Erin Blanchfield confident ahead of possible title shot against Valentina Shevchenko: “I’ve been watching her since high school”

By Josh Evanoff - February 22, 2023

UFC women’s flyweight contender Erin Blanchfield believes she will be champion by the end of 2023.

‘Cold Blooded’ returned to the octagon over the weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 69. While Blanchfield was initially slated to face Taila Santos in the headliner, the Brazilian was forced to pull out due to injury. As a result, Jessica Andrade got the nod to the main event.

In the biggest fight of her career thus far, the 23-year-old showed out last Saturday. After standing and training with the former champion in the opening frame, Blanchfield secured a takedown in round two. From there, the prospect easily secured a rear-naked choke to get the submission victory.

Following the victory, there was quick talk of Erin Blanchfield fighting Valentina Shevchenko. ‘Bullet’ is slated to return next month at UFC 285 in another title defense against Alexa Grasso. As Blanchfield opined in an interview with MMAJunkie, if Shevchenko can win her next bout, they’ll likely fight this year.

As far as a prediction goes, Blanchfield is confident she can defeat the champion having watched Shevchenko since high school.

Erin Blanchfield

(via Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“I think I’ll use my style [against Shevchenko] that I’ve been beating everybody with,” Erin Blanchfield stated in the interview. “Everyone kind of underestimates me a little bit just because of my age and because I don’t have that many fights in the UFC. I know I can win these fights. I feel like I’ve been breaking her down for years. I’ve been watching her since I was in high school. I know once I get in there that we’ll have a good game plan and that belt is going to be mine.” (h/t MMAJunkie)

She continued, “I think a matchup against Valentina and beating her is huge for my career. It’s a pretty special moment, like the Conor McGregors and Amanda Nuneses, who when they lose, everybody freaks out. I know it’s also going to be like, ‘You’ll fight her and then you’ll have to fight her again and prove it again.’ I’m kind of excited for that opportunity.”

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Erin Blanchfield UFC Valentina Shevchenko