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Norma Dumont in no rush, but goal is to take Amanda Nunes’ featherweight belt

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Norma Dumont won four in a row in Brazil before signing with the UFC to face Megan Anderson.
Leo Farias, Shooto Brazil

Megan Anderson and Norma Dumont have opposite short-term plans in the UFC. The former Invicta FC featherweight champion is chasing a shot at the UFC belt with a win Saturday night in Norfolk, but Dumont has a distinct approach.

Dumont makes her first walk to the Octagon after building a 4-0 record in the Brazilian circuit between 2016 and 2018. The excitement of the “pre-fight atmosphere” is unlike any other, she said, and “it won’t feel like this until it’s for the belt.”

She’s already mentioning the belt, but the 29-year-old Brazilian won’t call for a shot at the title any time soon, even if she scores an impressive victory against a big-name opponent like Anderson this weekend.

“I have no interest putting myself in this scenario right away,” Dumont told MMA Fighting. “I would like to adapt to the promotion. (I) would like to fight at least four fights, the four fights I have in my contract, before a title fight. My plan is to win those, and then both the organization and the public will say, ‘This girl is 8-0, she’s beating everybody in the division. Now she might beat Amanda.’ That’s our plan.

“If I get there and beat Megan, even it I do it impressively, and go fight Amanda next, you don’t have the trust from the public, like, ‘this girl just arrived straight for Amanda?’ That’s bad because you don’t have the investment you need. When people believe and invest in you, you’re more qualified to fight for the belt. I think this rush would do more harm than good.”

Make no mistake, though: Dumont is in the UFC to take the 145-pound title away from Nunes’ hands, and doesn’t see anyone else dethroning “The Lioness” before she becomes the No. 1 contender.

“It’s not my intention to be another athlete that gets to the UFC, fights and loses,” Dumont said. “My idea is to get to the UFC and take Amanda’s belt, and I can get on a solid road until then.”

Dumont never fought as a featherweight before in MMA. The heaviest she’s got was for a 141-pound catchweight in 2017, and cutting down to bantamweight was so much for her body that it required at least 60 days of strict diet to shed almost 18 pounds.

Signing with the UFC as a featherweight was the perfect decision for her health and career, Dumont said, and Anderson was “the ideal” opponent for her debut for many reasons.

“I asked for this fight because it’s a great match-up for me and a fantastic way to introduce myself to the organization,” Dumont said. “She’s big, but isn’t fast or explosive. She’s a stand-up fighter, but she’s not fast or vicious as a pure striker. I’m stronger than her. I’m more explosive than her.

“I have a good game on the feet and dominant jiu-jitsu on top. It’s an interesting match-up for me. It’s obviously not easy fight because she’s 6’0” and I have to get her on the ground, but I believe I have the advantage because takedown defense is her weakness and that’s my comfort zone.”