In a game as loud as mixed martial arts, it’s usually tricky to separate the signal from the sounds. This dissociation is created even more difficult by the small sample sizes in play. Even a 30-second knockout, for example, could possibly be the sign of a brilliant operation by one fighter, a spectacular defensive lapse from the other, a matchmaking mistake, or perhaps a combination of all three. In some cases, there’s absolutely not any definitive decision available in the moment, just pure conjecture.

That’s where we’re now with Maycee Barber, a promising strawweight-turned-flyweight who is two months shy of her 21st birthday, yet who has been embraced by UFC brass and who has said that a objective of becoming the youngest UFC winner in history. The current recordings is held by Jon Jones, that was 23 decades, 8 months old when he ascended the throne in 2011.

For Barber, there is time and energy to get there and there is much to like thus far. In six professional struggles, she’s undefeated, and it has just become to a decision once. She’s got a lifetime of martial arts experience to fallback on.

Within her Octagon debut last November,” Barber showed a subtle maturity to her game that belied her age. As many younger fighters drop focus whilst experiencing the bright lights to the very first time, Barber flashed a number of the gifts that built her rapid growth the ace ranks. Slicing elbows. A highly effective clinch. And finishing instinct. When she cut open her opponent Hannah Cifers, Barber sensed a finish and turned up the pressure, overwhelming Cifers with ground strikes. The final has been quite similar to her stoppage TKO that brought her a place in the promotion.

That’s maybe not surprising, but given her path. Training in karate since age 3, and with parents also involved martial arts as the family enterprise, Barber comes out of everything appears to be a valuable lineage. And although it’s totally acceptable to find excitement within her rise, it should also come with some warning.

Her origin narrative isn’t even really far different compared to the Sage Northcutt, for instance. The former UFC fighter was likewise a lifelong martial artist that debuted at the organization at an early age, only 1-9. Northcutt went 6-2 at the UFC before departing the organization, therefore he wasn’t even a wash out with no stretch, but he’d fall short of the gigantic expectations set for him ahead of his arrival. He fought with a graded competitor, never approached a name taken, never proceeded beyond the ldquo;featured appeal ” stage. At 23, he has sufficient time to write a legacy, but it’therefore worth noting that it is tricky to reach greatness inside this game, let alone in an age where many of one’s peers remain partying in college or starting their first real tasks.

Still, Barber was all but anointed. For starters, her family christened her with the nickname “the long run. ” For some other, UFC president Dana White recently singled her out as the next star, some thing Barber giddily accepted as a vote of confidence.

“That’s an honour. Despite the fact that I’m so convinced, this ’s where I deserve to be, this ’therefore where I want to be, damn right that’so where I’m. But ’s huge honour to have the very best person in the UFC cite that your name in a sit down with Megan Olivi and give you charge and notoriety, I couldn’t even require a better start to my week. ”

At UFC Nashville, Barber will soon be confronting J-J Aldrich, a fighter with reeled off three consecutive victories, including one over Polyana Viana, that just this past year looked for a future name competition. In other words, Aldrich has faced down this kind of match up before, making it an invaluable measuring stick for Barber.

If she windon’t even be surprised to see Barber crash the divisional rankings next week. Which could also indicate that her ambitious aim is actually within reach. Still, there would be quite a long way to go between now and then. The odds are against Barber attaining her assignment, but out every time, we’ll begin to get hints on just how reachable it’s.

For now, she remains unbowed. Youth is going to try this for you. Talent may, too. Barber appears to bask in the spotlight and attention, and that she isn’t even backing out from the oversize expectations. Asked this week she was comfortable putting such weight on her shoulders, she couldn’t even prevent a smile out of rebounding.

“I’m a diamond. ”


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