Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) will look to reclaim her flyweight title from champion Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in Saturday’s Noche UFC headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event streams on ESPN+.
Grasso stunned Shevchenko when she dethroned her by Round 4 submission at UFC 285 in March. Shevchenko is adamant that she merely made a mistake, and Blanchfield thinks her attitude could cost her.
“I didn’t expect that much out of Alexa,” Blanchfield said in an interview with New York Post. “She’s a great game-planner, which I really admired about her in the first fight. She stuck to the game plan, and I felt like she was definitely losing the fight, but she had drilled taking the back off that spinning back kick probably over and over and she hit it perfectly.
“Maybe she’ll have a couple new tricks for this fight. I feel like Valentina’s maybe a little bit better of a fighter, but I don’t think she necessarily game-plans or gives her opponents enough respect sometimes. I don’t know if she’s going to make the adjustments. If she does, I feel like she could win. If she doesn’t, I can see Alexa winning. I feel like it’s a little bit up in the air.”
Blanchfield (12-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) is in a two-woman race for a title shot alongside Manon Fiorot. Blanchfield is coming off a win over Taila Santos, whereas Fiorot recently defeated former champion Rose Namajunas.
Just like Fiorot (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) wasn’t too impressed with Blanchfield’s recent win, Blanchfield expected more out of Fiorot.
“I thought she was going to maybe put more of a beating on her,” Blanchfield said. “The fight was pretty even. I feel like they were both getting pretty tired. She used her reach, she used her distance and her takedown defense to win that fight. I feel like she did what she had to do, but it was a tougher fight for her than I expected.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Noche UFC.