Manon Fiorot doesn’t see what all the hype around Erin Blanchfield is about.
The four weeks of Flyweight supremacy are upon us. No. 2-ranked contender, Blanchfield, leapt one spot over France’s Fiorot at UFC Singapore this past weekend (Aug. 26, 2023) thanks to a big victory over one-time title challenger, Taila Santos. Blanchfield managed to pick up the unanimous decision nod, extending her winning streak to nine (six in UFC, 12-1 overall record).
Blanchfield, 24, made a strong case as the next rightful title challenger with her second round rear-naked choke of former Strawweight titlist, Jessica Andrade (watch highlights), this past February 2023. Despite another big win, Fiorot (10-1) doesn’t see how she won’t be next for the winner of Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 2 after a potential win over Rose Namajunas at UFC Paris this weekend (Sat., Sept. 2, 2023).
“I’m 100 percent sure that if I put on a good performance in this fight, considering the performance we’ve seen from Santos and Blanchfield, I’m going to be fighting for the belt,” Fiorot said at UFC Paris media day (h/t MMA Junkie). “I’m 100 percent convinced by that.
“I wasn’t impressed at all, actually, because until this point, she never really fought against an opponent at a high level,” she continued. “I think this fight showed her real level, and so I wasn’t really that impressed, no.”
With current champion, Grasso, hopeful to secure her first title defense against Shevchenko at Noche UFC in two weeks (Sat., Sept. 16, 2023), the best performance between Blanchfield and Fiorot or Namajunas can put them in the contention driver’s seat. Presumably, all three are hoping for a Grasso victory on the night to prevent the possibility of a title trilogy as the pair would be 1-1 if the champion falls.
Fiorot’s impending clash with Namajunas will be her first of 2023 since defeating Katlyn Chookagian via unanimous decision in October 2022. The same can be said for the former two-time 115-pound champion, “Thug” who hasn’t fought since her split decision loss to Carla Esparza in May 2022. Nonetheless, Namajunas has total respect from her opponent.
“I think Rose is one of the best fighters we’ve seen,” Fiorot said. “She’s an incredible fighter. I personally put her in the top five in the rankings. She’s a former champion, as well. It’s a massive test for me, as well, before I want to go and get that fight for the belt.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Paris fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 3 p.m. ET.
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