After Noche UFC, should Erin Blanchfield – Manon Fiorot be booked next?

Nov 12, 2022; New York, NY, USA; Erin Blanchfield (red gloves) defeats Molly McCann (blue gloves) during UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the main event of Noche UFC, the flyweight title was on the line. Alexa Grasso (16-3-1) was defending her title against longtime former champion Valentina Shevchenko (24-3-1). There were a couple of very interested fighters keeping their eyes on the main event.

Those two fighters were top contender Erin Blanchfield (12-1) and Manon Fiorot (11-1). Both top contenders have a strong argument as the next in line for a shot at the flyweight title. Well, things got a little hairy on Saturday night due to some terrible judging.

After the five rounds concluded, both Grasso and Shevchenko had an argument to be the winner. One judge scored the fight for Shevchenko while another scored it for Grasso. Then, you had the inexplicable scorecard. Mike Bell scored the fight 3-2 in favor of Shevchenko.

However, he scored the fifth round of the fight a 10-8 for Alexa Grasso which is widely looked at as one of the worst scores in the history of MMA. You could make a better argument that Shevchenko won the fifth round than you can for Grasso winning a 10-8. Because of Bell’s incompetence at Noche UFC, the division is in limbo.

UFC should make Blanchfield – Fiorot

To me, there’s a very simple solution here. Blanchfield and Fiorot both had a rightful claim to the next title shot. One of those fighters was going to be disappointed while one would end up getting the title shot. Now, due to this result, the UFC has a path to determine a very clear number one contender.

Because of the draw, the promotion should run the fight back with Grasso and Shevchenko. In doing that, the fight is there to be made between Blanchfield and Fiorot. Whoever were to win that would be the clear number one contender and the promotion wouldn’t be forced to let anyone down in this situation.

Now, Valentina Shevchenko did hurt her thumb pretty bad in the fight. If the former UFC champion isn’t going to be ready to fight anytime soon, the promotion might decide to move forward with Blanchfield or Fiorot. However, I think the best path forward is having them fight.