23-year-old Erin Blanchfield was inspired to join the current crop of top-level female fighters by watching Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate.
Blanchfield will face former flyweight title challenger Taila Santos at a February 18th UFC Fight Night event. She returns following a first-round submission against Molly McCann at UFC 281 last month.
Blanchfield is one of the top MMA prospects, regardless of gender, in the sport today. She’s 4-0 in the UFC and has picked up two wins on pay-per-view cards despite being one of the youngest on the roster.
Blanchfield, like many current fighters, began to find an interest in fighting at an early age. She began watching the sport before women’s MMA was widely accepted, and around the time that UFC President Dana White doubted women would ever fight in the UFC.
Eventually, the doors opened for women such as Rousey and Tate to make an impact on the sport’s biggest stage. They had arguably the most heated rivalry in the history of women’s MMA, with two matchups during their careers.
Watching Rousey and Tate battle helped kickstart Blanchfield’s role from a fight fan to a fighter.
Erin Blanchfield Inspired By Ronda Rousey/Miesha Tate Rivalry
During a recent interview with Morning Kombat, Blanchfield explained how she first got into MMA.
“My Dad was always super into UFC, so I always watched it,” Blanchfield said. “I remember watching Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate for the first time and I was like, ‘That’s so cool, I know I can do that’. And then when Rousey got into the UFC and I saw Carmouche. I remember sitting there in my living room telling myself that I could do that too if I wanted to.”
Rousey won both fights against Tate, with the most recent clash coming at UFC 168 in 2013. The two women also coached against one another on The Ultimate Fighter 18.
Tate still competes in the UFC and made her return to the Octagon last year after retiring. She made a move to Blanchfield’s flyweight division to face Lauren Murphy at UFC Long Island, losing via a unanimous decision.
The Rousey/Tate rivalry helped instill firepower into women’s MMA, which led to the rise of fighters such as Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. With a win in her next fight over Santos, Blanchfield could be well on her way to joining the most elite females in the sport.
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