Owning the Boardwalk: Manon Fiorot Spoils Erin Blanchfield’s Return to Atlantic City

April 1, 2024
2 weeks

Manon Fiorot came along at the right time to have a successful career in mixed martial arts. Fiorot’s native France didn’t legalize the sport until January 2020, and French fighters have found quick success in the UFC. Following a dominant decision victory over No. 2 ranked flyweight contender Erin Blanchfield, Fiorot will likely be the second-ever French fighter to fight for a UFC championship.

Cyril Gane held the promotion’s interim heavyweight championship and lost a chance to hold unified gold last year in a bout with Jon Jones. But Fiorot’s ascent up the ladder has been impressive. She cemented her claim for a championship fight with the winner of the Alexa Grasso-Valentina Shevchenko fight at a future date.

Fighting against a top wrestler like Blanchfield in her home state of New Jersey was supposed to test Fiorot. But outside of a close call with a guillotine in the first round, Fiorot was never in danger of losing the fight.

Fiorot sat back and countered Blanchfield, who continued to march forward to try and look for an opening. Fiorot has now won 12 consecutive fights since opening her career with a split-decision loss to Bellator star Leah McCourt.

The UFC’s return to Atlantic City for the first time in six years produced a lot of excitement. There were eight knockouts out of the 13 contested fights, but there were, bizarrely, several controversies surrounding eye pokes, according to the latest MMA news.

Luque Gets Knocked Loopy

Vicente Luque always had the look for a possible title contender. The Brazilian welterweight had a penchant for finishing fights and usually looked pretty good doing it. However, Luque may see his time at the top slipping away.

Luque has now lost three of his past four fights after making a misguided attempt to pull guard against Joaquin Buckley. Buckley, an unranked fighter renowned for his powerful punching, rained down the ground and pound on Luque.

Luque almost immediately covered up and continued to eat punches until the referee, Keith Peterson, stepped in to stop the fight in the second round. This was a momentum win for Buckley, who claimed other ranked fighters had been ducking him.

Weidman Wins in Unorthodox Fashion

Chris Weidman’s best days in MMA are long behind him. However, the former middleweight champion appeared to turn back the clock and knock out Bruno Silva. However, the third-round stoppage set off an immediate fire storm of controversy.

Silva immediately protested that Weidman had poked him in the eye before the finishing sequence. It’s hard to believe how right Silva was. Not only was Silva right about being eye-poked during that third-round sequence, but Weidman had actually done it twice, once to each eye.

Had referee Gary Copeland officiated correctly, it is likely Weidman would have been deducted a point. The former champion had been warned several times not to extend his fingers after eye-poking Silva earlier in the fight. Weidman may still have won on the cards, but there may never have been a stoppage.

While the fight was originally scored as a knockout win, the New Jersey State Athletic Commission reversed course and awarded Weidman a unanimous technical decision win.

Dumas Could Feel Silva’s Pain

Sedriques Dumas likely wasn’t watching Weidman’s fight with Silva. But when Dumas sees it, he will feel more aggrieved than he already felt. Much like Silva, Dumas took a severe eye poke from his opponent, Nursulton Ruziboev.

In the same fashion as Silva, Dumas put his hand to his eye and asked the referee to stop the fight due to the foul. However, Ruziboev quickly swarmed and forced Dumas down to the ground with punches. Ruziboev followed up with ground and pound to halt the fight 3 minutes, 18 seconds in the first round.

However, the Athletic Commission didn’t change the result of this fight or force it to go to the judges’ scorecards. Ruziboev’s KO will stand, and Dumas learned a lesson about defending himself at all times during a fight.

Nelson Picks Up the Knockout Win

Many people felt that Kyle Nelson and Bill Algeo’s fight would reach the scorecards. However, both Nelson and Algeo came out firing power shots at each other. Algeo ended up taking a vicious punch behind the ear that threw off his balance.

Algeo ended up on skates toward the end of the first round, and Nelson continued landing punches to force a stoppage. Some people online criticized Copeland for the stoppage, according to the latest MMA news. However, Algeo appeared to be out on his feet and took repeated strong punches to the head.

Of all the controversies tonight, this was the least egregious. And the referee was correct in his actions.

Nate the Train Never Disappoints

Clarksville, Tennessee, native Nate Landwehr says a lot of strange things during his post-fight press conferences. But his getting the opportunity to speak means one thing: the man is winning fights. MMAfighting latest updates show that Landwehr got cracked by Jamall Emmers early in the fight.

While Landwehr spent a moment on the canvas, he wasn’t planning to stay there. Emmers had a hard time keeping the pace on Landwehr, who has shown he has an excellent chin. During the end of the first round, Landwehr stung Emmers with an uppercut. Landwehr then quickly followed up with punches to bring an end to the fight.

Landwehr has now won four of his past fights.

Here’s a look at the other fights that happened tonight that weren’t mentioned above:

  • Welterweight, Chidi Njokuani wins by split decision over Rhys McKee, 30-27 (x2) Njokuani, 29-28 McKee
  • Women’s strawweight, Virna Jandiroba win by decision over Loopy Godinez, 29-28 (x2), 30-27
  • Catchweight (147.25 pounds), Julio Arce win by TKO over Herbert Burns, Round 2 2:00
  • Featherweight, Dennis Buzukja win by TKO over Connor Matthews Round 3 :22
  • Light heavyweight, Ibo Aslan win by TKO Anton Turkalj, Round 3 1:32
  • Middleweight, Jacob Malkoun win by TKO over Andre Petroski, Round 2 :39
  • Bantamweight, Caolan Loughran win by decision Angel Pacheco, 30-27 (x2), 30-26

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By Dean McHugh.

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