UFC Atlantic City Main Event Breakdown

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One more MMA event is all that’s left before fans of competitive violence turn their attention to the second quarter of 2024 next week. After a two-week stint inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, the top promotion in the sport holds a traditional arena show on the East Coast of the United States.

Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, the host venue of so many great boxing fights throughout history, welcomes the UFC on the night before Easter for UFC Fight Night on ESPN and ESPN2. Live coverage of UFC Atlantic City begins Saturday evening at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT on ESPN2 with the undercard, continuing at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT with the main card on ESPN proper.

As always, UFC Atlantic City will be seen wall-to-wall on ESPN+, the Disney-owned cable network’s subscription-based streamer. All told, barring any late postponements between now and fight night, Saturday’s card will feature a stacked 14-fight slate.

Top Contenders Square Off in UFC Atlantic City Main Event

Highlighting the night’s activities in Jersey is a women’s flyweight fight where the winner is on the inside track toward a championship opportunity next time out. No. 2 contender Erin Blanchfield (12-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), an alumnae of Invicta FC, will square off against No. 3 contender Manon Fiorot (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in the UFC Atlantic City main event.

As with all UFC main events, this one is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close out the card and first quarter of the year.

UFC Atlantic City Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the UFC Atlantic City main event on Saturday night, Manon Fiorot stands as the taller contender at 5-foot-7, compared to Erin Blanchfield’s 5-foot-4 frame. Blanchfield owns a one-inch reach advantage (66 inches to 65 inches) over Fiorot, with the latter owning a two-inch reach advantage (38 inches to 36 inches) over the former.

As of Thursday evening, the oddsmakers have Erin Blanchfield installed as a -194 favorite on the money line, while Manon Fiorot counters as a +150 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend in MMA, please wager responsibly.

Will Blanchfield Run Winning Streak to 1o?

Erin Blanchfield enters the UFC Atlantic City main event this week having posted a record of 5-0 in her last five fights as part of a larger nine-fight winning streak. To find the last time she tasted defeat, you’d need to go back in time to Feb. 15, 2019, over five years ago. That night, she dropped a split decision to Tracy Cortez (11-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in Invicta FC 34.

More recently, she scored a unanimous decision victory over Talia Santos (19-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC on Aug. 26. The high stakes of Saturday’s headliner aren’t lost on Erin Blanchfield, who used her Wednesday media availability to discuss her title fight aspirations next time out.

“I feel like it should definitely be (a title eliminator),” Blanchfield explained to the press. “I’m No. 2, she’s No. 3. The only two girls ahead of us are the girls that have been fighting for the title. So when I win Saturday, I feel like I’m definitely a lock for the title.”

The scary thing about Erin Blanchfield is the fact that she’s just 24 years of age. If she’s explosive now, the sky is the limit for her when she reaches her peak, but she’s got to take it one fight at a time, starting with the UFC Atlantic City main event.

Fiorot Overlooked for Championship Opportunity Previously

In the other corner, Manon Fiorot having gone 5-0 herself over the last five contests as part of an ongoing 13-fight winning streak. Last time out, she bested Rose Namajunas (12-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) by unanimous decision on Sept. 2 in Paris.

Fiorot used her press conference to talk about past championship opportunities that went unrealized,

“Obviously, I already deserved, two times, the title shot, but that’s how life goes,” Fiorot began, through her translator. “Sometimes, there’s injuries and other things. That’s the way it is. So, of course, I believe the next fight will be for the title, and I know they have to make the trilogy (first), so I will wait no problem.”

A contest with either Alexa Grasso (16-3-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) or Valentina Shevchenko (23-4-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) awaits Blanchfield or Fiorot later on.  The winner of the UFC Atlantic City main event will have earned a flyweight title shot no matter who the opponent is.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Atlantic City main event looks to favor Erin Blanchfield, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, compared to Manon Fiorot’s background as a brown belt in BJJ and a black belt in karate.

Blanchfield Vicious on the Mat

Given that Erin Blanchfield is a black belt in BJJ, chances are that she could put Manon Fiorot on the canvas. When she puts an adversary on the mat, like she did against Jessica Andrade, it can be something amazing to watch.

During round two of that fight, Blanchfield dropped Andrade and quickly moved into side control before taking Andrade’s back, wrapping up the rear-naked choke. If Erin Blanchfield secures the first takedown of the fight on Saturday, it could be all she needs to secure the win.

Fiorot Can Make Opponents Quit

In the other corner, Manon Fiorot has been shown to be a brutal striker. One need look no further than her 2021 fight vs. Tabatha Ricci at the Apex.

Round two of a scheduled three saw Fiorot land combinations at will on Ricci. Although Ricci tried her best to move out of harm’s way, it would prove to be to no avail.

Manon Fiorot uncorked a right-handed punch to drop Ricci, and despite the latter getting back up, the former just kept landing punches in bunches. Herb Dean almost didn’t move into put a stop to the fight quickly enough.

As long as she’s landing the big shots, Fiorot will be on easy street this Saturday night.

Final Thoughts

Before the Easter bunny hops to your neighborhood, he’s got an important fight to put in the UFC’s basket. Saturday’s UFC Atlantic City main event is a holiday treat of the highest order. Don’t miss it.

Prediction: Erin Blanchfield by Third-Round Submission. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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