shevchenko’s-‘very-basic’-grappling-no-match-for-‘cold-blooded’

Erin Blanchfield is ready for her shot at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold.

UFC Vegas 69 was capped off by a breathtaking performance from the 23-year-old New Jersey native as Blanchfield picked up her biggest career win to date. Defeating former Strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, via second-round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights), Blanchfield launched herself directly into the Top 3 of the Flyweight division’s rankings.

“Cold Blooded” Blanchfield called her shot immediately after the fight, putting current champion, Valentina Shevchenko, and next challenger, Alexa Grasso, on notice. Ideally, Blanchfield hopes Shevchenko gets the job done at UFC 285 on March 4, 2023, so that she can be the one to dethrone “The Bullet.”

“Valentina, I don’t think it’s any secret her striking is very good,” Blanchfield told The MMA Hour. “Her Muay Thai is very crisp. She even has some decent body lock takedowns. But I think on the actual floor, her jiu-jitsu, it’s not bad. It’s just very, very basic.

“I don’t think she has many submissions,” she added. “I don’t think she can get out of certain positions very well, like what we saw against Taila. I kind of think that’s where her game is the most basic and probably could use some improvement. I know I could fight with Valentina anywhere, but against anybody in the flyweight division, I know that my jiu-jitsu is better. I can finish anybody.”

Blanchfield (11-1) wasted no time rising to fame in mixed martial arts (MMA) as a bright prospect. At just age 19, she became the first woman to win the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) and that same year was awarded her Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) black belt. Blanchfield has leaned on her strong base in the majority of her 11 career wins, earning submissions in four of them.

“I think this fight put me right in line for the next title shot,” Blanchfield said of her Andrade win. “Taila [Santos] was supposed to fight me and she pulled out at the last minute and then Manon [Fiorot] is hurt for a while. Valentina and Grasso are literally fighting in a week and a half or so. Having me fight for the title next just makes sense.

“I definitely do [think I’m ready],” she concluded. “I’ve built up a little bit of experience in the UFC. I know where my skill is at and I know if I have a full training camp and I break down whoever I’ll be fighting for that title, I’ll beat anybody.”


For complete UFC Vegas 69 results and coverage click here.