def. Montana De La Rosa via (30-27×3) Unanimous Decision