Once vaunted prospect Maycee Barber got back in the win column on Saturday night with a split decision victory over Miranda Maverick at UFC Vegas 32. However, in doing so she found herself embroiled in the latest MMA judging controversy.
Barber was given scores of 29-28 by Sal D’Amato and Dave Hagen. Chris Lee awarded Maverick a 29-28 score.
According to MMA Decisions all 21 of the media members who provided scores for the fight (including Bloody Elbow’s Stephie Haynes, Dayne Fox and Tim Burke) sided with Maverick giving her a 29-28 win.
Barber isn’t interested in that, though. Backstage she said, per MMA Fighting, “I won that fight and got my hand raised.”
“I don’t read Twitter, I don’t read comments, I don’t pay attention to that,” she continued. “I did what I needed to do. The judges did what they needed to do and I got my hand raised. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
“I’m confident that I won that fight. I feel like I won in the spots that mattered, the little bitty details. I’m ready to go back, train and get a finish next time.”
Backstage Barber also spoke about what happened during the fight and how she contended with Maverick’s combinations.
“She was pretty much what we had expected. The way she threw, the combos she threw. I definitely should have kept a little bit more pressure and countered like right after she threw. So I feel like I was a little bit delayed and it took me a little bit to work those counters off of what she was throwing. By the second and third round, I was watching when she was throwing her kick, she would spin all the way through and that’s something that I noticed in the fight like ‘oh she’s spinning all the way through’ and her eyes are looking that way and they’re not even focused.
“So that was something that I picked up and I was a little confused on and I was like why am I getting confused on that? I should have been countering it. That’s something obviously I’m going to work on.”
Barber graduated to the UFC with an impressive TKO win on the Contender Series in 2018. She followed that up with three wins in the Octagon, over Hannah Cifers, JJ Aldrich and Gillian Robinson.
In 2020 she suffered the first loss of her pro career, when she was shut down by Roxanne Modafferi and lost a unanimous decision. In February she lost again, to Alexa Grasso by unanimous decision.
Despite being on a two-fight losing skid, Barber said she didn’t come into this one with any added pressure.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel I had my back against the wall and I don’t feel like there was pressure lifted off my shoulders [with this win]. Cause I want that pressure on my shoulders. The pressure and the anticipation and the nerves that I put on myself, it’s not bad energy. It’s an expectation for myself and I want to keep those expectations.
“No, I didn’t let it lift off my shoulders. It’s just on there cause I’m not holding the belt. So let’s keep it on there until I get to the title and even after I get the title, let’s keep it on there so I can defend it.”
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