This past Saturday on the main card of UFC Singapore, we saw a potential title eliminator in the women’s flyweight division. Surging top contender Erin Blanchfield (12-1) took on former title challenger Taila Santos (19-3).
These two were originally supposed to fight in a headliner in February. However, Santos had to pull out of the fight at the last minute opening the door for Blanchfield to fight former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade. Andrade was on a roll at the time and Blanchfield went right through her.
After stopping Andrade, Blanchfield was re-booked against Santos. This was expected to be very competitive and that’s exactly how the fight played out. Both women had their moments in the first two rounds and universally, the card was 1-1 heading into the final round.
Through the first few minutes of the round, neither fighter pulled that far ahead. However, in the last minute or so, Blanchfield really put her foot on the gas to solidify the win. In the end, the judges were unanimous in giving her the massive win at UFC Singapore.
UFC title shot next?
This was the first of three fights that is massive for the UFC’s flyweight division. This weekend, former two-time strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is officially moving up to flyweight to take on top contender Manon Fiorot. A couple of weeks later, Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko rematch for the flyweight title.
Blanchfield is definitely going to be on the shortlist to fight for the title next. Along with whoever wins this weekend at UFC Paris between Fiorot and Namajunas. If Namajunas wins and wins impressively, I think she would likely jump right into the next title shot if I’m being honest.
Fiorot winning would make things interesting between either her or Blanchfield getting the next shot. So, here are the opens I think for Blanchfield’s next fight. She will either get a shot at the flyweight champion or she’ll fight whoever loses between Grasso and Shevchenko.
There is one other option out there. If the UFC isn’t happy with their options for the vacant 135 pound title fight, I could see them floating the idea to Blanchfield for her to move up and fight for the bantamweight title. The least likely option, but if she doesn’t have a flyweight title fight, I could see Blanchfield jumping at the opportunity.