One of the rising stars in the UFC will be on the shelf for quite some time in 2020. After suffering the first professional loss in her MMA career to Roxanne Modafferi this past weekend at UFC 246, Maycee Barber suffered a pretty significant knee injury that will keep her out of competition for a good part of 2020.
Barber’s father first told Brett Okamoto of ESPN that “The Future” suffered a complete tear of the ACL in her left knee in the fight against Modafferi, and he added that she will likely miss around 9 months and will have surgery in California and undergo rehab in Las Vegas.
Barber’s father, Bucky Barber, told ESPN that he believes the injury happened very early into the fight:
“We think she injured it in the first 10 seconds. She stepped on Roxanne’s foot as she backed up and felt a pop. You can see the knee give out on the side. She went back and started fighting and trying to do things and I noticed she was flat in a way I’ve never seen before.”
Prior to the beginning of the third round, a doctor checked on Barber’s knee and told referee Jason Herzog that it was a “partial tear” of her ACL and she could continue fighting. Modafferi would go on to pick up the unanimous decision victory and score one of the biggest betting upsets in UFC history.
When asked about Barber’s injury in their fight, Modafferi said she recognized the fact that her opponent was hurt, but she didn’t want to cause any further damage to the knee.
I think if I had kicked it and bruised it and she was limping on it, I would’ve kept kicking it. But I knew she had some kind of ligament injury, so while I would take advantage of that, I just didn’t wanna injure it more. https://t.co/9pPYGHBdqU
— Roxanne Modafferi (@Roxyfighter) January 19, 2020
Maycee Barber has said that she wants to break the record set by light heavyweight champion Jon Jones for being the youngest champion in UFC history, as Jones earned his first UFC gold at 23-years old. The injury time could make that a tougher challenge for Barber who is currently 21-years old and will turn 22-years old in May of 2020. If she does miss around 9 months of competition, Barber should be expected to return around October or November this year.