Erin Blanchfield submits Jessica Andrade in UFC foremost occasion

LAS VEGAS — Erin Blanchfield may simply be among the finest younger title prospects the UFC has seen in years.

Blanchfield, 23, picked up the most important win of her profession on Saturday, submitting former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade through rear-naked choke on the 1-minute, 37-second mark of the second spherical. The strawweight struggle headlined UFC Fight Night from the UFC’s Apex facility.

A former standout in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Blanchfield (11-1) has been signed to the UFC solely since 2021 and has been preventing MMA professionally since 2018. A victory over the likes of Andrade (24-10) proved her legitimacy at 125 kilos.

“Give me the winner of [champion] Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso next,” Blanchfield stated, referring to the scheduled March 4 title bout. “I’m going to win the title.”

Fighting out of New York, Blanchfield’s dominance on the bottom has been one thing to behold to date in her UFC profession, and that was the case as soon as once more Saturday. She used an inside journey to get Andrade to the ground in the beginning of the second spherical and secured the rear-naked choke simply moments later.

Perhaps extra spectacular, nevertheless, was her skill to hold with Andrade on the toes. Blanchfield didn’t document a takedown within the opening spherical, however she did handle to attach on Andrade with a number of energy proper fingers. Andrade is a widely known knockout artist, thought to be maybe the toughest hitter at 125 kilos.

Saturday marked Blanchfield’s first look in a UFC foremost occasion. She was initially scheduled to struggle former title challenger Taila Santos in a three-round struggle however was moved to the principle occasion when the UFC restructured its schedule. Santos withdrew final week, and Andrade agreed to fill in on brief discover.

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Despite preventing on brief discover, Andrade was nonetheless a betting favourite moving into. She had received three in a row going into this foremost occasion and was ranked No. 6 and No. 3 within the UFC’s strawweight and flyweight rankings, respectively.