3. Erin Blanchfield lived up to the hype.
Erin Blanchfield is part of the first generation of fighters to train to fight in MMA since they were a kid. She’s been training jiu-jitsu since the age of seven, and by the age of 12 had made her mind up that she was going to fight in MMA. We’ve truly come a long way from the Bethe Correia’s of the world who took up MMA as a hobby in their late 20’s.
Blanchfield made her name in Invicta with her sole loss coming via a close split decision to Tracy Cortez in 2019. Since that fight, she’s been dominant, and with back-to-back wins over Victoria Leonardo and Brogan Walker-Sanchez was signed to the UFC in early April to fight Norma Dumont at bantamweight. On short notice, up a weight class from her usual home.
That fight would be canceled when Dumont missed weight, and that was probably the best possible outcome for Blanchfield. Her UFC debut deserved better than to be a short-notice replacement to fight someone two weight classes bigger than her. Instead, she was matched up with Sarah Alpar at UFC Vegas 37, and she was a massive favorite, one of the biggest on the card.
It’s hard to live up to the hype that Blanchfield had. She’s a young fighter at a weight class that is dying for talent, has been training for her debut for years, but she still absolutely crushed it.
Blanchfield beat Alpar from pillar to post, earning a lopsided unanimous decision in her favor. At only 22-years-old, she clearly still has a ways to go but she certainly has the time to do so. As for Saturday night, she completely lived up to the hype and then some.