Norma Dumont knows that the women’s featherweight division is in a place of transition following the retirement of Amanda Nunes.
The UFC legend, who won her final fight last month at UFC 289 against Irene Aldana to defend her women’s bantamweight championship, also held the women’s featherweight belt at the time of her retirement. With no current rankings for the division and a vacant belt, the division sits in a unique position.
Dumont is unsure if she will continue to fight at featherweight or switch to bantamweight going forward, but she hopes to re-ignite the 145-pound division with an exciting fight against Chelsea Chandler Saturday night at UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Bueno Silva.
“Indeed, the situation is a bit complicated. We say we never know whether we’ll continue in this division or not,” Dumont said. “So we’re also preparing in case we have to go down to 135. We’ll do the work, but I have hopes that after the 15th, that flame will burn again at 145.”
Should it become necessary, Dumont said she could drop down to 135 pounds within six months. In the meantime, “The Immortal” is focused on the immediate future.
Despite a potential weight class change on the horizon, Dumont has been in top form recently. She won her last two fights and five of her most recent six contests, the only loss coming via split decision against Macy Chiasson at UFC 274.
Headed into her fight with Chandler, she’s feeling better than ever.
“I feel great and calm,” Dumont said. “I had back-to-back camps and I feel I’m in my best shape physically and mentally.”
Dumont and Chandler’s bout is an unusual one, with Dumont ranked at No. 13 and Chandler at No. 15 in the women’s bantamweight division, despite the scheduled bout between the two taking place in the women’s featherweight division.
Regardless of the atypical context, Dumont and Chandler are set to fight at their natural class. With the showdown just a day away, Dumont is feeling more confident than ever that she will have her hand raised at the end of the night.
“I don’t think she’s mature enough. She goes forward, but she gets a bit reckless, a bit lost,” Dumont said. “However, she’s big and she might be heavy. She’s a scrapper. She’s a southpaw. But that’s how I see her. She’s not mature enough and a bit anxious. Let’s see how it goes on the 15th.”
Dumont expects to take advantage of the tendencies that she believes Chandler possesses, aiming to secure a knockout victory by focusing on aggression and an offensive attack in training.
“We'll look for the knockout during those 15 minutes,” Dumont said. “We know we have the potential and we’re working on it. We’ve worked a lot on my aggressiveness, letting my game flow, trying to inflict more damage on my opponents. So we’ll look for the knockout from start to finish.”