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Erin Blanchfield hopes for title shot but ‘definitely OK with fighting again’ if that’s what UFC wants

Erin Blanchfield believes a dominant win over Jessica Andrade should earn her a title fight but if that’s not in the cards, she won’t complain.

In her biggest test to date, the highly touted flyweight proved she’s ready to graduate from prospect to contender after she needed less than two rounds to secure a rear-naked choke submission to put away Andrade in the UFC Vegas 69 main event.

Afterwards, Blanchfield immediately called for the winner of Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso, who battle in the UFC 285 co-main event. All things considered, Blanchfield believes her win coupled with the upcoming title fight scheduled on March 4 should put her directly in line for the next shot at the champion, but then again she’s never going to turn down another opportunity to fight again in the meantime.

“I’m definitely OK with fighting again,” Blanchfield said at the UFC Vegas 69 post-fight press conference. “The title fight’s in two weeks so I think it can line up perfect but if they want me to fight again, I’ll gain more experience.”

Prior to Saturday night, Blanchfield had put together a perfect 4-0 resume in the UFC but she hadn’t faced anyone inside the top 10 rankings yet so drawing Andrade was a huge step up in competition.

By every metric measurable, Blanchfield passed the test as she stood toe-to-toe with Andrade on the feet before eventually taking the fight to the ground where she wrapped up the fight-ending submission.

“Every fight starts standing so I had to strike and wait to find my takedowns,” Blanchfield explained. “I did shoot one or two and they didn’t work out so I had to stay standing. I felt comfortable there. She hits hard but I know I was hitting her, too, but I just had to work my game and wait for my opportunity. She’s a former champ and No. 3 in the weight class so I knew I was going to have to work for those. The first one or two might not work but the third one does so I knew that going in.

“When I was in that clinch with her, I felt my overhook was super heavy so that inside trip was there. Then I got her down and she gave up the back right away trying to get up so that choke was right there. She didn’t defend it at all. I sunk the choke right in and I knew even if she stood up, she was going to pass out if she did.”

Even before her opponent changed from Taila Santos to Andrade, Blanchfield felt like a title fight could be in her immediate future so she definitely had designs on asking for that opportunity.

Putting Andrade away so impressively just sealed the deal as Blanchfield called her shot.

“I always think of what I want to say after a win because it can be very emotional and it can be a little cloudy but I knew beating someone like her, especially if I finished her, that I could deserve that title next,” Blanchfield said.

With the victory, Blanchfield now turns her full attention towards Shevchenko vs. Grasso with hopes that she’ll get the winner, although she can’t hide her preference on who she would rather face.

“I would definitely prefer Shevchenko,” Blanchfield said. “I think she beats Grasso. Grasso is a tough fighter but I want to be the one to take that title from [Shevchenko].”

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