Tomorrow morning on the main card of UFC Singapore, we are going to see a women’s flyweight matchup with potential title implications. Top five contenders will battle it out as former title challenger Taila Santos (19-2) makes her return as she takes on the surging Erin Blanchfield (11-1).
The last time we saw Santos was when she challenged Valentina Shevchenko for the flyweight title. At the time, Shevchenko was looking invincible and anyone getting close to the title was considered laughable. However, Santos took her down to the wire and lost a split decision. That fight also took place in Singapore last June at UFC 275. Due to injuries, she hasn’t fought since.
Santos was originally supposed to fight Blanchfield in a main event back in February but had to pull out of the fight last minute. Jessica Andrade stepped in to face Blanchfield, and Blanchfield completely dominated the former UFC champion, submitting her in the second round.
That win moved Blanchfield to a perfect 5-0 inside the octagon and gave her a third straight finish. She’s looking to make a big statement tomorrow with a win over Santos.
UFC Singapore Prediction
When this fight was five rounds, I felt a lot more comfortable picking Santos. Santos has extremely tight striking and there were a lot of questions around how Blanchfield’s cardio would last over five rounds. With this fight changing down to three rounds, it becomes a lot better for Blanchfield.
Takedowns are going to tell the story of this fight. If Blanchfield cannot get Santos down at UFC Singapore, she’s going to be in for a long three rounds. I just don’t think Blanchfield has the skill on the feet to really hang with a striker like Santos. That said, Santos doesn’t have the rounds to work with if she gets taken down and controlled.
Ultimately, I think Blanchfield’s wrestling and grappling is good enough to land takedowns and control the majority of at least two of the three rounds. Any extended striking time will give Santos her moments, but I like Blanchfield in the matchup.
Prediction: Erin Blanchfield by Decision