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UFC 246 Fight To Watch: Roxanne Modafferi v. Maycee Barber

When it comes to championship aspirations at UFC 246, Conor McGregor isn’t the only one fighting his way to gold. In the midst of the UFC looking to celebrate its most accomplished fighters in McGregor and Cerrone, there is one fighter looking to start a path of her own. Can 21-year-old Maycee Barber live up to the hype?

Nicknamed “The Future”, Barber (8-0 ) is set to face UFC veteran Roxanne Modafferi in a flyweight bout. At 21, Barber is 4-0 in the UFC following her debut on Dana White’s Contender Series. All of her wins in the UFC have come via knockout, and her confidence knows no bounds. Barber’s end goal it to be the youngest champion in UFC history, previously set by Jon Jones at 23 years, eight months and one day. With a win here, she is planning for big things before the end of the year.

“I’m not expecting a title shot after this fight … I’m expecting to fight two to three more times, and then hopefully fight for the title at the end of this year,” Barber stated to Business Insider earlier this week. “I want to stay active, for sure.”

Barber is ranked ninth in the UFC’s rankings. Her opponent is seventh. The 37-year-old Modafferi (23-16) is coming off of an unanimous decision loss to Jennifer Maia back in July. She is 3-3 in her last six fights, keeping her steady in the young flyweight division.

This is the perfect fight for Barber. Previously, the Colorado native was calling out Paige VanZant. It was a bizarre move for a fighter wanting a title opportunity, as Paige is unranked and has been out due an injury. In reality, Paige needed to face Maycee more than the latter needed to face the former. The only explanation is that Maycee wants to take on everyone, as she knows she can beat them.

Roxanne can respect the moxie of Macyee, but won’t just stand there and be a small note in history.

“She has the confidence of a young, undefeated fighter, “Modafferi stated to BI. “It’s good to have lofty goals. She talks about working hard and not being handed anything. I like that. But I’m absolutely going to stand in her way, giving her first loss. That’s just the way it’s going to happen.”

Examining both fighters, it is unsure how both would fair against Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko. Modafferi has proven her durability without a “sexy” win, while Maycee hasn’t truly been tested yet. This fight is perfect for both fighters to test themselves, when all eyes inside the T-Mobile Arena will be on them.

Barber has managed to market herself well leading up to this fight. Her stock would go through the roof with a win here. Roxanne’s fun cosplay during weigh-ins shouldn’t fool anyone; she is as tough as they come. The combination of the two could lead to a darkhorse pick for fight of the night.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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