There’s a dangerous new contender in the UFC’s women’s flyweight division, and she’s ready to challenge for the title.
After just five fights in the Octagon, Erin Blanchfield has firmly established herself as a bonafide threat to the title currently held by Valentina Shevchenko, with her latest win rocketing her to the top of the UFC’s women’s flyweight contender list.
Blanchfield looked every bit a top contender in the main event of UFC Vegas 69 as she stood toe to toe with former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade before submitting the Brazilian with a rear-naked choke in the second round.
Blanchfield’s win was the latest in a string of impressive performances since she made her UFC debut in September 2021. That fight saw Blanchfield claim a unanimous decision win over Sarah Alpar. She then followed up her debut victory with another decision win, against fellow hot prospect Miranda Maverick.
By her third UFC fight, Blanchfield had hit her stride, and a trio of submission victories, by three different methods, over JJ Aldrich, Molly McCann and Andrade, have propelled her to the sharp end of the women’s 125-pound division.
And, after her statement-making performance against Andrade, Blanchfield declared herself ready to not just fight for the belt, but win it.
“Give me the winner of Shevchenko vs. Grasso next,” she told Paul Felder in the Octagon after her victory.
“I’m gonna win a title and be the UFC champ.”
Speaking backstage after her win, Blanchfield doubled down on her call for a title shot, saying her victory over Andrade proved that she’s ready for a crack at the belt.
“I always try to think of what I want to say after a win, because it can be very emotional and you can be a little cloudy,” she said.
“I knew beating someone like her, especially if I finished her, that I could deserve that title next.”
Blanchfield wants a shot at the title, but said she won’t be impatient and would be happy to face another contender to further cement her position as a top contender, if necessary.
“I’m definitely OK with fighting (someone else) again,” she said.
“I think the title fight (Shevchenko vs. Grasso) is in two weeks, so I think it can line up perfectly. But if they want me to fight again, I’ll gain more experience.”
And, on the topic of experience, Blanchfield said she thoroughly enjoyed her first taste of the UFC main event spotlight.
“I loved the experience. I love what I do and I soaked it all in. I loved it.”
UFC Vegas 69: Official results
- Erin Blanchfield def. Jessica Andrade via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:37
- Zac Pauga def. Jordan Wright via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)Jamal Pogues def. Josh Parisian via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Marcin Prachnio def. William Knight via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alexander Hernandez def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Nazim Sadykhov def. Evan Elder via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 3, 0:38
- Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Lina Lansberg via submission (kneebar) – Round 2, 4:46
- Jamall Emmers def. Khusein Askhabov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Philipe Lins def. Ovince Saint Preux via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:49
- A.J. Fletcher def. Themba Takura Gorimbo via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:37
- Clayton Carpenter def. Juancamilo Ronderos via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:13