Norma Dumont believes she fully understands the stakes at hand when she fights Karol Rosa at UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich vs Blaydes, and those stakes are golden.
“(A win) puts me in a fight against Amanda Nunes,” Dumont told UFC.com. “There's no talking, we know that.”
Dumont might not be wrong. Nunes hasn’t defended her featherweight title since she ran through Megan Anderson in March 2021, and there isn’t a clear-cut contender at bantamweight should “The Lioness” get past Julianna Peña at UFC 289 in Vancouver (although Irene Aldana might have something to say about that).
As far as 145 pounds goes, no one has really competed as frequently or consistently as a featherweight more than Dumont. She has fought as a featherweight five times and picked up wins over Felicia Spencer, Aspen Ladd and Danyelle Wolf, so it only makes sense that a win over Karol Rosa, who hasn’t competed in the division under the UFC banner, puts Dumont into that title discussion.
She is mindful of that reality, and although Dumont is focused on Rosa, she spends the rest of her time thinking about wresting the belt from Nunes.
“Whenever I'm out of camp, I train with Amanda in mind and only change when they book a fight that isn't with her,” she said. “My belt is with her and I'm going to get it. I've been thinking about it for many years.”
As far as Nunes’ upcoming rubber match with Peña, Dumont expects the champ to defend her belt “with some ease” and expressed some surprise that Aldana wasn’t selected for the shot.
In terms of the business at hand on April 22, Dumont finds her matchup against Rosa, who is ranked in the Top 10 of the bantamweight division, an appealing one.
“Karol is a very interesting challenge because I think she is a tougher challenge than many of the top five athletes in the bantamweight division,” Dumont said. “I think she is much more complete. Besides that, she is Brazilian and brings that war spirit.”
Rosa is the first Brazilian to fight Dumont in the Octagon, something that excites Dumont because she can anticipate a back-and-forth war.
Although Dumont expects Rosa to throw down with her, she understands her opponent’s strengths come in the grappling department, particularly as Rosa’s only two finishes have come via submission.
“At the end of the day, even when she is winning, she tries to take the fight to the ground,” Dumont said. “I know she don’t want to spend too much time trading blows with me, but I will force her to.”
Even though Rosa has a history competing at 145 pounds, Dumont holds a bit of confidence rooted in regularly fighting at featherweight in the Octagon. The added weight, although not always a problem for fighters who move between divisions, is something Dumont believes will impact her opponent.
“I think she will arrive heavier, but in a negative way,” Dumont said. “She will have less cardio, and this can help me. She has been fighting in the lower category for many years and I have faced very big fighters at featherweight. I think she will feel the difference in terms of strength. I am very strong, even for this weight class. I don't know how her training has been, but I believe she will have difficulties.”
With a point to prove and potentially a title shot just one impressive win away from her grasp, Dumont is oozing confidence in Las Vegas. Fighting one countrywoman for a chance to challenge perhaps the most-accomplished Brazilian to ever grace the Octagon is enough to get anyone jazzed, and Dumont is no exception.
“We all know how Brazilian fighters behave in the Octagon,” she said. “I'm looking forward to Saturday.”
UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich vs Blaydes took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on April 22, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!