The sport of MMA is one of the fastest growing across the plane, and women’s action inside the octagon has always captured the imagination of fans. Superstars such as Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey ensured that respect was put onto the women’s divisions in UFC, and females have since gone on to main event their own numbered cards in recent years.
Some of the most engaging fights have been staged in the women’s divisions in recent years, and there looks set to be even more thrilling events over the coming years.
There will be huge French interest regarding some of the bouts, as the top-ranked woman in the flyweight rankings is currently Manon Fiorot. At jouerenlignefr.org, she has been the favorite for many of her fights but could she be set for a world title showdown in 2023?
Fiorot has been a competitive athlete throughout her career, and the early evidence of that came when she was just seven as she began competing in karate. Her love for sport doesn’t just revolve around mixed martial arts, as she also took up residency at a snowboarding school, and later landed success in the French Snowboarding Championships. However, when she was 18, she returned to a career in karate and was awarded the black belt before joining the national team.
Her big breakthrough in the sport came in 2014, she was named in the traveling team for the World Karate Championships, but she was later forced to pull out of the team through injury. However, her character was evident after she made a full recovery, later landing a number of national titles in both karate and Thai boxing. Her career as an amateur in Muay Thai was incredibly impressive, as she landed a perfect 12-0 record, and won two national championships. In Karate, she would also land national honors, winning three K-1 titles.
Fiorot later turned to a career in MMA, and her first appearances in the sport were extremely encouraging, as she managed to make it through to the finals of the European Amateur Championships, before losing in the final of the wrestling to Cornelia Holm. However, her strong character showed once again just months later, as she would finally get over the line when winning the IMMAF World Amateur Championships. As an amateur, her overall record was incredibly consistent, as she recorded seven wins and one defeat.
After a strong amateur pedigree, she turned professional in June 2018, where she competed for Cage Warriors. However, she was beaten at Cage Warriors 94 on debut by a split decision by Leah McCourt. In 2019, she then traveled to South Africa to take part in a reality show called ‘The Fighter’. That would lead to a big breakthrough, as she won the show and was signed to a contract with EFC. That later saw her win her first championship, as she captured the EFC Women’s Flyweight World Championship with a victory over Amanda Lino in December 2019.
After winning the title, Fiorot then competed at UAE Warriors 12, defeating Corinne Laframboise by TKO, before beating Naomi Tataroglu and Gabriela Campos, with the latter win seeing her pick up the UAEW Flyweight championship.
It always seemed as though it was a matter of time before Fiorot moved to the UFC. Her debut with the biggest MMA promotion in the world finally came in January 2021, as she scored a massive KO win over Victoria Leonardo on debut. Tabatha Ricci was her second opponent in June 2021, but Fiorot was far too classy, as she landed a second-round TKO win.
Her momentum continued later in 2021, as she recorded a unanimous decision win over Mayra Bueno Silva. That success saw her awarded a new multi-fight deal with UFC, and she was set to showcase her talents against Jessica Eye at UFC 272 before her rival withdrew. She was later able to showcase her dominance with a victory against Jennifer Maia at UFC on ESPN 33 in March 2022.
Fiorot was then set to face Katlyn Chookagian in September 2022, before her rival was replaced by former champion Jessica Andrade. However, Andrade later also withdrew, with Chookagian once again stepping up to face the French star. Fiorot continued to show her class, she won by unanimous decision to move to the top of the flyweight rankings.
What’s Next For Fiorot?
After a dominant run in her career, all sights will now be set on a huge title showdown against Valentina Shevchenko. Fiorot is the number one contender for the title, and that ensures that she is likely to receive her title opportunity in 2023. However, the fight is likely to be announced after Shevchenko’s upcoming title defense against Alexa Grasso at UFC 285 in early March.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.