Roxanne Modafferi scored a shocking, one-sided win over Maycee Barber.
When Roxanne Modafferi met Maycee Barber in January as the featured prelim bout of UFC 246, many expected that Barber was going to make easy work of Modafferi. Modafferi is a pioneer of women’s MMA, but the then-undefeated Barber appeared to be on the UFC’s fast track for stardom.
Instead, what happened was the experienced pro schooling the up-and-coming youngster in what FanSided MMA has declared its 2020 Upset of the Year.
While Shana Dobson’s finish of Mariya Agapova at UFC Vegas 7 may have been the largest upset in women’s UFC history in terms of odds, both ladies aren’t on the track to a title shot anytime soon.
Modafferi is a former title challenger and Barber was pegged as one of the UFC’s next big things, with Barber herself stating she wanted to break Jon Jones’ record for youngest to win a UFC title. But the outcome of this fight shook up those projections a bit, with Modafferi preventing Barber from quickly climbing up the ladder as some would have hoped.
The fight started with both landing their fair share on the feet, but once Modafferi got the action to the mat, it was the beginning of the end for Barber. Throughout the first round, “The Happy Warrior” got the best of “The Future,” outgrappling Barber and nearly scoring a couple of submissions.
Then, in an even bigger impact, Modafferi dropped Barber in the second round with a punch before raining down ground-and-pound and continuing to outwork the youngster over the next five minutes, busting her open badly. It looked like the fight could have been called at any point there.
It also could’ve been called between the second and third rounds when a doctor noted that Barber had partially torn her ACL but said “she’s fine.” That proved to be a mistake, as while Barber didn’t have to stay on the feet for long, she was dominated again on the ground until the final horn, giving Modafferi the win in one of the UFC’s most notable routes of 2020 and handing Barber her first defeat.
As of Dec. 28, Modafferi is ranked No. 8 at women’s flyweight, having since lost a decision to Lauren Murphy and scored a decision win over Andrea Lee. Even if she never goes on to win UFC gold, her performance against Barber is symbolic of how good Modafferi still is in competition and how she’s succeeded better than some may have expected since a return to the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter season 26.
Barber, meanwhile, is currently ranked No. 10, and one has to wonder how she’ll look when she makes her Octagon return in 2021.
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