Former EBI champion Erin Blanchfield just earned the biggest win of her professional MMA career by submitting Jessica Andrade in the main event of UFC Vegas 69 on February 18th, 2023. The fight came about thanks to a lot of last-minute changes, but it ended up being the biggest opportunity that’s ever come by Blanchfield. After the card was shuffled around a little, Blanchfield was booked to headline her very first UFC event at just 23 years old. This was well-deserved in fairness, as Blanchfield had made the perfect start to her UFC career by winning all four of her fights for the promotion up to that point.
This winning streak and her 10-1 professional record had propelled Blanchfield into the top ten of the UFC flyweight division, and she was matched up against Taila Santos originally. The match was bumped up to main event status after the original main event of UFC Vegas 69 was postponed, but then disaster struck when Santos withdrew from the event on a week’s notice because her cornermen were denied visas to assist her in the fight. Naturally it was going to be hard to find an opponent of a similar pedigree on such short notice, as Santos was ranked first in the flyweight division and was just coming off an unsuccessful title-challenge.
UFC Matchmakers pulled it off though by booking Jessica Andrade as a late replacement against Erin Blanchfield. As a former strawweight world champion who was ranked sixth in that division and third in the flyweight division, Andrade was an even bigger name than her original opponent. Blanchfield put on the performance of a lifetime regardless though, as she came out strong right out of the gate. She worked some fantastic striking almost immediately, beating Andrade on the feet before deciding to go for the takedown and use her fantastic grappling.
Almost immediately after the fight hit the ground, Blanchfield took Andrade’s back and managed to sink in the rear-naked choke for the win, and a nice $50,000 performance bonus too. The win against Jessica Andrade at UFC Vegas 69 has likely just earned Erin Blanchfield her first UFC title-shot, or at the very least a number-one contender’s fight for her next outing.
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