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Coach Praises Manon Fiorot’s Work Ethic, Claims Her Defense ‘Like Hell’


If the skills explained by her coach come to fruition, Manon
Fiorot is going to give Erin
Blanchfield fits on Saturday.

Undefeated in the
Ultimate Fighting Championship and riding a six-fight win
streak in the organization itself, French striking ace Fiorot hired
an important reinforcement for the camp to face Blanchfield on
Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey: Brazilian luta-livre and
jiu-jitsu black belt Flavio
“Peroba” Santiago. Living in France since 2002, Santiago joined
up with the burgeoning flyweight in December. He spoke to Sherdog
ahead of her headlining appearance at UFC on ESPN 54, where he
explained how training has fared thus far.

“I’m really impressed by her work ethic,” Santiago gushed. “Every
time I taught her some new technique, she repeated [it] until
[getting] it done perfectly, and every new sparring, she came with
some notes to ask me.”

The coach revealed that he was not just teaching her instructions
from afar. Roughly her size, Fiorot trained one-on-one with the

“Once I had almost the same weight as her. She also used me as a
sparring partner,” he stated.”

Santiago continued, “Manon’s karate guard is like hell, it’s really
hard to shorten distance. Also we worked a lot on cage defense.
What I can say is that Erin will have a hard time taking her down.
Even if she succeeds, she will not be able to keep Manon down.”

According to the coach, MMA has grown significantly in popularity
in France in the last two years, and the fans are already eager for
the UFC card scheduled at the Accor Arena in Paris. Should Fiorot
prevail, schedules might line up for her next outing at this venue
on Sept. 28, providing she has a willing dance partner.

“I’m really impressed how popular MMA is in France today. When I
arrived here 22 years ago, there were few jiu-jitsu and MMA
academies. Today it’s like juice stores in Brazil, you can find
[them] everywhere. Benoit St.
Denis is like a national idol. [The] most important sports
programs are talking about [the] UFC and I will not be surprised if
soon it will be disputing with soccer [for] title of most popular
national sport,” Santiago concluded.

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