Rose Namajunas, Amanda Ribas predict UFC on ESPN 54 headliner Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot

Rose Namajunas and Amanda Ribas have revealed their predictions for the upcoming UFC on ESPN 54 main event.

Former two-time strawweight champion Namajunas (11-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC) meets Ribas (12-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 53 (ESPN/ESPN+) main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. One week later, Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot squares off in a pivotal five-round No. 1 contender bout in Atlantic City, N.J.

Namajunas, whose most recent setback came as a unanimous decision to Fiorot (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in September, thinks Blanchfield’s (12-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) pace will be too much.

“I’m kind of leaning towards Erin,” Namajunas told MMA Junkie and other reporters at pre-fight news conference Wednesday. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Manon finds a way to win. She’s very good, and she’s a very interesting matchup for Erin, but I just feel like the pace Erin puts out, she impressed me with that.

“Her tenacity, and she also really knows how to find ways to win. I just think with our fight with Manon, she was kind of fading away at the end, and I think Erin is going to keep growing. I believe it’s five rounds so, she’ll probably account for that. But I’m leaning towards Erin in this one.”

Ribas had an opposing opinion, though tentatively presented.

“Good question,” Ribas said. “I think Manon.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 53.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie