Maycee Barber’s undefeated streak came to a halt at UFC 246 when she lost via unanimous decision against Roxanne Modafferi. To make matters worse, she suffered a completely torn ACL, which happened mid-fight.
As the injury happened, Nevada State Athletic Commission doctor David Watson stepped in to check on Barber’s knee. In just a few seconds of examination, he was already able to conclude that the 21-year-old fighter suffered a “partial ACL tear” at the time.
While she visibly struggled, Barber fought through the injury. But in retrospect, she felt that the Watson’s actions put her at a disadvantage.
”I was doing everything I could to disguise the fact that I had been compromised,” Barber wrote to MMA Fighting. “I feel like the fact that the doctor completely gave away that I was dealing with something. It also made the injury more prominent to me when I was trying to push it out of my head for the fight.
“Had it been me fighting, if I would have seen the doctor stepping in and checking someone’s knee, that would instantly be the thing that I target.”
Barber is still left puzzled about what happened, which is never really seen during fights.
”I feel as though the doctor should have come up to me and ask me if I was good, and then listened to my response,” she wrote. “I personally have never seen anyone sat down in the middle of fight and had a doctor (check) their knee stability, and then proceed to get up and announce to the ref and everyone else there was a small ACL tear and that (the fighter) was ‘fine.’
“I knew something in my knee was torn and I wasn’t fine, but I knew that I could be in the fight, and then after the fight was over, I could cry and deal with it.
”There is absolutely no benefit or reason for the doctor to check me if he was going to let me continue, and there most definitely wasn’t a reason to announce the injury and let me continue knowing full well that he had just ‘shown my hand,’” Barber added.
As she now faces a likely nine-month layoff, Barber expects to bounce back stronger in her return “by the end of 2020.”
”This sh-t sucks,” Barber wrote. “What a life, and I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing. Losses happen, injuries are real, and champions overcome all. I’ll be back and better than before. This is the life I chose, and I want to live every part of it.”
After UFC 246, Barber now holds a record of 8-1 (with seven wins by stoppage).