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Norma Dumont says UFC paid part of her purse up front to make Las Vegas move possible

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Norma Dumont will face former title contender Felicia Spencer at Saturday night's UFC Vegas 27.
Leo Farias, Shooto Brazil

UFC fighter Norma Dumont is moving full-time to Las Vegas and thanks Dan White’s company for making it possible.

Dumont told MMA Fighting earlier this month the MMA promotion wanted to have her train at the Performance Institute so she could have a successful cut to bantamweight, but she simply couldn’t afford the pay the costs of living in Las Vegas.

“The Immortal” hasn’t returned to Brazil after a cancelled fight with Erin Blanchfield in early April, though. Dumont expected to have a fight booked for July, but agreed to replace Danyelle Wolf against two-time UFC title contender Felicia Spencer at UFC Vegas 27 on May 22.

“Actually, the UFC paid part [of my purse] up front. They also wanted me to stay here, so they helped me a lot,” Dumont said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Our gym in Brazil was closed up until last week so we don’t have money coming in. That’s also one of the reasons why we took this fight on short notice. We think it’s a good fight because of her name and the fact I’m always well-trained. And we needed the money, so I said, ‘let’s go, I’ll fight.’”

The money paid by the UFC wouldn’t be enough for Dumont and her husband and coach Johnny Vieira to live in Las Vegas, training at Syndicate MMA and the UFC Performance Institute, so they had to find a way to make extra cash before the fight was booked. Dumont said she worked as a staff member of a local grappling show, and helped Vieira deliver food.

“My husband [delivered food] because I was more focused on training,” Dumont said. “I helped with him a few times, we did it to get the money we needed, and now I’m focused on the fight. We’ll see how things go after the fight, if we’ll still need to continue doing that, because [living in Las Vegas] isn’t cheap, it’s not the bed of roses people think it is. It’s not, you’ll have to work. But I worked in Brazil, so it’s all good. We’ll continue [to work] if we have to.”

Dumont and Vieira are sharing an apartment with a Brazilian they met online, and might continue that way even if she banks a win money and a performance bonus at UFC Vegas 27 because “we came here to make money, not to spend.”

Living so close to the Performance Institute and UFC APEX may also end her issues on the scale, Dumont said. The Brazilian fighter came in heavy twice for bantamweight bouts in the UFC, and plans on returning to the 135-pound class regardless of her performance Saturday night.

“It was a 24-hour trip [from Brazil], you lose two or three days and get here too tired, and now I’m only 10 minutes away,” she said. “It’s way easier being here, and I still have the PI and its spectacular structure. They have great professionals there on stand-by to help us with anything we need, so it’s been great for me.”

UFC Vegas 27 will air live on ESPN+ and features Spencer-Dumont in the main card portion. The headlining bout sees Rob Font taking on former champion Cody Garbrandt.