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Erin Blanchfield: ‘Pathetic’ Maycee Barber talks a lot but ‘scared of fighting people at the very top’

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Erin Blanchfield has more important things on her mind that dealing with Maycee Barber.

Just days away from headlining UFC Atlantic City in a potential No. 1 contender bout against Manon Fiorot, the 24-year-old flyweight knows a win should cement her as the next challenger to face either Alexa Grasso or Valentina Shevchenko. That’s why she’s not spending much time paying attention to Barber’s comments after Barber called Blanchfield and Fiorot “boring” and questioned why they were given a headlining spot on a card.

Blanchfield was actually matched up against Barber two years ago, but the fight never occurred and Barber dropped off the card for undisclosed reasons. Barber has since racked up six wins in a row, but Blanchfield hasn’t been all that impressed by what she’s seen.

“I was matched up to fight her, she pulled out of that fight,” Blanchfield told MMA Fighting. “I believe I heard Manon said [Barber] didn’t want to fight her either. They were supposed to be matched up and [Barber] said no.

“She talks a lot for somebody who’s scared of fighting people at the very top. I don’t really care much for her opinion. If you’re too scared to fight people at this level, people that are at the top of their game, you shouldn’t be talking.”

Over her current run through the division, Barber has scored a knockout of Amanda Ribas and earned five decisions along the way, but she hadn’t faced anyone ranked in the UFC’s flyweight top five until her recent win over Katlyn Cerminara.

Blanchfield doesn’t discount that win, although she acknowledges Cerminara was returning to action after a year off and dealing personal issues due to her struggles with fertility treatments in her time away. As much as a win over a one-time title challenger like Cerminara still matters, Blanchfield knows there’s a chance Barber wasn’t facing the best version of Cerminara that night at UFC 299.

“Katlyn is a high-level fighter, but she took a year off and she went through a lot,” Blanchfield said. “So I feel like her body and her mental space wasn’t in the right place, whereas Maycee was trying to get better. I feel like comparing my wins or even Manon’s, we’ve beaten a lot better people.”

When it comes to Barber’s request to serve as the backup for the flyweight title fight expected to take place later this year, Blanchfield scoffs at that suggestion, especially as she’s preparing to headline a card with Fiorot on Saturday.

Blanchfield has no doubt whatsoever that the winner of her fight will be ahead of Barber, whether she likes it or not.

“She’s a little pathetic for how she talks for somebody who’s not willing to fight people at the highest level that are really at the top of their game,” Blanchfield said of Barber.

“She’s talking about filling in spots for Alexa or Valentina. I win this fight against Manon, that’s my spot to fill.”

Blanchfield would prefer fighting for the title, but she has no problem backing up the title fight as well if that’s what the UFC needs from her.

“I’d totally would be down for that,” Blanchfield said. “I think they even pay you for that. It’s kind of like, why not? Put yourself in that space to get that opportunity. I mean, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, but you’re giving yourself the best chance.”

If timing doesn’t work out on the backup role or just waiting on a title shot becomes too much of a delay, Blanchfield promises she will have no problem silencing Barber in the cage if given the chance.

On paper, she’d be taking a step back in the rankings for that fight, but Blanchfield has supreme confidence that she’d dispatch Barber now with the same confidence she had going into their original matchup back in 2021.

“If neither of us do [get that backup role], I would totally fight her,” Blanchfield said. “I know I would win. I know I’d solidify my spot. So I’d totally be down for that.”

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