Las Vegas, NV — 24-year old Maycee Barber secured her third consecutive win at UFC 276 on Saturday night, earning a decision over flyweight veteran and former title challenger Jessica Eye.
Eye would retire in the cage following the fight, laying down her gloves in a true passing of the guard moment. Eye is the division’s past; Barber, as her nickname proclaims, is its future.
“The Future” is in need of a new UFC contract following her win on Saturday, however. En route to that third straight victory in the unanimous decision over Eye, Barber (11-2) fought out her current contract.
“That was the last fight on my deal, and right now, I was ranked #13 going into this. So I want to sit down, I want to talk to them and I want to really game plan out where my contract is at and how we’re going to chase the title,” Barber told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “Because I’m not that far away from chasing it, and I’m working on improving in that.”
Despite looming free agency, her heart’s desire appears to be staying with the promotion.
“I’m excited to see where this career goes. Who knows, maybe somebody else reaches out, but honestly, I’m really excited to stay with the UFC,” said Barber. “I’m 24, and that’s my home. No matter what, that is where I want to be.”
Barber joined the promotion in 2018, barely out of her teens. She’s been looked at as a top flight prospect ever since, even after hitting a few hurdles. Now back to her winning ways, Barber told Cageside Press on Saturday that key to growing up in the sport while under the spotlight was “just learning to take everything and just be like, ‘okay.’ Whether it’s a new opportunity, whether it’s an injury, whether it’s a loss, whatever it is.”
“Learning to own it, learning to be in that moment and appreciate where you are, and the things that can come with it.”
Barber also spoke on being the final opponent for veteran Jessica Eye.
“To be able to share the cage with Jesscia Eye in her last fight was an honor. I’m happy, and I’m blessed,” Barber stated. As it turns out, she had no inkling that Eye would walk away, despite the former challenger coming in on a rough patch.
“To be honest I had no idea, of course you never really know if someone’s going to retire. I wasn’t really focused on her in terms of where her career was going to go in the beginning. I wanted to talk some crap and say some stuff like that, but now that I see it, I’m glad that I didn’t say anything,” Barber explained. “Because that’s a real thing and it’s something worthy of respect. She’s done a lot in this sport, especially in women’s MMA. She’s someone that I’ve always looked up to, I know that sounds like ‘you looked up to a fighter in your own division?’ But I do, because she’s just a genuinely nice person, and I’ve had conversations with her before. We both talked over Instagram type of thing, whatever, and I have a lot of respect for her. It was an honor to share the cage with her.”
Watch the full UFC 276 post-fight press scrum with Maycee Barber above.