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NASHVILLE – Not that Maycee Barber needs extra motivation, but UFC President Dana White definitely provided her with some to kick off UFC on ESPN+ 6 fight week.
When discussing the top rising stars in the sport in a recent sit-down interview with UFC reporter Megan Olivi, White specifically mentioned undefeated 20-year-old Barber (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) as someone on the short list of names who stand out.
Nicknamed “The Future,” Barber has already laid out her game plan to be the youngest champion in UFC history. The comments from the UFC’s public leader provided further encouragement she’s on the right track ahead of Saturday’s showdown with J.J. Aldrich (7-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC).
“That’s an honor,” Barber told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at UFC on ESPN+ 6 media day. “Even though I’m confident like where I deserve to be and that’s where I need to be, it’s a huge honor to have the top person it the UFC mention your name in a sit-down with Megan Olivi and give you credit and notoriety – I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my week. I even told them that, like, ‘That was the best start to my week. I got to send that to everyone in my family like, ‘Check this out.’
“It made me happy and it’s a big of a confidence boost. People are asking about the pressure, like, ‘Does that add a lot of pressure?’ No. It doesn’t. If anything it brings more eyes and it’s just part of it. It’s exciting.”
UFC on ESPN+ 6 takes place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The entire card streams on ESPN+.
Although she’s only one fight into her UFC career, Barber already has championship aspirations. She made her promotional debut at strawweight, but is moving up to women’s flyweight for the matchup against Aldrich.
Barber said she could see herself eventually returning to 115 pounds, and is currently leaving the door open to claim the belt in either weight class.
There’s more than two years left for Barber to break Jon Jones’ record for the youngest UFC titleholder of all time, and she has every bit of confidence she will get there. It’s a lofty goal to set for herself, but Barber truly believes she can do it.
“Pressure builds diamonds and I’m a diamond,” Barber said. “I’m not in a rush. It’s like a TV series: You can’t skip to the end and figure out who dies and who lives. You have to watch the entire thing, you have to watch the entire story in process. If you don’t watch it you don’t get the entrainment, and if you skip episodes you miss bits and pieces.
“I could have one, two, three (more fights before the title) – who knows. I have two years and two months to break this record and I guarantee I’ll be fighting for a title long before that.”
News | MMA Junkie