At UFC 246, Maycee Barber experienced the first loss of her professional MMA career, giving up a lopsided decision to the veteran Roxanne Modafferi. Unfortunately, Barber also sustained a complete ACL tear early in this fight, which will keep her out of action for some time.
In a prepared statement to MMA Fighting, Barber opened up on this first taste of defeat. She says her goal of becoming the youngest champion in UFC history is unchanged.
”The loss has not shifted my goals in the sport at all,” Barber wrote. “It has added more goals to the pre-existing ones. I’m still gonna be the youngest champion in UFC history.”
In her statement, Barber also opened up on her injury.
”I realized that the muscles surrounding my knee were starting to want to protect it,” Barber wrote. “Round two started, and I realized the pain had gotten worse (and the) instability had gotten greater. I don’t remember a lot, but I remember being slow and seeing her jab come and wanting to step back. With that half a second extra of thinking, she caught me with the jab. I still stepped back, but my leg wasn’t there. The stability had left me.
”I couldn’t connect to my brain to my leg,” she added.
Maycee Barber went on to explain that she attempted to disguise her injury so that Modafferi wouldn’t see it as a target. Yet when the cage-side doctor entered the Octagon to observe her knee — only to allow her to keep fighting — her cover was blown.
”I was doing everything I could to disguise the fact that I had been compromised,” Barber wrote. “I feel like the fact that the doctor completely gave away that I was dealing with something. It also made the injury more prominent to me when I was trying to push it out of my head for the fight. Had it been me fighting, if I would have seen the doctor stepping in and checking someone’s knee, that would instantly be the thing that I target.”
”I feel as though the doctor should have come up to me and ask me if I was good, and then listened to my response,” Barber continued. “I personally have never seen anyone sat down in the middle of fight and had a doctor (check) their knee stability, and then proceed to get up and announce to the ref and everyone else there was a small ACL tear and that (the fighter) was ‘fine.’ I knew something in my knee was torn and I wasn’t fine, but I knew that I could be in the fight, and then after the fight was over, I could cry and deal with it.
”There is absolutely no benefit or reason for the doctor to check me if he was going to let me continue, and there most definitely wasn’t a reason to announce the injury and let me continue knowing full well that he had just ‘shown my hand.’”
Whatever the case, Barber is keen to heal up, and with a little luck, fight again this year.
”I am hoping to make my return and fight again by the end of 2020,” Barber said.
”This sh*t sucks,” she added. “What a life, and I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing. Losses happen, injuries are real, and champions overcome all. I’ll be back and better than before. This is the life I chose, and I want to live every part of it.”
What do you think the future holds for Maycee Barber after UFC 246?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/27/2020.