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‘She hasn’t really proved herself’ — Manon Fiorot eyeing Erin Blanchfield next

Fiorot vs. Blanchfield in a potential No. 1 contender, anyone?

Manon Fiorot at UFC 280.
Manon Fiorot at UFC 280.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Manon Fiorot says a fight against Erin Blanchfield could produce a new No. 1 contender in the UFC flyweight division.

Sidelined since undergoing surgery on her right knee after a unanimous decision win against Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 280 this past October, Fiorot has kept an eye on the rest of the division. Recently, Blanchfield emerged as a potential title challenger after submitting Jéssica Andrade at UFC Vegas 69 in February. And Alexa Grasso stunned the world after dethroning Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 285 in March.

With Grasso and Shevchenko hinting at an immediate rematch, that could leave Fiorot and Blanchfield waiting for the winner. Unless, of course, both women would want to fight each other in what should be considered a title eliminator. For the ‘Beast,’ her versus ‘Cold Blooded’ makes sense.

“For me, it’s perfect,” said Fiorot in an interview with Alexandre Herbinet of RMC Sport. “It allows me to do a return fight first. I’m okay with how things are shaping up. We told ourselves that we could fight Taila Santos or Erin Blanchfield. The two of them are great, but I particularly want to fight Blanchfield because of all the hype around her.”

Though Blanchfield continues to impress in her current UFC run, Fiorot says she has yet to see anything from her fellow contender that warrants the hype.

“For me, she hasn’t really proved herself,” said Fiorot. “I want to show her the top of that division, a true 125-pound fighter, because she didn’t really face girls with a big physique. She accepted to fight Jéssica Andrade, who weighed less than the flyweight limit on fight day, around 123 pounds.

“Andrade took that fight on one weeks’ notice,” continued Fiorot. “She had just fought and was absolutely not well prepared. She also explained she had a problem during the fight, that she couldn’t breathe well. And it showed: she got up against the cage in the second round and gave her back. I’d like to face Blanchfield to show her what it is to fight someone prepared and someone at the top of the division. There’s a time when you have to face some girls and win against them to prove yourself. They did the same thing with Maycee Barber, they hyped her again and again until she lost a fight and it ended. Blanchfield’s hype is gonna last until she faces me, at best.”

When Fiorot expects to return to the Octagon remains to be seen. The 33-year-old previously said she would be cleared to train again by March or April, which could see her get a fight scheduled in August.

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About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)

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