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Norma Dumont won’t challenge Amanda Nunes before she’s ‘ready,’ to avoid ‘five rounds of beatdown’ like Felicia Spencer

Felicia Spencer and Norma Dumont
Zuffa LLC

Felicia Spencer’s championship experience explains why Norma Dumont is not interested in fighting for a UFC belt at the moment.

Spencer was 7-0 in the sport when she challenged former featherweight champion Cris Cyborg in 2019, losing a one-sided decision in Edmonton. “Feenom” earned a crack at the featherweight title a year later after submitting Zarah Fairn, but didn’t stand a chance against two-division queen Amanda Nunes.

Dumont, a 5-1 fighter from Brazil, predicts a “bloody” win over the Canadian this Saturday night at UFC Vegas 27, but won’t campaign for her own shot at “The Lioness.”

“I think the much-desired title shot must come when you’re ready,” Dumont said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I don’t consider myself to be ready, I don’t have enough experience to fight Amanda now. I have talent, I have physical strength, I have good performance all around, but Amanda is 20 fights ahead of me. Training and fighting are different things. You only earn experience inside the octagon. I need five more fights to say, okay, now I know myself. You can’t just know your opponent, you must know yourself inside the octagon.

“I’m still evolving and learning. I’m not in my prime yet. Amanda is in her prime so I don’t want, for example, to fight for the belt like Felicia did and take five rounds of beatdown, you know? It doesn’t make sense to me. There’s no merit in that. ‘Oh, I fought for the belt.’ Man, you got beat up for five rounds, you weren’t even competitive in the fight. That’s not an advantage in my opinion. I know that a lot of people will come asking for that fight [against Nunes when I defeat] Felicia but I’d only fight if the UFC offers me a lot of money, a ton of money, and I don’t think they will give me that now. So I’ll wait until I’m mature and think I’m ready for a title fight.”

UFC commentator Joe Rogan gave props to Spencer in the Cyborg fight for being durable and making Cyborg bleed inside the cage. In the end, however, Rogan said the Canadian featherweight basically just “survived the onslaught” and the fight “wasn’t close.”

Dumont agrees Spencer deserves compliments for being so durable, but says “I would be very upset if I got into a fight and got beat up for five rounds.”

“I would go back to my gym and say, ‘man, I’ll start from scratch,’ no matter who I was fighting,” she said. “Amanda, Cris, whoever it is. I would really go back to ground zero and see what’s going on because you expect a fight to be a contest. It must be a contest. She’s durable? Great, she was durable, but she didn’t impose any danger. Her durability is something good for her but, in my opinion, I wouldn’t fight for the belt in this case. You must be ready to fight for the belt and must have enough fights, and maybe that’s what happened with Felicia.

“Every time someone asks me if I’m ready to fight Amanda I say of course not. That’s the problem with everyone getting title shots, they don’t have enough experience, they are not mature enough to fight Valentina [Shevchenko] or Amanda, and that’s why they lose. It’s not like they are not talented or skilled, but they are not mature enough inside the octagon.

“Amanda wasn’t this monster in the past. Amanda matured with time and got better. She’s had bad performances, and then good performances, and then started having incredible performances. But that takes time. What happens today is an athlete wins three or four fights and gets thrown into a title fight when they are not ready for it. They are not ready for Amanda, who’s been there forever.

“What happened in that fight wasn’t Felicia’s fault, but unfortunately she wasn’t ready to fight Amanda. Maybe she will be in six or seven fights if she continues to mature. Right now, I don’t think [I’m ready]. I think I’m where Felicia was, and I don’t think I’m ready to fight [Nunes] now. I would also need a few more fights to get to that level.”

Dumont returns to the featherweight class after missing weight prior to her bantamweight win over Ashlee Evans-Smith in November 2020, and expects to go 15 minutes against Spencer this Saturday.

“We’ll meet in the middle of the octagon and I think it’s going to be a bloody fight because I hit hard, I got heavy hands,” Dumont said, “and Felicia has good strikes as well, dangerous elbows, dangerous kicks. I expect it to be three tough rounds for both of us.

“I think it’s a good matchup for me,” she continued. “Felicia has good striking but mine is better. It will be hard for her to take me down because I’ve fought judokas and wrestlers and I know it’s not easy to take me down. It might happen, but my jiu-jitsu is unlike others she fought. She caught [Fairn] quickly, but I’m a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Going to the ground with me won’t be an advantage for her.”