We’re back to the future. Maycee Barber returns after a 13-month layoff from a torn ACL suffered in her first loss to face off against bright Mexican prospect, Alexa Grasso. Sticking to her nickname, Barber has already mapped out plans for her 2021.
“The Future” for the 23 year-old consists of beating Grasso in dominant fashion this weekend at UFC 258. After the win, she plans to call out top Flyweight, #6 ranked Joanne Calderwood.
“I would like to have another fight,” Barber tells Aaron Bronsteter. “I would like to fight the top five because in reality, I’m #10 right now. So I fight and I get #7, number whatever it is.”
“I would like to fight Joanne Calderwood because I feel like she’s in the next spot up and then it’s like the next tier because she he was she was getting ready for the title contention. She was ready for that fight.”
The young flyweight referenced JoJo’s original booking against Valentina Shevchenko, which was supposed to take place at UFC 251 on June 6th in Perth, Australia. However, this never came into fruition due to an injury on the champ’s end.
Months later, waiting for “The Bullet” to return to the battlefield, Calderwood would take a high risk, low reward fight against Brazilian prospect Jennifer Maia on short-notice. The #1 contender would risk her would-be title shot to save the UFC the trouble of finding a replacement for Maia.
This would not be the best outcome as Calderwood would lose to Maia in the first round and was later revealed to be having health issues entering fight week.
In a return set to seek title contention once again, “Dr. Kneevil” put on a Muay Thai clinic on former UFC title challenger Jessica Eye at UFC 257. This performance got Barber’s attention immediately. Hence the motivation to call her out this weekend, should she win.
“She’s like kind of in between there and [a title shot]. That’s a win I know I can get. That’s a win that I think would put me in the spot for the title fight.”
Barber only has 337 days left to accomplish her goal of becoming the youngest champion in UFC history and that trail to get there is as follows: Grasso, Calderwood and then the Flyweight queen herself, Valentina Shevchenko.
Despite the hopeful hype from “The Future,” the 6th ranked Scot dismisses her dreams and sets her back into reality.
“I’m sure even if she loses, she will steal the mic again and say something silly like that.” Calderwood told us. “I ain’t interested in anyone below me.”
Is Barber looking too far in the future or is she estimating her road to gold properly? We’ll find out this weekend when she attempts this title run against Alexa Grasso at UFC 258.