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By Matt ten-Hoeve on 4/1/2024 8:36 AM

FC Fight Night: Blanchfield vs. Fiorot Takeaways and Thoughts

March 31, 2024

With many UFC Fight Nights taking place at the Apex nowadays, it was nice to see them in front of a crowd on Saturday. The Atlantic City crowd was ready for a fun night, for sure. They showed up early and were into the action. The card produced some fun finishes and some weird moments. Let’s take a look at the results…

Main Card

Manon Fiorot def. Erin Blanchfield via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

Joaquin Buckley def. Vicente Luque via TKO (punches) at 3:17 of Round 2

Chris Weidman def. Bruno Silva via technical decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after fight ends at 2:18 of Round 3 due to repeated eye pokes

Nursulton Ruziboev def. Sedriques Dumas via TKO (punches) at 3:18 of Round 1

Kyle Nelson def. Bill Algeo via TKO (strikes) at 4:00 of Round 1

Chidi Njokuani def. Rhys McKee via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-37)

Preliminary Card

Nate Landwehr def. Jamall Emmers via KO (punches) at 4:43 of Round 1

Virna Jandiroba def. Loopy Godinez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-37)

Julio Arce def. Herbert Burns via TKO (punches) at 2:00 of Round 2

Dennis Buzukja def. Connor Matthews via TKO (punches) at :22 of Round 3

Ibo Aslan def. Anton Turkalj via TKO (punches) at 1:32 of Round 3

Viktoriya Dudakova vs. Melissa Gatto | Fight canceled just before walkouts

Jacob Malkoun def. Andre Petroski via TKO (strikes) at :39 of Round 2

Caolan Loughran def. Angel Pacheco via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

The Prelims

As usual, the Prelims proved to be interesting. I was excited for the Prelims going into the night and they produced some fun.

Caolan Loughran looked really good against Angel Pacheco. I thought Pacheco would be a tough matchup for Loughran, but Caolan was able to get in tight and control most of the fight. He called out Raul Rosas Jr. after the fight, which would be an interesting proving ground fight for both men if it is agreed upon.

I really felt for Andre Petroski. He seemed to be on his way to a victory until one of the weirder stoppages I’ve seen. He basically knocked himself out on Jacob Malkoun’s hip while going in for a takedown. Malkoun took advantage and laid in some blows before the referee stepped in. Both men needed a win, but it stinks that the finish happened the way it did.

Things happen, but I was disappointed that the Dudakova/Gatto fight got canceled. I hope both women are OK and they can get back into the Octagon soon.

Ibo Aslan and Anton Turkalj is a fight to go back and watch. It was like Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots going at it. This was a nice throwback fight to what made MMA popular. Aslan got the win and showed why he is becoming a crowd favorite with his fun post-fight interview.

Both Dennis Buzukja and Julio Arce got big TKO wins. Both men were dominating up until the TKOs. Very nice showings from both men.

Virna Jandiroba put a stop to the Loopy Godinez hype train. Loopy did her best and made the first two rounds hard to score. However, Virna did a great job of using her length to keep Loopy at a distance. This was an intense fight that proves that both women deserve to continue to be featured in the division. 

Nate Landwehr got a huge comeback win over Jamall Emmers. Emmers was super close to victory, but if Landwehr is still breathing, you cannot count him out. Emmers has great hands, but it’s never a good idea to have a prolonged punching battle with Nate Landwehr.

Kyle Nelson vs. Bill Algeo

This was a relatively close fight. When the result was announced, Bill Algeo was clearly upset that he didn’t get the victory. I had Kyle Nelson winning, but not by much. However, this goes to show what happens when you go to the judges. For Kyle Nelson, this was a nice win over a proven Algeo. Nelson continues to show why you shouldn’t consider him an underdog. After the fight, he called out Nate Landwehr, which is both risky and exciting at the same time. I would look forward to that fight if it gets agreed upon.

Nursulton Ruziboev vs. Sedriques Dumas

Not everyone was sold on Ruziboev coming into this fight. This fight won’t help his doubters, as he picked up a stoppage after an eye poke. Despite the wonky finish, he was looking pretty good against Dumas. Dumas is scrappy and improving each time out. However, Ruziboev was getting through and connecting. Both men will be in need of an impressive win their next time out.

Chris Weidman vs. Bruno Silva

This fight also had a wonky finish. There were eye pokes galore in this one. Weidman initially got a TKO finish when Silva went down and stopped protecting himself. However, after review, it was deemed that Silva was, indeed, poked in the eye. Since Weidman was up on the scorecards, his TKO was switched to a decision. Either way, Weidman looked awesome in this fight. In almost every interview he did, the topic of retirement came up. Chris was very quick to say that it was a thought early in his camp, but not as the fight approached because he was feeling really good for the first time in a long time. He wasn’t lying! All facets of his game were working. His punches were crisp. His takedowns were pretty good. However, for the first time in a loooong time, he had his kicks back. He admitted after the fight that before this fight, he couldn’t get his body to listen to his brain when it came to kicking due to his history of broken legs. It seems like he has overcome that and it really benefited him in this fight. I don’t know how much time he has left in this sport, but the time he does have remaining might have another fun run in it if he keeps this up.

Joaquin Buckley vs. Vicente Luque

Buckley got the biggest win of his career over Vicente Luque. Like I said in the preview for this show, Buckley has a lot of fun wins and highlights in his career, but he had yet to have a win that put him in the rankings. He got that here. Luque is a heck of a fighter, but Buckley never allowed Luque to get started. It was impressive and I’m excited to see Buckley fight with a number next to his name. Of course, Joaquin being Joaquin, he’s already trying to fight again next month. We’ll see if the UFC grants it.

Manon Fiorot vs. Erin Blanchfield

On a personal level, it was disappointing to see Eric Blanchfield lose. It would have been cool to see someone from my hometown win in her home state. However, you have to tip your cap to Manon Fiorot. She fought a perfect fight. Blanchfield was game. She was very active and tried to cut down Fiorot’s length. However, Fiorot just let Blanchfield walk into counter punches over and over again. Blanchfield had a few nice moments in the fight, but Fiorot dominated. I would have liked to have seen Blanchfield try to switch levels more and try to get Fiorot down, but that’s easier said than done. Fiorot was more than happy to stay on her feet, as well, and just stick to the game plan of chipping away at Blanchfield when Erin got close. It was a good fight and proved why Fiorot is one of the best in the division. It’ll be interesting to see if she waits for a title fight or takes another fight while waiting. For Blanchfield, this is probably just a small bump in the road in her long career. I expect her to bounce back and continue to get better.

My picks were rough again. I went 6-7 (not counting the canceled fight) and lost $3 in my dollar betting system. Yuck.

Overall, I was thoroughly entertained by this Atlantic City show. The Prelims had some fun stoppages and back and forth fights. The main card had a couple of wonky finishes, but the fights were strong overall. I was really happy to hear the crowd involved for most of the night, too. I was definitely feeling FOMO with the card happening only about two and a half hours away. The UFC is returning to New Jersey in June, so…maybe I’ll go? We’ll have to see what the prices are.

How about you? Did you watch? If so, what did you think? Let me know at I’ll be back later this week to preview both the return of PFL and UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Curtis 2. See you then!