Present Saturday night in Las Vegas for UFC 285, Manon Fiorot thinks her compatriot Ciryl Gane can dominate Jon Jones and take the heavyweight belt. The Niçoise, operated on her knee in November, will also watch carefully the performance of Valentina Shevchenko, whom she could soon challenge for the flyweight title.
Saturday evening, she could have been on the poster for the highly anticipated meeting of UFC 285 in Las Vegas, which marks, after more than three years of absence, the great return of Jon Jones, considered the “GOAT” (“Greatest Of All Time”, the best of all time) of MMA and which is opposed to the French Ciryl Gane for the title of heavyweight champion, a category which the American will discover. But if Manon Fiorot will be present at the T-Mobile Arena, it is as a spectator.
Because the Niçoise, who was injured during her victory at the end of October against Katlyn Chookagian, her fifth success in as many fights in the UFC, was operated on last November for the cruciate ligaments of her right knee. But “it’s getting better and better,” she told us. “I passed the hard part. I still do a lot of re-athletics, with two to three physical training sessions a day, and physical therapy. And I resumed running, gently on a weightless treadmill, so everything is going well, I hope to resume MMA training within two months. »
Present in Nevada to do tests at the UFC Performance Institute, and to show the evolution of his injury with the staff of the queen organization of MMA, Fiorot will therefore attend the Gane-Jones fight, but also another title clash between Alexia Grasso and flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. And the latter saw herself defending her belt against the French.
“It was logical on his part, I was the number one challenger, and I had beaten everyone in the category, especially number one (Chookagian, editor’s note). So it was really up to me to face him, if I hadn’t had this injury. And how does she imagine this fight? “Valentina is above, I even see her winning before the limit. Grasso is a good boxer, very technical, but she comes from the lower category and is one of the lighter girls. And Valentina, who is more physical, is superior in wrestling and on the ground, so I think she will finish him in the second or third round. »
“The UFC in France, I want to experience it! »
And in the event of Shevchenko’s new success, will she step into the octagon to challenge the Russian for a next fight, with a live “call-out” as the UFC has often been able to do by the pass ? “I don’t know, it’s a bit the UFC that decides. If they want to do it, yes even if, for my return, we would still prefer to have a recovery fight before facing Valentina. But if I am offered the fight, of course I accept. “A shock that she would like to play in France, after having already been a spectator at UFC Paris. “I was really disgusted not to do the first UFC in France, she admits. I was in the audience, and I saw the “phew” atmosphere there was, the Marseillaise and everything, it really made me want to be in the next one. I want to live it! »
Regarding the star fight on Saturday evening, the Azurean believes that “it will mainly be played according to the state in which Jon Jones will arrive. He’s the best fighter of all time, after he goes up a category, and I don’t know what his preparation was, if he really prepared seriously. During his last fight (against Dominick Reyes, at light heavyweight, in February 2020, editor’s note), he was not on top, he did not have a great performance. If he arrives well trained, strong, that he has made his weight gain properly, then I think it will be complicated for Ciryl. After Ciryl, also has the weapons to beat him, technically, and he moves like a lightweight. I think he’s better standing up, in terms of movement and speed, I see him above. But I think Jones is going to want to fight him at some point. “One of the keys to the fight for Gane, generally dominated in this sector during his last title fight against Francis Ngannou, for what is still the only defeat of his career.