Open Thread: Did UFC make a mistake booking Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot?

Did UFC make a mistake in booking two top tier contenders to face each other?

By: Stephie Haynes | 2 months

Should UFC have matched their 2 top contenders?

The UFC announced several match-ups over the last two weeks, with Dana White acting as the herald. Among the spate of fights announced was a women’s flyweight bout that seems to be a crowd-pleaser; Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot at UFC Fight Night 239, set to take place in New Jersey on March 30. Who wouldn’t want to watch the best versus the best?

November 12, 2022, New York City, NY, NEW YORK CITY, NY, United States: NEW YORK New York City, NY, NY- November 12: Erin Blanchfield (L) and Molly Mccann (R) step in the ring for a 3-round bout at Madison Square Garden for UFC 281 - Adesanya vs Perieira : Event on November 12, 2022 in New York City, NY, United States. New York City, NY United States - ZUMAp175 20221112_zsa_p175_110
Erin Blanchfield and Molly Mccann at UFC 281 | Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

Erin Blanchfield, at just 24 years of age, is growing into her MMA skillset by leaps and bounds. She’s on a nine-fight win streak and the names on her resume are solid. Jessica Andrade, Taila Santos, Miranda Maverick and JJ Aldrich have all been on the losing end of their fights with Erin, but only Santos made it to a decision. The others were submitted.

Manon Fiorot is a little longer in the tooth at 33, but she’s just as talented as Blanchfield. With an 11-fight win streak, Fiorot seems to be a juggernaut, and the names on her resume are more impressive than Erin’s and more plentiful. Rose Namajunas, Katlyn Chookagian, Jennifer Maia and Mayra Bueno Silva have all tasted defeat, although none were finishes.

MMA: UFC Fight Night - Paris- Fiorot vs Namajunas Sep 2, 2023; Paris, France; Editors note: (graphic content) Manon Fiorot (red gloves) fights Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Accor Arena. Paris Accor Arena France, EDITORIAL USE ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY 20230902_szo_om2_0160
Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris | Per Haljestam / USA TODAY Network, IMAGO

So, what’s the problem? Believe it or not, there is a very good argument against this fight booking. When it was announced last week, I took to Twitter to show my appreciation for the booking. It would just take a few minutes for the wind get knocked out of my sails and set my brain in backtrack mode.

The argument came from a friend who argued that Fiorot and Blanchfield being the two top contenders shouldn’t have been matched with each other as one would end up breaking the other’s multi-year win streak and that there weren’t any other viable contenders.

I wouldn’t go so far to say Valentina Shevchenko isn’t a viable contender, but I do understand where my pal was coming from. That said, I can’t contain myself, and after wishing for this one for more than a year, then having it materialize, yeah, I’m going to have to allow it. I almost feel like I manifested it into existence. I still want to see this fight and I’m willing to sacrifice a contender for it.

What do you think?

We’re pinning this post to our front-page all day to give our community a chance to have their say. So jump in the comments and tell us how you feel about this UFC fight. Did they bungle it or did they get it right? But if you want to discuss anything else, that’s cool, too.

You’ve got an open forum here, so use it.

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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