In a division struggling to attract new contenders for the legendary Amanda Nunes, 30-year-old Belo Horizonte native Norma Dumont intends to soar her way to the top at 135-pounds. That ascent gets the opportunity to continue come April 10.
“I think a decisive victory over Bea Malecki definitely will prove a lot in this division,” Dumont told MyMMANews regarding her next bout. “After a win, I want to fight a top 15 – top 10 opponent. I think with time, I can slowly climb my way to the top. We’re thinking five or six decisive wins and I can already see myself fighting for the title.”
Still very early into her professional MMA career, the Brazilian Dumont boosted her record to 5-1 in November. Showcasing her skills violently against veteran presence Ashlee Evans-Smith would put the fellow bantamweights on notice.
However, Dumont’s arrival to the UFC didn’t come without its hiccups. Prior to her one-sided beating of Evans-Smith, a fight in which she missed weight for, Dumont was signed as a featherweight competitor. The promotional debut for the Sanda practitioner saw her fall to the next 145-pound challenger for the aforementioned Nunes, Megan Anderson.
“It’s a difficult feeling to describe,” Dumont said of her first UFC win. “It’s a mix of emotions depending on when you’re fighting but it’s definitely a mix of great emotions, good feelings, and relief. I think the main emotion I felt was relief. When you get your first win in the organization, I feel that you begin feeling a part of the organization, you really feel at home. So I felt really relieved, and I feel like now the work really begins.
“With my defeat to Megan, I didn’t really feel a loss. I felt I had learned something new. I felt I needed to evolve. I wanted to evolve from having this loss so I don’t really know how I would have felt after if I would have won in that first fight against Megan. I think after a loss the feeling is that you want to improve yourself and continue working.”
Quickly after the loss, Dumont realized how shallow the waters were at featherweight in the UFC. This upcoming Feb. 11 date will mark the fourth anniversary of the division and at no point has it ever contained more than roughly eight fighters maximum.
Despite that, Dumont has no regrets and fully intends to avenge her lone career loss in the future.
Until that chance comes, 135-pounds will be Dumont’s home just as it was before the UFC. Her shift to featherweight acted as a learning experience in how to condition herself as she’s now keeping her weight lower out of camp. Thus leaving her more comfortable at bantamweight and leads her to believe her strength can be a big factor against many of her opponents.
We got to see a solid glimpse of that her last time out, but even then we didn’t get to see what the new BJJ brown belt is fully capable of — a scary thought considering the dominant nature of the victory.
“I definitely didn’t show all of my skills last fight,” Stated Dumont. “I fought with a knee injury. For the fight, I spent two months without Jiu-Jitsu, and up to 10 days before the fight I wasn’t kicking, I wasn’t exercising my kicks. So there’s definitely a lot more I want to show and I’m sure that you will be able to see it next fight.”
Like Dumont, Sweden’s Malecki is also relatively lacking in fight experience at just 2-0. “The Imortal” understands that The Ultimate Fighter 28 cast member is well versed in Muay Thay and will outsize her a bit. Noting that it’s difficult to research opponents that have so few fights, Dumont expects a finish before the third round regardless.
Starting her combat sports journey in the world of Jiu-Jitsu, Dumont uniquely shifted to the Chinese striking art of Sanda. In turn, she became a Brazilian champion in Sanda competition after two years. Eventually, this led to incorporating all skillsets into one and delving head-on into MMA.
Three years and four victories later, and the UFC came calling while Dumont was sidelined from 2018 to her promotional debut in early 2020.
“Before entering UFC, it was really difficult to find opponents in Brazil,” She shared. “If you’re an incredible athlete here in Brazil, sometimes it’s hard for you to get an opponent because people don’t want to face you.
“When I was hired by the UFC, I was taking a supplement which was forbidden by USADA. So I needed to spend around six months to get the supplement out of my system. And during that period I did around eight tests with USADA so that when I had my first fight in the UFC I wouldn’t be fined for doping or something like that.
“In addition to that, they were also looking for a contender for me at featherweight, but it was a little difficult for the organization to find someone so they ended up matching me with Megan Anderson — who I wasn’t supposed to fight because she’s a lot more experienced than I am,” Dumont detailed. “But as it was the fight they offered to me, I accepted it.”
As Norma Dumont braces herself for the upcoming year starting with a showdown vs. Bea Malecki, she hopes it’s the first of three or four fights on her calendar.
Mapping it all out, the Gordin Fight Team product envisions a ranking will be aside her name at No. 7 or 8 starting 2022. Tack on an additional three victories in 2023 against top 5 contenders and the belt will inevitably be around her waist upon 2023’s beginning.
Ultimately, there’s no rush for one of the bantamweight division’s newest promising combatants.