Erin Blanchfield is placing UFC ladies’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and her fellow contenders on discover. Blanchfield left little question that she is a viable title challenger in a mature and much-improved efficiency towards former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
Expectations heading into UFC Fight Night on Saturday had been that Andrade had the hanging edge whereas Blanchfield had the grappling benefit. Only a kind of issues turned out to be true. Blanchfield used her important six-inch attain benefit to choose aside Andrade in Round 1 earlier than washing over the Brazilian with superior grappling in Round 2 to win by way of rear-naked choke submission.
Andrade, a stocky powerhouse, clocked Blanchfield early however it did not take lengthy for Blanchfield to seek out her rage. Blanchfield flummoxed Andrade and had the previous champion flailing to make contact. Having efficiently redirected Andrade’s consideration to the hanging sport, Blanchfield hit an inside journey early in Round 2 that led to the submission.
“Give me the winner of Shevchenko vs. [Alexa] Grasso subsequent,” Blanchfield stated in her post-fight interview. “I’m going to win the title and turn out to be UFC champion.”
Blanchfield will seemingly usurp Andrade’s No. 3 spot within the UFC ladies’s flyweight rankings, simply behind joint No. 1 contenders Taila Santos and Manon Fiorot. Blanchfield was initially scheduled to combat Santos, however Andrade stepped in for Santos on seven days’ discover. Andrade, if it is any comfort, grew to become the tenth fighter in UFC historical past to land (and exceed) 1,500 strikes contained in the Octagon.
Expect Blanchfield to maintain a detailed eye on the end result of Shevchenko vs. Grasso at UFC 285 on March 4.