Roxanne Modafferi handed Maycee Barber her first career loss on Saturday at UFC 246 and ended the rapid rise of the young flyweight. Barber entered the bout with an 8-0 record with finishes over all of her previous UFC opponents. The 21-year old aspired to become the youngest UFC champion.
Modafferi entered the octagon as the biggest underdog on the fight card. The experienced veteran wanted to show the world that she’s a contender in the division. She did that by soundly defeating the up-and-comer.
Barber took the fight to Modaferri and aggressively pressed the pace in the opening round. Modaferri stayed composed and began to put together combinations. She closed the distance and took Barber down after landing a hard right hand. On the ground, Modaferri showed that her grappling is world class. She improved her position and mounted Barber. Barber scrambled and gained top position in the closing seconds but Modaferri dominated the round.
In the second frame, Modaferri stepped in with a jab and Barber fell to the canvas. It looked like a knockdown but the replay revealed that Barber had suffered a knee injury. She immediately grabbed her knee after hitting the ground.
Modaferri followed Barber to the canvas. She quickly moved to side control and then advanced to the mount position. She postured up and delivered punches and elbows but Barber reversed the position midway through the round. Moments later, Modafferi revered Barber and ended the frame in top position.
At the end of the frame, Barber limped back to her corner. A doctor was called in to check her leg and demeaned that she was able to continue. Barber’s mobility was severely compromised and she was a stationary target for Modaferri’s striking. Modaferri landed power punches and elbows before taking the fight to the ground. The bout went the distance but was largely one-sided. Modaferri won every round.
“I see that Maycee’s leg is injured, so I wish her a very speedy recovery,” said Modafferi after the win.
With the win, Modaferri rebounded from a decision loss to Jennifer Maia in her last outing. Ranked at No. 7 in the division, Modaferri showed that she’s still a dangerous opponent in the weight class.
“I want to prove that I’m not just a veteran gatekeeper. I’m still getting stronger and I belong in the top ten,” she said.