Coming into the event after two straight losses, the 23-year-old prospect certainly didn’t want to taste defeat for a third time in a row. But Barber definitely had her hands full for all 15 minutes spent in the cage with Maverick.
Two of the judges disagreed, and Barber believes they made the right call.
“I won that fight and I got my hand raised,” Barber said backstage at UFC Vegas 32. “I don’t read Twitter, I don’t read comments, I don’t pay attention to that. I did what I needed to do. The judges did what they needed to do and I got my hand raised. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
“I’m confident that I won that fight. I feel like I won in the spots that mattered, the little bitty details. I’m ready to go back, train and get a finish next time.”
In the early part of the fight, Barber appeared to be struggling with her distance as she was coming up short on a lot of shots while reacting to Maverick’s offensive output.
While Maverick didn’t earn a knockdown or anything quite so dramatic, she still appeared to connect with the better strikes during the first two rounds, although Barber wasn’t all that impressed by her.
“She was pretty much what we had expected,” Barber said. “The way she threw, the combos she threw. I definitely should have kept a little bit more pressure and countered like right after she threw. So I feel like I was a little bit delayed and it took me a little bit to work those counters off of what she was throwing. By the second and third round, I was watching when she was throwing her kick, she would spin all the way through and that’s something that I noticed in the fight like ‘oh she’s spinning all the way through’ and her eyes are looking that way and they’re not even focused.
“So that was something that I picked up and I was a little confused on and I was like why am I getting confused on that? I should have been countering it. That’s something obviously I’m going to work on.”
In fact, Barber says she welcomes the expectations that come along with the spotlight she’s been under ever since joining the UFC roster, and she hopes it never goes away.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel I had my back against the wall and I don’t feel like there was pressure lifted off my shoulders [with this win],” Barber explained. “Cause I want that pressure on my shoulders. The pressure and the anticipation and the nerves that I put on myself, it’s not bad energy. It’s an expectation for myself and I want to keep those expectations.
“No, I didn’t let it lift off my shoulders. It’s just on there cause I’m not holding the belt. So let’s keep it on there until I get to the title and even after I get the title, let’s keep it on there so I can defend it.”