UFC flyweight up-and-comer Maycee Barber is nicknamed “The Future” … probably because she wants nothing to do with her past. Barber, now 24, was being terrorized by a stalker in the early part of her mixed martial arts (MMA) career, to the point where it was affecting both her personal and professional lives.

“I had a pretty serious stalker situation which went on for about two-three years,” Barber told MiddleEasy. “At the time that I missed weight, that was when he was not in jail and he was somewhere in Denver and I was fighting in Denver so I was [under] super high stress. They had the SWAT after him, the security at the fight had a picture of him and knew, ‘Hey, this is the guy. Nobody lets this guy in.’ That happened during my weight cut so I was really stressed out. That’s not an excuse, I did what I could and I tried to make the weight and I missed the weight so that’s on me and I still wanted that fight so we made it work. But the end of that story is he’s in jail now. He’s being sentenced to like 10 years.”

Barber missed weight for her Mallory Martin fight ahead of the Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) card in late 2017, but managed to pull out the win in their catchweight contest. Unfortunately, the experience had a lasting effect on how Barber approaches MMA fandom.

“It’s not just me,” Barber continued. “Every female athlete is gonna have that. This world is dark and dirty and I feel like social media has allowed people to just say whatever they want and have no repercussions whatsoever. I don’t read through messages and it sucks because there’s times where there’s messages from young girls, young people, that are good, but the stalker that I had was impersonating a young girl so it’s hard to really decipher and figure out who is who and what’s what. So to protect my own self, I just try not to respond at all. I feel like a lot of people are doing the negative stuff to get a reaction and if you give them that reaction it fuels that and they make up this stuff in their mind. But to avoid all the creepers and the gross people, I just can’t respond. I can’t do it anymore.”

Barber (11-2) was last seen toppling Jessica Eye at UFC 276 back in July and is expected to make her Octagon return opposite Andrea Lee in March.