After a chastening debut featherweight loss to Megan Anderson, Dumont bounced back with a victory in the weight class below. Her unanimous decision triumph over Ashlee Evans-Smith at UFC Vegas 15 displayed her durability, but Dumont wants to exhibit the foundational martial arts that landed her in the UFC in the first place. This may mean a Sanda masterclass is incoming.
Norma Dumont faces a UFC debutant
UFC Vegas 23 takes place next weekend, and Norma Dumont is on the card. However, she had to adapt her preparations to a late opponent change. Her original foe, Bea Malecki, has pulled out for undisclosed reasons. Sportskeeda broke the news that Erin Blanchfield will take her place in her promotional debut.
We caught up with Norma Dumont ahead of UFC Vegas 23 to hear how this has affected her planning for this bout and what she thinks of Blanchfield.
Sportskeeda: What was your reaction when you learned that Bea Malecki could not fight, and how did you hear about the news? Do you know why she can't fight?
Norma Dumont: Unfortunately, the reason why she left the fight has not yet been announced. We are still waiting for that answer. (Malecki has since cited an injury.)
I am frustrated by the fear of not being able to perform on April 10th. I work very seriously and dedicate my life to it. Seeing an athlete coming out of a fight this way, for no apparent reason, is a little frustrating.
My manager sent a message stating that she was just not going to fight anymore. But fortunately, the UFC has already sent another available opponent and we accepted on the spot.
SK: That opponent is Erin Blanchfield, a 21-year-old fighter who will be making her UFC debut. What do you know about your opponent?
ND: Firstly, I am very grateful that she accepted this fight at the last minute. Erin is a young, talented athlete with good experience in the fight. However, I don't see [her having] a game plan to beat me.
SK: How do you expect this fight to go? Will fans see your Sanda background playing a leading role?
ND: Certainly! I believe she will try to bring me down from start to finish. But I'm betting on a knockout before the end of the second round.
SK: What should UFC fans know about Sanda? What makes it a dangerous martial art in MMA?
ND: Sanda is a complete modality. Fast, skillful and powerful movements. We kick well, we punch well, and we use elbows and knees. Sanda's movement is difficult to follow if you don't know how to handle it.
SK: How much confidence did the victory over Ashlee-Evans Smith give you?
ND: A lot, I finally managed to integrate my striking. I hope to present a more evol in this next fight.
SK: Were you surprised to see the UFC release Megan Anderson?
ND: A little. Even because I was still interested in my rematch. I believe Megan is going to another promotion soon.
SK: After that dominant display from Amanda Nunes, fans cried out for a challenger to truly test her. Do you believe that you are that challenger, and if so, why?
ND: I have to believe that I am, if not, it doesn't make up for all my daily efforts. I believe that I need to become more experienced to reach there.
SK: Miesha Tate has announced that she is coming out of retirement. Would you like to fight her?
ND: Sure! When I saw that she came back, I got excited right away! It is a fight that would put me in a great position within the UFC.