Even though she is just 19 years old, strawweight prospect Maycee Barber announced her arrival to the pro ranks of MMA with a dominating performance worthy of a fighter with much more experience.
Against Itzel Esquivel at LFA 14 in June, Barber was able to dominate the bout from the start and pick up a first round submission win in her pro debut.
“I feel like I performed pretty well. I came out with my hand raised and got the finish,” Barber told MMAWeekly.com. “I thought it went well. I felt good under the pressure.
“It was a pretty smooth transition. I don’t notice a whole lot of difference (between the amateurs and pros). Obviously there’s the treat of the knees to the head and elbows, but other than that it’s not much different.”
For Barber, her youth means that regardless of how well she does now, she has so much time to grow into her potential that her celling for how high she can climb in MMA is much higher than older fighters.
“Honestly I feel like my age is a huge blessing,” said Barber. “I got into this sport young and that’s huge. It’s better than getting into it at an older age.
“Fighters who are 26, 27, are in the prime of their career, and older ones are getting closer to the end of theirs, but I’m just getting started and I have so much to grow and a lot to improve on, so there’s a lot of room for improvement and that means I’ll have a more successful career.”
Barber (1-0) will look to further live up to her potential when she returns to the LFA on Friday in Broomfield, Colo., to take on Malory Martin (1-1) in a main card 115-pound bout.
“I know (Martin) throws good, hard, strikes, but I feel confident in every aspect of my game,” Barber said. “Honestly, I don’t care how it ends, but I know I’m going to have my hand raised.”
For now, Barber is concerned mainly with her immediate future as she continues to build her career, nonetheless, she does keep an eye towards a larger goal in the coming years.
“Right now we’re taking it fight by fight,” said Barber. “The ultimate goal is the UFC and I see that in the future. I don’t know how or when exactly, but I’m not worried about ‘if’ it’s going to happen but ‘when’ it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time.”