Maycee Barber wants to fight Paige VanZant. And apparently, she’s been trying to coax VanZant into a fight by sliding into Austin Vanderford’s DMs — Vanderford being VanZant’s husband.
Apparently, Paige VanZant was considering accepting a fight with Maycee Barber until Barber contacted Vanderford. Now, VanZant is reluctant to reward her behaviour.
“Actually, I was going to say yes to the fight, but i think it’s completely inappropriate to slide into someone’s husband’s DMs tying to get a fight,” VanZant said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show (transcript via MMA Mania). “Messaging my husband on Instagram trying to agitate me.
“So that’s why I have stayed relatively quiet about this and, I’m just not going to reward disrespectful people. It would be a reward for her to fight me and she doesn’t deserve it.”
While Paige VanZant has shared her reason for turning down a fight with Maycee Barber, Barber has previously stated that she believes VanZant is avoiding the fight for a different reason.
“She doesn’t want to fight me, she doesn’t want to lose,” Barber said on the MMA Hour earlier this year. “She wants to keep building her name and getting wins under her. And this is a fight she could possibly lose, and she knows that. I think that’s why. Also, given my history in fights, I go to finish and I usually cut people up. She also doesn’t want to have her face damaged.”
VanZant hasn’t fought since January, when she submitted Rachael Ostovich. Since then, she’s been sidelined with an unfortunate arm injury.
Barber, meanwhile, is booked to battle Gillian Robertson at UFC Boston.
Do you think Paige VanZant and Maycee Barber will wind up fighting each other, or will VanZant stick to her guns and turn down this matchup with her agitator?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/29/2019.