Tracey Cortez Replaces Maycee Barber vs. Rose Namajunas At UFC On ESPN 59

Maycee Barber has had to withdraw from her headlining fight with Rose Namajunas at UFC On ESPN 59 on July 13th for an undisclosed reason, leading to Tracey Cortez stepping up to replace her on less than three weeks notice.

The no.11 ranked Cortez had originally been scheduled to fight Miranda Maverick at UFC On ESPN 60 a week later, so that means she should still be in relatively good shape for this new challenge, though she’ll now have to recalibrate her strategy based on her new opponent.

This is a big step up in competition for the 30-year-old Cortez, at least in terms of her 5-0 run so far in the UFC, which has seen her earn a string of decision victories over currently unranked opponents like Vanessa Melo, Stephanie Egger, Justine Kish, Melissa Gato and most recently the No.15 placed Jasmine Jusadavicius.

That being said, just prior to fighting on the Contender Series back in 2019, Cortez did beat current No.3 ranked flyweight Erin Blanchfield by split-decision in the Invicta FC promotion.

A former two-time strawweight champion, the 31-year-old Namajunas is coming off a unanimous decision win over Amanda Ribas back in March that places her at No.6 in the 125lb ranks.

That result got her back to winning ways after having lost the strawweight title in a rematch with Carla Esparza in 2022 followed by an unsuccessful flyweight debut against Manon fiorot last September that saw her lose by unanimous decision.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.