Combat Sports

UFC Vegas 32: Miranda Maverick vs. Maycee Barber Preview

Image for UFC Vegas 32: Miranda Maverick vs. Maycee Barber Preview

Alongside the fantastic UFC Vegas 32 headliner, the two biggest prospects in the women’s flyweight division, Miranda Maverick, and Maycee Barber will fight to retain their place in the top-15. Join us as we break down this fight and the important implications and action that’s sure to follow.

The UFC Vegas 32 main event will see the return of TJ Dillashaw following his two-year suspension, as he meets former training partner and top-ranked bantamweight, Cory Sandhagen.

Miranda Maverick vs. Maycee Barber: Meet the Fighters

Miranda “Fear The” Maverick

Miranda Maverick
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 24: Miranda Maverick celebrates her victory over Liana Jojua of Georgia in their women’s flyweight bout during the UFC 254 event on October 24, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Fear” Maverick enters UFC Vegas 32 with her chance to secure the biggest win of her young career. A hungry, motivated Maverick is eager to prove she belongs with the prominent names of the women’s flyweight division, and securing a victory over Maycee Barber would do just that. Maverick will come into this fight holding a record of 9-2 (2-0 in UFC) and riding a five-fight win streak. Could Barber become number six on this list?

Maverick is amongst the newest wave of talent entering into the world of MMA, at just 24 years old. While she is well-rounded in all facets, her high-level grappling is what sets her apart. She showed why in her most recent victory over submission ace, Gillian Robertson. Maverick was able to not only stay safe from any potential threats while on the ground with Robertson but utterly dominate, constantly threatening to finish the fight with her own arsenal of weapons. It would eventually end via decision in Maverick’s favor, with her getting the upper hand in the grappling exchanges, as well as showing her ever-improving skills on the feet as well. 

The former Invicta FC standout turned UFC prospect will look to carry her momentum into her ESPN main card slot this Saturday. Many can see the talent this young woman possesses and should she come out and make another statement, against a fellow rising star, her stock will continue to rise. However, as Maycee Barber is looking to end her two-fight skid convincingly, it will not come easy. 

Maycee “The Future” Barber

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 10: Maycee Barber reacts after defeating Hannah Cifers in their women’s strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Pepsi Center on November 10, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Barber comes into UFC Vegas 32 with one priority in mind. Getting back in the win column. The 23-year-old entered the UFC with a perfect professional record but now finds herself on the losing side of two straight fights. Sitting at 8-2 (3-2 in UFC, 1-0 on DWCS), “The Future” knows how important this fight with Maverick is to keep her in talks as a future title contender.

Much like her UFC Vegas 32 counterpart, Barber is very well-rounded and loves to bring the pressure. She has shown this numerous times in the octagon, as she rallied off three straight TKO victories to begin her UFC career against tough opponents such as Hannah Cifers, JJ Aldrich, and Gillian Robertson. However, the bigger storyline is the aforementioned two-fight losing streak that Barber finds herself on. The first coming to the veteran, Roxanne Modafferi, in a fight that Barber tore her ACL early in the fight, but still ended up going the distance. The ladder of the two-fight skid came against Alexa Grasso in a back and forth battle, where Grasso got the better of the exchanges en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Now the once undefeated Barber is looking to right the wrongs and prove all of the hype she entered the UFC with is still very much deserved. While this is a small step back for Barber, this is far from an easy fight in terms of the ranking of her opponent. Should she come out with a victory, Barber may get herself right back on for her UFC title aspirations.

Fight Breakdown

This fight, on paper, should be non-stop from start to finish. In terms of aggression, pacing and a “grind it out” style, both Maverick and Barber share many similarities. From bell to bell we have seen both of these fighters push their opponents to the brink to secure victories. So to see them match up with one another, which will break first? 

Maverick enters this fight with the definitive edge in the grappling department. Whilst Barber is no slouch in this area, Maverick is still a step above. She always looks to press her opponents up against the fence, thus allowing her to grab a leg and drag her opponents to the canvas. Once there, Maverick never stops looking to advance positions and search for opportunities to finish her opponents.

Barber can compete with the grappling, but she looks more to clinch and control her opponents from there with nasty elbows and dirty boxing. If Barber can sprawl and stop Maverick from getting the top position, it will open up more paths to victory for “The Future”.

There has simply been a bigger serving size in the standup if you will of Barber’s strengths. She loves to press forward, not allowing her opponents any space and essentially forcing them to fight her style of fight. Barber throws shots with intent to finish people, plain and simple. If she lands a big shot, she sees it as a “blood in the water” situation and will immediately rain down combinations until her opponents wilt under the pressure.

Maverick, as previously mentioned, showed in her last fight how she is beginning to tighten up the striking and feel more comfortable. With that said, Barber will still have the advantage here. It is possible that if the striking stays more at distance, it may be better for Maverick, but it is hard to imagine the standup will take place there very often during this fight, given the aggression of both fighters.

This fight feels like it is flying under the radar, even though it is two of the biggest prospects in this division, and truthfully in all four women’s divisions. Both fighters have fan-friendly styles, love getting into wars to test their toughness, and ultimately will look to finish until the final horn sounds. A fight of the night contender is what this shall be dubbed and once these two are locked in the cage, they will showcase why. For one, a shot to launch into the top-ten, and for the other, a hindrance in their prospect status is on the line at UFC Vegas 32.

Let us know in the comments what your predictions are for Miranda Maverick vs. Maycee Barber!

Featured Image Credits To Embed from Getty Images and Embed from Getty Images

Share this article

Dominic Sallee is a Combat Sports writer. He focuses primarily on the UFC, with plans to venture out with pieces from other MMA organizations in the future. Along with writing, Dominic is also the Co-Host of the Below Average Joe's MMA Podcast, which produces 2-3 new episodes per week about all things in the MMA community!