‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas recalls ‘disrespectful’ run-in with Maycee Barber’s father: ‘That’s not cool’

'Thug' Rose Namajunas recalls 'disrespectful' run-in with Maycee Barber's father: 'That's not cool'

Though they’ve never stepped inside the cage, there is plenty of history between ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas and Maycee Barber.

On Saturday, July 13, they’ll finally settle it when the promotion heads to The Mile High City—Denver, Colorado—for a loaded Fight Night card inside Ball Arena. There, Namajunas will look to make it two straight as a flyweight when she meets streaking standout and top-five-ranked contender Maycee Barber.

Rose Namajunas vs. Maycee Barber

Not only will the contest come with some serious title implications in the 125-pound division, but it will also serve as an opportunity for the two to squash some longstanding beef stemming from their time training within similar circles in The Centennial State.

“I don’t know exactly how old she was when we met. She was probably around 18 or something like that, maybe 17,” Namajunas told MMA Junkie. “I know we did some jiu-jitsu one time. I think we grappled a bit. I remember it was a situational thing, as far as I remember.

“This was a really long time ago. There was a few times where we were supposed to spar and she was at the gym, but something had come up during that. I was ready to go, but something with her was going on. … We didn’t train extensively together a bunch. She was always just kind of in the area.”

As Namajunas was working her way up the strawweight ranks, Barber made her promotional debut as a young and hungry 21-year-old in the division before moving to flyweight following some issues with making the 115-pound limit.

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With Namajunas now testing out her skill set at 125, the timing has never been more right for ‘Thug’ and Barber to settle what they started all those years ago in the gym.

“What I do remember very vividly is her fighting a couple of my training partners and her beating those training partners and really just trying to throw that in my face as if she’s beating me or something, and then she would call me out or something and saying she’s knocking off my training partners and I’m next,” Namajunas said.

“That’s what I remember specifically. Ever since she got to the UFC, she didn’t really say those things as much. She was (talking) more pre-UFC. Then when she moved up to flyweight, we were obviously in different divisions. It’s just funny because before, it was she was coming for me. But now I’m coming for her because I’m moving up and I’m coming for her ranking. The tables have turned.”

Rose Namajunas

Rose Namajunas recalls disrespectful moment from maycee barber’s dad

Despite all the trash-talk that Barber flung in her direction, Rose Namajunas has no animosity toward ‘The Future.’ However, she can’t say the same when it comes to Barber’s father and coach, Bucky Barber.

“I honestly like that she is confident in herself,” Namajunas said. “As long as it’s in a confident, true, genuine manner, I love when fighters are confident. I like when they believe in themselves. As long as she ain’t being disrespectful I’m cool with it. I don’t know about like, her dad was kind of disrespectful I kind of felt like back in the day. But that was him. Whatever. But her, I think she should keep doing what she’s doing and I respect everything that she’s done. She’s really developed into an impressive prospect that I’m looking forward to facing.”


The “disrespectful” moment in question came after one of Barber’s fights when the coach ran off at the mouth, putting himself into a spot Namajunas feels he didn’t belong in.

“He was just yelling in my face saying that, ‘We’re coming for you,’” Namajunas recalled. “It’s like, ‘Hey, chill out man.’ I don’t have a dad in my life so I’m going to have to get some other people. Because if we’re going to gang up on me then I’ve got to get a gang up, too.

“(It was) after a fight. I’m sure emotions were high but I personally was like, ‘That was uncalled for on his part.’ To me it’s like if my corner starts attacking my opponent, then the opponent’s corner has the right. We’re all fighting now. To me, that’s the etiquette. It should be just between the fighter and the fighter. I know that if you’re a parent you might have a little more emotion involved, but you’ve got to control yourself. That’s not cool.”

Maycee Barber