Maycee Barber is still set on her goal of becoming the youngest ever Champion in the history of UFC.
Barber suffered the first loss of her fighting career as well as a serious knee injury at UFC 246 in Las Vegas where she went up against Roxanne Modafferi. As she recovers from the fight and her torn left ACL, Barber opened up about the decision loss and what is next for her in a written communication with MMA Fighting, prepared by her father and coach Bucky Barber.
Barber to return by end of 2020
Awaiting a surgery on her knee and then a 6-9 months of recovery period, Barber said she expects to make her comeback to the Octagon by the end of this year.
"The loss has not shifted my goals in the sport at all. It has added more goals to the pre-existing ones. I’m still gonna be the youngest champion in UFC history... I am hoping to make my return and fight again by the end of 2020."
Talking about a possible next opponent, Barber said she would like to take it up with Modafferi once again. She called her a "phenomenal competitor", but also said that if they cross paths again, she will prove that she is the better fighter.
Barber blames the doctor for giving her away
Barber had sustained the knee injury within seconds of the opening whistle in an accidental step-on Modafferi's foot, but did not realize the magnitude of it till she had to stand up from the corner stool before the second round.
"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."
After that, she had difficulty making her leg listen to her brain. However, she holds the NSAC doctor David Watson responsible for 'showing her hand' in the fight. In her opinion, by checking on her knee in the middle of the fight, the doctor had not only put Barber at a psychological disadvantage, but also painted a target for her opponent.
"I was doing everything I could to disguise the fact that I had been compromised. 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."
Barber thinks the Doctor Watson should have consulted her on the matter instead of announcing his diagnosis to the referee when he was allowing her to fight on anyway.
"I feel as though the doctor should have come up to me and ask me if I was good, and then listened to my respone... There is absolutely no benefit or reason for the doctor to check me if he was going to let me continue..."
However, despite all the troubles and injuries, 'The Future' is going steady on her dream and hoping for the best.
"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."