Manon Fiorot relishes UFC Paris test in fighting ex-champ Rose Namajunas before title shot

PARIS – Manon Fiorot sees Rose Namajunas as the perfect test to earn a UFC title shot.

Fiorot (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) welcomes two-time UFC strawweight champion Namajunas (11-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) to the flyweight division in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 226 co-main event at Accor Arena in Paris. The event streams on ESPN+.

Fiorot is coming off back-to-back wins over former title challengers Jennifer Maia and Katlyn Chookagian. But going up against a notable name in former champ Namajunas excites France’s Fiorot.

“It’s one of the biggest fights of my life against the biggest-name opponent I’ve fought until now,” Fiorot told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “So I really want to put on a great fight in front of my people.”

Namajunas knows what it’s like to rebound. She won gold, lost it, reclaimed it, then lost it again in her most recent outing against Carla Esparza in May 2022.

“She’s the most experienced opponent to date,” Fiorot said of Namajunas. “She’s a former champion so for me, it’s a good test before the title fight.”

Although Namajunas said she’s put on some muscle and adjusted her diet, Fiorot hasn’t seen much of a difference in Namajunas’ physique in her move up from 115 to 125 pounds.

“Yeah, I crossed paths with her yesterday, and I saw the photos that were published of her in this new weight class,” Fiorot said. “I didn’t see a big difference. Physically, I didn’t notice a big difference.”

Namajunas is excited at the prospect of matching up her taekwondo with Fiorot’s karate, but Fiorot admits she’s not entirely sure where the fight will go. But if it hits the mat, she expects to excel.

“I think we’re both complete fighters, so I don’t know where the fight will end up,” Fiorot said. “Grappling and wrestling, I’ll have the strength advantage, but I’m ready for everything.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 226.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie