UFC 246: Under The Radar
By James Heaney
It’s fight week, it’s PPV week, it’s Vegas and it’s the return of Conor McGregor so understandably all eyes are on him, Donald Cerrone and how this welterweight Main Event might play out.
There’s been criticism of the rest of the 246 card which is a little unwarranted. The rescheduled rematch between Pennington and Holm serves as the co-main and elsewhere there’s appearances for Anthony Pettis, and Andre Filli- all of who bring excitement to their fights.
But my pick for Under The Radar this week is a classic veteran v ‘The Future’ match up.
At the top of the Preliminary Card, undefeated Maycee Barber is looking to extend her unbeaten record against Roxanne Modafferi.
Barber’s coaches have been talking about how she is still developing, still getting better and still not peaked, even though she is flying up the flyweight rankings- and she’s still just 21. The Contender Series alumni has built a large following with her aggressive style- only 1 of her 8 fights have gone the distance.
In front of her is the unassuming but superbly skilled, pioneer of Women’s MMA, Roxanne Modafferi. She comes into this bout off a loss to Jennifer Maia, three months after her impressive April 2019 win against Antonina Shevchenko in Russia. “The Happy Warrior” has been fighting since Maycee Barber was 5 years old and will look to weather the early storm expected from Barber and impose her impressive ground game. But even that is a tough ask for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo brown belt, given Barbers strong top game and wrestling skillset.
Modaferri has talked this week of ‘derailing the hype train’ following Maycee Barber but the reality is that the hype is entirely justified.
I’m expecting an explosive first round where Modaferri looks to keep the fight at range- avoiding the clinch and intensity of Maycee Barber. This is a great match up highlighting different skillsets, different eras of MMA and is a great way to round out the Prelims.