The UFC is set to return to Paris this Saturday night and arguably France’s best hope at a UFC champion, Manon Fiorot returns in the co-main event. She takes on the toughest test in her career thus far as she clashes with the former two-time strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, who will be making her 125lbs debut in the UFC.
🇫🇷💥 France's Manon Fiorot co-headlines #UFCParis this Saturday with a perfect 5-0 UFC record.
She’s won decisions vs. Mayra Bueno Silva & former title challengers Chookagian & Jennifer Maia. Initially, she burst onto the scene with back-to-back KOs. See them ⬇️! 🥊🔥 #WMMA #UFC pic.twitter.com/hjTLhVW3vu
— Women's MMA Rankings (@WMMARankings) August 28, 2023
We take a look at what Manon Fiorot has to do to get the victory and cement a title shot in the future.
Manon Fiorot – Keys to Victory
Manon Fiorot will, without a doubt be the bigger girl in the octagon on Saturday night. She’s the more natural flyweight and should use her size advantage to wear on Namajunas and pin her against the cage. We noted on this week’s MMASucka Podcast that Namajunas was outsized by Gillian Robertson when they grappled at Fury Grappling 6, so she will more than likely be outsized in this one too.
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Fiorot has to be careful in the clinch, however. We’ve seen Thug Rose jump for flying triangles multiple times in her career, however, if Fiorot is aware of the threat, she can use the clinch to her advantage. She was effective in the close range against Tabatha Ricci, where she secured the finish victory.
Invest in Leg Kicks
As we saw against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in their rematch, Namajunas is there to be hurt to the legs. The challenger on the night landed 54 or 62 leg kicks, hampering Rose’s movement as well as limiting her attacks. More recently, we saw Zhang Weili in the rematch land 33 of 45 leg kicks and Carla Esparza, a woman not known for her striking landed an impressive 11 leg kicks in a fight where she only landed 30 total strikes.
The Beast leg kicked well against Katlyn Chookagian last time out, landing 24 over a 15-minute fight. Against Jennifer Maia, she landed 100% of her leg strikes with 19/19 in 15 minutes.
If Fiorot can hamper the movement of Namajunas, it will affect her Dutch kickboxing style and make the French native’s night far more straightforward.
Rose Namajunas lost the first round against both Zhang Weili in her rematch as well as the first round against Esparza last time out. The crowd will be right behind their native in Fiorot and she has to start fast to bank the first round. She needs to test the chin of Namajunas early, look to put out high output and catch Namajunas cold.
She certainly has the ability and is yet to be out-struck in the first round of any of her UFC fights thus far. In contrast, the former 115lbs champion hasn’t out-struck an opponent in her last three fights in the first round.
With the French crowd behind her, we can expect a huge performance from Manon Fiorot, who is also unofficially fighting for a title shot.