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Valentina Shevchenko only has very basic grappling, says Erin Blanchfield

LockerRoom Team
22 February 2023

Erin Blanchfield now sees herself as the undisputed top contender in the women's flyweight category and is looking forward to the UFC 285 title battle between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko.

Blanchfield shot up MMA Fighting's flyweight rankings with a convincing victory over Jessica Andrade at UFC Vegas 69; now, only the champion is placed above her. On March 4, Blanchfield will be ready to confront the victor while Shevchenko still needs to deal with Grasso.

“I think this fight put me right in line for the next title shot. Taila [Santos] was supposed to fight me and she pulled out at the last minute and then Manon [Fiorot] is hurt for a while. Valentina and Grasso are literally fighting in a week and a half or so. Having me fight for the title next just makes sense,” she noted during her interview on the MMA Hour.

Blanchfield believes that the reigning UFC Flyweight champion lacks in the grappling department.

“Valentina, I don’t think it’s any secret her striking is very good. Her Muay Thai is very crisp. She even has some decent body lock takedowns. But I think on the actual floor, her jiu-jitsu, it’s not bad. It’s just very, very basic,” Blanchfield added.

Speaking further she added that Shevchenko could use some improvements.

“I don’t think she has many submissions. I don’t think she can get out of certain positions very well, like what we saw against Taila. I kind of think that’s where her game is the most basic and probably could use some improvement,” Blanchfield added.

Currently, Blanchfield is unsure if she will be watching UFC 285 cage side in Las Vegas, though she enjoys the thought of doing so to see Shevchenko and Grasso square off.

What are your thoughts on the statements from Blanchfield? Let us know in the comments below.

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