Interim? Blanchfield Expects Fiorot While Title Is ‘Stalled’

The women’s Flyweight title scene in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has become its most interesting in 2023.

Mexico’s Alexa Grasso flipped the weight class upside down early on in the year, upsetting Valentina Shevchenko with a fourth round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights) at UFC 285 in March. The pair have since rematched, resulting in a controversial, but competitive split draw at Noche UFC in September 2023.

Business remains unfinished between the current and former champions, leading them down the path of a trilogy at some point in 2024. However, top contenders, Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot, wait in the wings and are now likely destined to fight each other in the meantime. Depending on how long each Grasso and Shevchenko need to recover from their injuries sustained in their rematch, Blanchfield could see an interim crown coming into play.

“Yeah, it’s definitely stalling,” Blanchfield said of the Flyweight title scene on a HUMBL live stream (h/t MMA Junkie). “I feel like I’ve had a couple No. 1 contender fights now. But you know, I’m still pretty young and gained valuable experience in those fights. … Whether it’s an interim or not, I’ll beat [Fiorot], and then I should definitely get a title next.

“I haven’t been told about that [interim] yet,” she continued. “I would definitely push for that. That’s something I’d definitely be interested in. I’m not sure when Valentina and Alexa are going to be ready to fight again. I know I think they’re on a similar timeline in their recovery. I would hope that if it ends up being longer, they’d have me and Manon fight for an interim.”

Both Blanchfield (12-1) and Fiorot (11-1) have gone undefeated in UFC thus far, riding winning streaks of six (nine overall for Blanchfield and 11 for Fiorot). Each scored arguably the biggest wins of their careers in their recent outings, defeating Taila Santos and Rose Namajunas, respectively.

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