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UFC Atlantic City Main Event Pick

UFC Atlantic City Main Event Pick

UFC ATLANTIC CITY MAIN EVENT PICKJ – Back-to-back weekends now that the UFC has relied on the women’s flyweight division to anchor their card. This weekend’s offering is arguably more important as the two competitors are riding lengthy winning streaks and it’s obvious that they are positioning themselves to challenge for the title in their next bout.

Erin Blanchfield will look to establish her grappling dominance to get her hand raised.

The Frenchwoman, Manon Fiorot, hopes to show off her striking background once again and earn the biggest win of her career.

Will Blanchfield show out in her neck of the woods? Or will Fiorot spoil her plans and strike her way to victory? Read on to see how I think this intriguing stylistic clash will shake out and if there are any notable money-making opportunities.

Hey, while you’re at it, click here to check out our Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks!

Erin Blanchfield

With the only defeat in Blanchfield’s career coming in her fourth professional fight, albeit to current flyweight prospect Tracy Cortez, Blanchfield has rallied to put together a nine-fight winning streak to bring her to this point. Six of those nine wins have come with the UFC, and she has finished half of those. Many people gave her the flowers she deserved after the way she handled Jessica Andrade, but she further cemented herself with a solid win over former title challenger, Taila Santos.

Blanchfield largely relies on her grappling to get her wins. She’s strong when she can establish top position and is crafty with the submissions she looks for. People have said they see shades of Merab Dvalishvili in her based on her ability to continuously crash the pocket and shoot for takedowns, even if she is unable to secure them.

Her wrestling, technically speaking, could still use some work as she has struggled over her last four fights to be as efficient as she was during her first two appearances. Striking is another aspect of her game that she needs to tighten things up as opponents have made her look human when they can get into a groove after stopping a few takedown attempts. At only 24 years old, though, we can give Blanchfield the benefit of the doubt that she will be improving at a steady rate.

Manon Fiorot

I don’t think many expected Fiorot to make it into title contention when she first made it to the UFC. However, with stellar performance after stellar performance, she is showcasing that she is indeed a top talent in this division. She has rattled off six-straight wins since joining the promotion while defeating three former title challengers and one former strawweight title holder. Although she was only able to finish the first two fights, she has shown she can go a solid 15 minutes to establish her style.

Fiorot brings a highly skilled striking game to the table which she establishes with a lot of lateral movement and straight shots down the pipe. She often deals with opponents looking to take her to the ground, which was the form in which she lost her first professional fight.

However, she has done a tremendous job of stopping takedowns, defending, and minimizing control time against the cage, and most importantly relying on her lateral movement to make it difficult for her opponents to get a clean takedown attempt on her. Out of the 77 minutes she has spent in the Octagon, her six opponents have only been able to muster up less than 2 minutes of control time against her.

The Pick

Going into researching this fight, I fully expected to be on the Blanchfield side. I’ve been a fan of hers since she put a whooping on Miranda Maverick by taking her down seven times and controlling her with relative ease.

Then after running the tape on Fiorot, I realized it will be difficult for Blanchfield to track her down while eating all the damage she will have to incur. We saw what solid takedown defense and a striking advantage can do against Blanchfield in the first round of her fight against Taila Santos.

I feel we’ll see Fiorot replicate that success over a longer period. Blanchfield’ BJJ may be high level, but her wrestling still has a lot of work to do. I love the underdog odds on Fiorot in this spot and will happily take a shot on it. Taking a live shot on Blanchfield at a better price going into round 3 or 4 wouldn’t be a bad idea to hedge or guarantee profit, but I feel Fiorot should be able to control the tempo and pace of this fight well enough to win it on the scorecards.

Manpreet’s Pick: Fiorot +160

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