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Maycee Barber details why she is not fighting Rose Namajunas at UFC Denver

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon29 June 2024

UFC flyweight contender Maycee Barber continues to battle the lingering effects of a severe health scare that led to her prolonged hospital stay over two months ago. In a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday night, Barber shared the ongoing health issues that caused her to withdraw from her highly anticipated main event fight against Rose Namajunas at UFC Denver in July.

Barber revealed that her health problems began shortly after her last fight, which resulted in a nine-day hospital stay. Despite numerous tests, doctors were initially unable to diagnose the root cause of her illness, and during her hospitalization, she also developed pneumonia. The extensive use of oral and IV antibiotics significantly impacted her system, leaving her in a weakened state.

"When I accepted this fight, I was told that I would be okay by the time July came around," Barber wrote. "So after a few weeks, I eased back into training and camp. However, as I got deeper into camp, I just couldn’t find the intensity needed to get ready for a 5-round fight, let alone the first 5 minutes of a practice."

Barber expressed her disappointment at being unable to compete in front of her hometown crowd, family, and friends, especially against a high-caliber opponent like Namajunas. Despite her efforts to push through, her team recognized that she was not physically ready to train or fight safely, leading to the decision to seek further medical advice.

Medical professionals, in collaboration with the UFC, conducted extensive tests on Barber's blood, urine, sinus microbiome, gut, and hormones. The results revealed that her immune system had been severely compromised by the antibiotics and that she was also suffering from an Epstein-Barr virus infection. This combination caused body aches, headaches, extreme fatigue, and an inability to recover between training sessions.

"The more we are digging into my physiology and immune system, the more apparent it becomes that not only did the numerous rounds of antibiotics wreck my immune system, but the constant training compounded to get me into a position of essentially feeling always sick and completely wiped out," Barber explained.

Doctors informed Barber of the severe risks, including the potential for her spleen to rupture, which could have life-altering consequences. Faced with these dangers, Barber, her coaches, doctors, and the UFC collectively decided that she needed to prioritize her health to ensure a future in the sport.

ALSO READ | Rose Namajunas recalls crazy story involving the father of Maycee Barber

As Barber steps back to focus on her recovery, Tracy Cortez has stepped in to face Namajunas at UFC Denver, scheduled for July 13 at Colorado's Ball Arena.

Barber remains hopeful and determined to return to the octagon once she has fully recovered and is eager to make a comeback in the future.

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