I want to be the one to beat Valentina Shevchenko - Manon Fiorot confident ahead of her bout against Jennifer Maia at UFC Columbus

Jennifer Maia (left), Valentina Shevchenko (center) & Manon Fiorot (right) [Image Credits-]
Jennifer Maia (left), Valentina Shevchenko (center) & Manon Fiorot (right) [Image Credits-]

Manon Fiorot is gearing up to make her highly-anticipated return to the octagon against Jennifer Maia at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Daukaus.

During an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Fiorot waxed lyrical about her skills inside the octagon, while also alluding to a potential fight against UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko down the line.

The fast-rising flyweight prospect was previously scheduled to fight Jessica Eye at UFC 272. However, an injury to her opponent derailed the fight. She was subsequently booked to lock horns with the No.4-ranked fighter in the division this weekend.

While in conversation with Sportskeeda MMA's Daniel Vreeland, Manon Fiorot opened up about her prospects in the title picture if she overcomes her first top-five opponent in Columbus this Saturday.

The French fighter admitted that she wants Shevchenko to outlast Taila Santos at UFC 275 so that she gets an opportunity to best 'Bullet' herself.

"I have a great respect for [Taila Santos] and I know it's a huge opener. But in front of me, I prefer [Valentina Shevchenko] get the title and still champion because I want to beat her."

When asked whether she believes she can beat Shevchenko, who's dominated the 125-pound weight class since 2018, Manon Fiorot said:

"The only thing I'm seeing when I'm inside the UFC roster is to beat Valentina. So yes, it's my objective, it's my dream. So let's do this."

Catch Manon Fiorot's interaction with Sportskeeda MMA's Daniel Vreeland below:

Manon Fiorot reveals her preferred timeline for a Valentina Shevchenko fight

Manon Fiorot subsequently detailed the ideal lead-up to a showdown against Valentina Shevchenko in the future.

She admitted that she sees herself sharing the octagon with the Kyrgyzstani flyweight queen after one more victory following her clash with Maia this weekend.

"I think for now I just need some experience and some time in the cage. So, hope I can call one fight before Valentina after Jennifer. Perhaps, we talked together about Katlyn Chookagian or something like that."

Although 'The Beast' argued that she presently has the skills to beat Shevchenko, this timeline and an improved ranking in the wake of a win against Maia would offer her the opportunity to improve her training camp. This, in turn, would help her put in a more decisive performance against the champion.

"I think when my rank go up, we can do better training camp, invite some guests to improve my skills better. So, it's just like that. I think I can win against her just now but just to be sure, more experienced and skilled."
Jennifer Maia will fight Manon Fiorot at #UFCColumbus on March 26th. (per @MMAJunkie) #UFC #MMA #UFCESPN

All said and done, a stout challenge awaits the Frenchwoman in the form of Jennifer Maia. The fight is set to take place at UFC on ESPN+ 63 card on March 26 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Edited by Harvey Leonard


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