Welcome to the UFC: Erin Blanchfield

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Erin Blanchfield
Erin Blanchfield vs. Brogan Sanchez Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

This Saturday’s UFC Vegas 23 is headlined by Marvin Vettori and Kevin Holland, and marks the second UFC event on the ABC platform. Vettori was originally supposed to fight Darren Till, but a collarbone injury forced the British fighter to pull out. Fresh off his loss in the main event against Derek Brunson two weeks ago, Holland will be taking on Vettori on short notice. Also on the card is Arnold Allen vs. Sodiq Yusuff, Sam Alvey, Mackenzie Dern, Jim Miller, Mike Perry, and much more. In a bantamweight bout, Norma Dumont was set to take on Bea Malecki. Unfortunately, Malecki had withdraw and Erin Blanchfield steps in on short notice.

Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield
Standing at 5’4″
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
21-years-old
Fighting out of New York, New York, US
Training out of Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
A pro record of 6-1
2 KO/TKOs
1 Submission

How will Blanchfield fare in the UFC:

Blanchfield is very well-known in the jiu-jitsu world where she won the EBI 12 flyweight championship. Her sole MMA loss is to UFC fighter Tracy Cortez; many including myself thought Blanchfield won that fight. On the other side, Blanchfield has wins over Kay Hansen and Victoria Leonardo.

Blanchfield has adapted to MMA quite well. She’s looked very good and has vastly improved with each fight. From a young 21-year-old that has only been in MMA for four years, it’s expected that should would be a bit rough around the edges. Her wrestling is good and being the jiu-jitsu player she is, obviously that’s a threat. I do feel that she lacks some physical strength to hold positions for a long duration. Blanchfield does make up for it with her aggressive transitions, big ground and pound, and her strong submission base. Although she has improved on the feet she’s still a bit raw. What she lacks the most is defense. When Blanchfield throws her head sits on that center-line. When she’s pressing forward is when she’s best instead while being on the outside getting stuck.

Blanchfield is obviously more comfortable on the mat but more and more she’s played her hand on the feet. She does a fine job of always staying active and busy with her output. Blanchfield is always throwing in twos and mixing in kicks and punches. Her roundhouse kick is a weapon she frequently likes to use and she’s landed it many times in her career. In what she lacks in power she makes up for it with her work rate.

Being a jiu-jitsu specialist, getting the fight effectively to the mat is important. Blanchfield will grab a single leg, pull the leg to her chest, and from there she will trip the other leg from underneath. It’s a technique she’s been able to master. At times she’s telegraphed her shots but in her last few fights, her timing has been perfect. When she does get it to the mat she’s the one leading the dance. Blanchfield easily moves freely on top. You’ll usually see her move to side control quickly. From there Blanchfield likes to get into the crucifix but will settle with the mount to land big ground and pound. The jiu-jitsu ace only has one submission as a pro but has attempted and got close to finishing multiple times. Overall, it would have been nice to see her get more experience due to her age but matched up correctly she’ll go far.

  • Striking: B-
  • Kickboxing: B-
  • Clinch: A-
  • Wrestling: B-
  • Grappling: A-
  • Striking Defense: C+
  • Takedown Defense: C+
  • Cardio: A
  • Biggest Strength: Jiu-jitsu
  • Biggest Weakness: Striking defense

How she matches up with Dumont:

Dumont is dangerous on the mat due to her strong top position. Her takedowns come from the clinch as she utilizes trips well but her strikes to close the distance need work. Her biggest issue is her stand-up in general offensively and defensively. Dumont stands too square and hardly has any kind of quality footwork. She throws heavy leather and kicks hard but has little output. Where Dumont is most comfortable, on the mat, Blanchfield is much better. On the feet, Dumont hits harder but Blanchfield is faster, has better movement, and is much more active. The only concerning point for Blanchfield is taking this fight on short notice up a weight class. Dumont will be physically stronger. Still, I side with the technique of Erin Blanchfield as I feel she’s much better everywhere.

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