Maycee Barber is set for the biggest test of her career when she takes on former title challenger, Jessica Eye. Taking place on this weekend’s UFC 276 prelims, Barber will look to continue her momentum and notch her third straight victory. Eye, on the other hand, is looking to snap a three-fight losing streak.
We take a look into the numbers behind both women heading into the fight using UFC stats.com.
So who has the upper hand in the striking range? Barber, the favourite, has superior striking… on paper. She lands 4.45 strikes per minute with an accuracy of 51%. It’s reasonable to assume that that percentage would have been far higher before she fought Alexa Grasso. Against Grasso, she couldn’t find her range and seemed to feint on the outside for the entire fight and never actually step forwards into striking range or into danger. She swung widely and missed by a large distance, leading to her striking percentage being drastically reduced.
Barber absorbs 2.69 per minute with a 54% defence. She’s never been knocked out and last time out only absorbed 41 strikes across 15 minutes. Across her career, she’s finished five fights during her career via KO/TKO, however, only two of those victories have come on the feet and the remainder have come via ground and pound.
Jessica Eye, on the other hand, lands 3.96 strikes per minute with an accuracy of just 36%. She absorbs 4.19 strikes per minute with a defence of 56%. She’s notched four finish victories, with three coming via KO/TKO. She hasn’t finished a fight since 2014, however, and this one came via doctor’s stoppage. 11 of her last 12 fights have gone the distance, with one going in favour of her opponent via knockout.
Again, Barber appears to have the advantage in the grappling realm in this fight. She lands 1.30 takedowns per 15 minutes, however, with an accuracy of just 32%. Her defence is impressive at 62% and has only been taken down three times in her UFC career. She initiates plenty of grappling exchanges, however, looking to work in the clinch and use her strength to dominate. Despite only one takedown being landed each, against Montana De La Rosa, they clinched for the majority of the fight, with each woman clocking up over five minutes control time. Barber landed 40 of 47 clinch strikes, showing how active she is when she gets into position.
Jessica Eye’s takedown average is just 0.55 per 15 minutes, showing that she largely isn’t interested in taking the fight to the ground. Her accuracy is better than Barber’s at 44% and interestingly holds a 57% takedown defence, showing that she gets taken down almost one in every two takedown attempts on her.
Barber via Unanimous Decision
The stats would suggest that Maycee Barber has the edge wherever the fight goes. She’s the younger, hungrier fighter who is enjoying a far better run of form as of late. Barber is 2-2 since 2020, having lost twice in a row before bouncing back with two straight victories.
Eye, on the other hand, has lost her last three, all via decision. She has a huge experience advantage over Barber, however, having a total of 26 fights, including a title shot against Barber’s 12 fights.
Barber will likely look to hold Eye up against the fence and grind out a gritty, low-action victory. She’ll unload when there’s an opportunity, however, will be danger averse throughout in order to get the victory. Don’t expect fireworks but expect a highly competitive bout.