Manon Fiorot is gearing up to take on Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 280, with her eyes set on divisional queen Valentina Shevchenko and the gold she possesses. The French mixed martial artist is 9-1 in her career and 4-0 in the UFC, with her last win coming over Jennifer Maia in March.
Chookagian has long been the No.1 contender in the women's flyweight division and Fiorot will look to cement her place as the next title challenger at 125lbs. Speaking to James Lynch in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA, the fighter from Nice gave her thoughts on a potential matchup against 'The Bullet'. Discussing her potential strengths against Valentina Shevchenko, Fiorot said via a translator:
"For now I'm very focussed on Katlyn and we'll take the fight step by step. But if I have to talk about the future and the fight against Valentina, I think 5 rounds is better for me because I know I have great conditioning. I think I am more powerful and [have] more strength and technically, I think it's the same thing..."
Fiorot and Chookagian were scheduled to fight at UFC Paris in September, but owing to issues at different times involving both fighters, the bout was pushed to UFC 280 which takes place on October 22 in Abu Dhabi. 'Blonde Fighter' lost to Shevchenko in 2020 and has been trying to find her way back into title contention ever since.
Watch our exclusive interview with Manon Fiorot below:
Manon Fiorot weighs in on Valentina Shevchenko vs. Taila Santos
Shevchenko's last outing saw her edge a split decision over Taila Santos at UFC 275. The Brazilian gave 'The Bullet' a run for her money, with many even believing she had done enough to upset the reigning queen of the 125lbs division.
Regardless of the outcome, it is undeniable that Santos presented Valentina Shevchenko with the hardest fight of her flyweight reign so far. Giving her take on the controversial bout, Fiorot said via the translator:
"I think this fight can go one side or the other, but when it's like that I think the champion deserves the victory..."
Fiorot's sentiment has been echoed by many, who believe that in case of a close fight or controversial decision, the benefit of the doubt must lie with the reigning champion.