‘I want the title’: Flyweight Fiorot stops Blanchfield

Manon Fiorot might not be the UFC’s next flyweight title challenger, but she’s definitely on deck.

Fiorot (12-1) solidified her status as the next No. 1 contender on Saturday with a dominant performance over Erin Blanchfield in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fiorot, of Nice, France, thwarted Blanchfield’s attempts to take her down and landed the cleaner strikes enroute to unanimous 50-45 judges’ scorecards. The 125-pound women’s main event headlined the first UFC event in Atlantic City since 2018.

Fiorot, 34, improved to 7-0 in the UFC and will almost certainly face the winner of a championship trilogy match between Mexican champion Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko later this year.

“I’m ready,” Fiorot said. “I want the title, that’s it. I’m ready, no matter what.”

Blanchfield (12-2), who fights out of New York, showed a lot of heart over the course of the five-round main event, but she was simply overmatched against the bigger, better striker. Fiorot’s physicality was a major difference in the contest, as Blanchfield struggled to get the fight to the ground or control things along the fence. Blanchfield’s greatest strength is her grappling, but the 24-year-old seemed to accept Fiorot would be difficult to bring down and challenged her on the feet.

According to UFC Stats, Fiorot outlanded Blanchfield in total strikes 164 to 142. Although the discrepancy in total strikes wasn’t awful, Fiorot clearly landed the harder strikes, primarily relying on her counter right hand. She opened a cut over Blanchfield’s right eye in the third round and stunned her with another right hand in the fourth.

Fiorot’s run includes wins over Blanchfield, Rose Namajunas, Katlyn Cerminara and Jennifer Maia.

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