The Film Room: Maycee Barber

By Kevin Wilson Oct 16, 2019
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Maycee Barber will take on Gillian Robertson at UFC on ESPN 6. Casual fans may not know who these women are, but they are two of the brightest female prospects in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Barber is just 21 while Robertson is 24 and both women have already shown promising skills that will could have them in the Top 5 in the near future.

This is a highly-intriguing fight because both women have drastically different styles than the other. Barber is a striker whose style is an odd mix of muay Thai and karate, while Robertson is a pure grappler and all but two of her wins are via submission.



Barber began her career training with the Jackson-Wink MMA team in Albuquerque and her style is similar to a lot of their young fighters. The wide karate like base, low hands with an upright torso, and the constant feints and movement is all Jackson-Wink 101. She has since moved her camp to Milwaukie, where she trains with Duke Rufus and Ben Askren, but Jackson’s style is still prevalent in her game today.

Barber is huge for 125 and few in the division can match her punching power so she is constantly pressing forward with combos. She generally stands southpaw with her money punch being the left straight, but she also likes to mix in kicks and lead hooks to set up the left.



Barbers highlights are all leading attacks, but she is arguably better in a slower-paced fight where she can use her length to fight on the outside and counter. The wide karate stance and constant bounce in her feet allow her to cover distance very quickly and her long reach means she can land her counters while being out of range of returning strikes. Her go-to is again the standard southpaw left straight, but she also has shown a really nice lead hook at times.



Barber is one of the youngest fighters on the UFC roster and although she has a very bright future, as of now she has a lot to work on if she wants to achieve her dream of being the youngest UFC champion ever. In her most recent fight with J.J. Aldrich, Barber’s defense was severely exposed. Nearly every time she threw a kick she was met with a counter and Aldrich’s southpaw jab was giving her a lot of problems in the closed guard. As a southpaw, Barber is used to fighting in the open guard and this was the first time she fought a fellow southpaw who forced her to fight in the closed guard. She eventually switched to orthodox and won the fight via TKO but her inability to fight in both guards was exposed and future opponents will certainly try to exploit it.



Something else concerning for her in this fight is her tendency to fall into the clinch. She does some of her best work in the clinch but we haven’t seen her deal with a grappler yet, so it's probably best she sticks to striking on the outside, especially since most of Robertson’s takedowns come from the clinch.



But Barber also has vicious ground-and-pound and can use her size advantage to simply overwhelm opponents on the ground. Sometimes it's not all about technique. Sometimes it's just about posturing up and dropping wild leather and/or elbows until the ref steps in. Advertisement

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