Manon Fiorot deserves a title fight after a decisive victory over Erin Blanchfield at UFC Atlantic City

Manon Fiorot should wait for her title shot, she's earned it.
UFC Fight Night: Blanchfield v Fiorot Weigh-in
UFC Fight Night: Blanchfield v Fiorot Weigh-in / Michelle Farsi/GettyImages

Manon Fiorot defeated Erin Blanchfield via a dominant unanimous decision at UFC Atlantic City on Saturday and cemented her claim as the next No. 1 contender for the flyweight title.

"I've fought everyone I want a title shot. I will fight either one I want my title shot," said Fiorot with the assistance of a translator.

It looked like Blanchfield would end the first early in the first when she locked in a deep guillotine choke. But Blanchfield was unable to finish and it was Fiorot who won the first round, using her superior striking to steal it. In the second and third rounds, Fiorot used her strength to defend the takedown attempts from Blanchfield. Fiorot successfully counter-punched to win the round and ultimately opened up a cut on Blanchfield's eyebrow. Blanchfield opened the final round with a head kick but it was only a brief glimpse of hope. It was again all Fiorot in the fifth round.

What's next for Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot?

Blanchfield and Fiorot entered as the second and third-ranked fighters in the women's flyweight division, respectively. Entering Saturday's fight, neither fighter had lost a fight since joining the UFC, combining for a 23-2 record. With their victory, Fiorot improved to 12-1. Unfortunately, Fiorot will have to wait for her rightfully earned title fight.

UFC women's flyweight champion Alexa Grasso and former champion Valentina Shevchenko were recently announced as the coaches for season 32 of The Ultimate Fighter. The women fought to a draw in their title fight on Sept. 16, 2023. The two fighters will fight for a third straight clash during The Ultimate Fighter season finale later this year.

If The Ultimate Fighter season 32 follows the same time frame as season 31, the season will begin in May and the finale will be sometime in August. The finale will be in four months and by the time the champion is ready to fight again, it could be 2025. Fiorot could be sidelined for eight to nine months to get her title fight. The biggest challenge for Fiorot will be turning down the chance to fight on the UFC Paris card.

Despite the loss, Blanchfield remains among the best fighters in the division. The most logical fight for Blanchfield is a fight against Maycee Barber. Following her victory over Katlyn Cerminara at UFC 299, Barber is the fourth-ranked fighter in the division and has won six straight fights. The fight would also see two of the best young women's fighters in the sport face off against each other. Blanchfield is a year younger than Barber.


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