Blanchfield-Fiorot to headline in Atlantic City

Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot is a pivotal matchup in the UFC women’s flyweight division. Now it is being treated like one.

The UFC announced Thursday that the previously announced bout between Blanchfield (12-1) and Fiorot (11-1) has been elevated to the headline spot on the promotion’s March 30 Fight Night event in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It will fill a vacancy created when the promotion’s planned main event, Sean Brady vs. Vicente Luque, fell apart. Blanchfield-Fiorot was to be the co-main event on the card.

Blanchfield, who will be competing in her home state, has won nine fights in a row, most recently a unanimous decision win over onetime title challenger Taila Santos in August. Blanchfield, 24, is No. 4 in the ESPN rankings at 125 pounds.

The third-ranked Fiorot, a 33-year-old Frenchwoman, is on an 11-fight winning streak after dropping her pro debut. She is coming off a unanimous decision victory over former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas in September.

UFC CEO Dana White said several months ago, even before the fight was booked, that Blanchfield vs. Fiorot “would make sense” as a No. 1 contender bout to determine a challenger for flyweight champ Alexa Grasso.

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