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I could beat her - Maycee Barber says she’ll ‘continue to expose’ Valentina Shevchenko

Top ten flyweight Maycee Barber feels more chinks in Valentina Shevchenko’s armor as continuing to show up after every fight.

Valentina Shevchenko gets in a compromising position against Taila Santos at UFC 275 in June.
Valentina Shevchenko gets in a compromising position against Taila Santos at UFC 275 in June.
Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

As dominant of a champion that she is, Valentina Shevchenko has had her moments of vulnerability. For many observers, her UFC 275 performance against Taila Santos was a good enough indicator of some chinks in her armor that could be exploited.

Number ten-ranked women’s flyweight contender Maycee Barber feels the same way. As she told reporters during her post-UFC 276 win over Jessica Eye, the champ’s weaknesses are being more “exposed” after every fight.

“I truly believe that I could beat the champion. She’s being exposed more and more with every fight that she has, and we’re gonna continue to expose that. And I’m gonna continue to grind and chase that title, so when it happens, it happens. But when it happens, I’ll be ready,” Barber said.

“I feel like I’m continuing to evolve, I’m continuing to grind. And her holes are continuing to be exposed. Taila Santos had she not got that head clash thing and her eye be swollen, I honestly think she would be the champion right now.”

There was one point in her career when the 24-year-old Barber believed she could be the UFC’s youngest champion. But now that she’s taken a slightly different path, she’s no longer in a huge rush to make it happen.

“Everything’s evolving, everything’s changing, but for me right now, I’m chasing it. And I’m growing,” Barber said. “Do I feel like I’m ready right now? I don’t think so. I feel like I need to continue to sharpen up my striking.

“I need to continue to sharpen up my game. I need to continue to sharpen up my wrestling. But mentally, do I believe I could be the champion today? Absolutely.”

Barber’s UFC 276 win improved her record to 11-2.