UFC Fight Night prediction — Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot: Fight card, start time, odds, live stream

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It’s not every day the best of a new breed fight for a world title shot. That seems to be in store when women’s flyweights Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot clash in the main event of UFC Fight Night from Atlantic City on Saturday.

Blanchfield (12-1) has had world champion potential for some time despite being in the first half of her 20s. It’s unlikely she’ll eclipse Rose Namajunas (25 years, 128 days) as the youngest women’s champion in UFC history, but she might not be far off. Blanchfield is “99%” certain a win over Fiorot secures her a shot against the winner of Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 3.

“She is the only other girl that people were thinking, ‘Oh, she deserves a title shot’ or ‘No, Erin deserves a title shot.’ So I’m excited that we finally get to fight and settle it,” Blanchfield told CBS Sports. “I get to prove myself as the No. 1 contender.

“She’s a long, rangy striker. I’ll need to close the distance to even get my strikes in. I feel like I’m very well-rounded as well.”

Check out the full interview with Erin Blanchfield below.

Fiorot (11-1) is the other rising contender with six straight victories in the UFC. She is coming off a solid win over former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas in the latter’s flyweight debut. France’s Fiorot fancies herself as the more well-rounded fighter and expects Blanchfield to lean heavily on her wrestling.

“I think a big difference between her and me is that she only has one way to solve the problem and to win the fight. One big ability,” Fiorot told CBS Sports’ through an interpreter. “I can do all of them: grappling, wrestling and striking. I think she has to get ready.”

Check out the full interview with Manon Fiorot below.

The remainder of the card is surprisingly bland for a road show. The UFC has generally done a good job piecing together healthy main cards for their away games, reserving the UFC Apex in Las Vegas for the cookie-cutter cards. Atlantic City seems to have taken a hit with the promotion diverting resources to UFC 299 and UFC 300. 

The notable matchups for Saturday include a welterweight showdown between Vicente Luque and Joaquin Buckley. Luque was originally scheduled to headline this event opposite Sean Brady, but an injury suffered in camp by Brady forced him to withdraw. Elsewhere, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman looks to get back in the win column when he takes on Bruno Silva in a de facto home game for the Long Island native. Weidman, 39, is just 2-5 since 2017 and coming off a decision loss to Brad Tavares last August in his first fight since suffering a gruesome leg injury in 2021 against Uriah Hall.

“I feel motivated,” Weidman told reporters at media day this week. “During this training camp, I was very open-minded to read myself and see how I feel physically and also mentally. Are there things I still have to offer? Am I as good as I once was? Can I still evolve? And as camp evolved, I still think skillset-wise, I’m still better than ever.”

Below is the rest of the fight card for Saturday with the latest odds before we get to a prediction and pick on the main event.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Erin Blanchfield -185 Manon Fiorot +155 Women’s flyweight
Vicente Luque -115 Joaquin Buckley -105 Welterweight
Bruno Silva -235 Chris Weidman +195 Middleweight
Nursulton Ruziboev -230 Sedriques Dumas +190 Middleweight
Bill Algeo -240 Kyle Nelson +200 Featherwegiht
Chidi Njokuani -135 Rhys McKee +115 Welterweight

UFC Fight Night viewing information

Date: March 30 | Start time: 10 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: Boardwalk Hall — Atlantic City, New Jersey
TV channel: ESPN+

Prediction

Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot: Blanchfield’s boxing is better than her detractors give credit for. It’ll improve fight-to-fight. Fiorot is better known for her striking but has solid wrestling fundamentals. Both women claim to be well-rounded. That may be true but they each have a primary path to victory. Look for Fiorot to keep Blanchfield at the end of her strikes. Blanchfield will seek to navigate around those attacks, back Fiorot to the fence and chain together takedowns. Fiorot’s 91% takedown defense will be tested against the fence if she isn’t mindful of circling. I think Blanchfield has faced the better overall opposition. Blanchfield had a tough start with former women’s bantamweight title challenger Talia Santos’ striking but she figured it out. Her performance aged better than Fiorot’s last fight. Fiorot won a decision against Rose Namajunas who, despite being the former strawweight champ, was oversized and underprepared for her flyweight debut. These athletes are not elite finishers so expect their fight to go the distance. Blanchfield via UD

Who wins UFC Fight Night: Blanchfield vs. Fiorot, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert on a 6-2 main event roll, and find out. 



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