UFC women’s flyweight Erin Blanchfield envisions herself dethroning Valentina Shevchenko down the line, but there’s something she’s looking to do first.
This past weekend at UFC 281, Blanchfield delivered one of the performances of the night in her preliminary card clash with popular Liverpudlian Molly McCann. The 23-year-old made good on her favorite status and more, continuing her charge with a dominant first-round submission victory inside Madison Square Garden.
After a brief period on the feet, the promising 125lber took the fight to the ground, locked McCann in a crucifix, and relentlessly rained down elbows and punches on the Brit. With the referee not looking too closely at intervening, “Cold Blooded” turned her attention to a Kimura, forcing the tap at the second time of trying.
Having dominated all of her contests inside the Octagon to date, including against fellow young prospect Miranda Maverick and JJ Aldrich, the former Invicta FC standout is sitting pretty in the rankings and with many branding her a future threat to the reign of Valentina Shevchenko.
But while she’s long expressed confidence about her chances against “Bullet,” who’s reigned supreme at flyweight since 2018, Blanchfield has identified some experience she needs before challenging the Kyrgyzstani.
Blanchfield Targets 5-Round Experience Ahead Of Title Challenge
During her appearance at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference, Blanchfield reacted to the growing sentiment around the fanbase surrounding her potential to unseat Shevchenko in the future.
The 23-year-old reiterated the self-belief she has about a matchup with the reigning 125-pound queen.
“I love that the fans are saying that. I know I’ll take the steps I need, and once I get to fight her, I’ll beat her,” Blanchfield proclaimed.
But before turning her attention fully to the gold, Blanchfield identified one piece of important experience she’s yet to pick up inside the Octagon — a box she’d like to tick before sharing the cage with Shevchenko.
“I would love a main event, ’cause I feel like the only experience I haven’t had is a five-round fight,” Blanchfield said. “I would love to have that experience before I fight for a title. So, a main event fight would interest me very much.”
With her current trajectory, it stands to reason that Blanchfield could earn a main event spot for a UFC Fight Night sooner rather than later. Once that feat is achieved, title glory will no doubt be on the mind of “Cold Blooded.”
Do you see Erin Blanchfield as a future threat to Valentina Shevchenko’s reign on the flyweight throne?
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