Every time Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield is discussed as a top prospect in MMA, many point to her skills on the ground. Which makes sense as she was an Eddie Bravo Invitational at just 18 years old. However, if you listen to her speak, she does mention her confidence in her ground game and how that is a great strength of hers, but that she has supreme confidence in her stand up as well. In fact, she actually started her martial arts with striking.
In her last fight against Victoria Leonardo at Invicta FC 39, Erin Blanchfield showed the confidence she has in her striking by knocking out Leonardo, a fighter with an impressive 5-1 record at the time with a roundhouse kick. Now Blanchfield believes that she proved that she can win the fight anywhere it goes.
“It definitely felt like it showed my diversity in my game that I don’t only have to win on the ground, that I can win anywhere, that I was I actually able to prove it in that fight.”
Not only did she knock Leonardo out with that head kick but she also landed it earlier in the fight as well that stunned her. The fact that she was able to land the kick not only once but twice may have surprised many, but it didn’t surprise Blanchfield or her team because of the tape they watched on Leonardo ahead of that fight.
“Going into that fight we practiced that a lot, we she drops that right hand after she would jab. After I landed the first one I thought she was going to finish her right there. I followed her down and she was super tough and she was able to fight back. I was able to set it up again. I just set it up in the second round again. I knew I’d be able to keep landing it if I kept setting it up.”
Despite landing the first head kick and thinking she would get the victory then, Blanchfield isn’t disappointed that she had to do it twice. Having to do it twice, Blanchfield thinks will give her even more credibility going forward.
“I feel like doing it, setting up that head kick up again shows it wasn’t just a fluke. Had I finished her with that first head kick I think a lot of people would’ve said it was just a fluke and I couldn’t have done it again. But showing that she was tough and she got through that round and being able to do it in the second round, I think in the long round showing that I do have good striking and I can set things up.”
That win not only earned Blanchfield a lot of notoriety from the fans and the media, but it positioned her to get a big opportunity. That opportunity has now come to fruition as she will fight in the co-main event of Invicta FC 41 on July 30 which will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.
However, due to the pandemic, it’s not a perfect situation. Normally Blanchfield is able to train at multiple gyms including Silver Fox BJJ, MK Muay Thai, Cordoba Wrestling and Renzo Gracie’s Academy in New York City. The pandemic has prevented her from training at Renzo’s where she trains with the likes of UFC fighters Kaitlyn Chookagian and Mizuki Inoue. As much as she learns and enjoys training with the Renzo Gracie fighters, Blanchfield believes she is a h undred percent ready for her upcoming fight.
“I’m not having the diverse amount of people I’m used to training with, I have a close group of people that are good that I’ve been training with.”
In addition to having to adjust to a new training camp, Blanchfield will also have to adjust to Invicta’s open scoring system. During the fights, Invicta fighters will be able to know how the judges have scored the fight. Blanchfield thinks that is beneficial to her.
“I told my coaches that I want to know because I think it will help me gauge where I’m at in the fight. I think it’s definitely beneficial cause usually coaches are usually trying to figure out if you won that round in between anyway, so now it takes that guessing game out completely. I think it’s great, it’s very beneficial.”
A benefit Blanchfield will have over her opponent Brogan Walker-Sanchez is that she has had a longer training camp. Blanchfield was originally supposed to face Stephanie Geltmacher but Geltmacher unfortunately had to pull out of the fight. Though the Geltmacher fight was going to be a very intriguing fight, Blanchfield isn’t surprised that her opponent switch as she knew the odds were high in the current climate that it was a possibility.
“With the new opponent, the strategies change a little bit but it does not affect me greatly. I try to focus on developing my own skill set so I can deal with any type of fighter. And with the crazy times we are currently going through, I knew there was a higher chance of opponents changing so it did not catch me off guard.”
In a way, this fight might actually be a bigger opportunity for Blanchfield. Walker-Sanchez is coming off a main event appearance against Pearl Gonzalez, and despite losing, is highly respected with a 6-1 record. With that in mind, Blanchfield is very happy with getting matched-up with Sanchez-Walker.
“I like this match up with Brogan Walker-Sanchez,” said Blanchfield. “I feel like this was the type of opponent people expected me to get after my last performance and I’m ready for the challenge. My keys to victory are to stay patient, find my opportunities, and capitalize on them.
With a difficult challenge in front of her at Invicta FC 41, Blanchfield’s confidence isn’t wavering. She is still expecting a finish.
“I plan on finishing this fight standing or on the ground. I feel like I have the skill set to finish this fight where ever it takes place.”
With a win, Blanchfield would be in an envious spot, she would be 6-1 (her only loss was a close decision to current UFC fighter Tracy Cortez) and already has a victory over a UFC fighter in Kay Hansen. Despite that, Blanchfield is continuing to not look far ahead.
“We have heard things from the Contender Series but it hasn’t worked out. But now I have this fight so I’m just going to stay focused on this and see what happens after that.”
Blanchfield vs. Walker-Sanchez can be seen on July 30 on UFC Fight Pass.