Booked to face Chelsea Chandler at the UFC APEX this weekend, Dumont offered a solution to keep the 145-pound division alive following the retirement of two-division queen Amanda Nunes: Give her a shot at the vacant throne before the end of the year.
“If they want to activate the division right away, put me and Irene Aldana at 145. Or put me against Germaine [de Randamie], who’s coming back now and was the first featherweight champion,” Dumont said on a recent episode of Trocação Franca. “If that’s what they want, I’ll be here. If they’re not interested, we were already planning to go down [to bantamweight].”
Dumont earned decision wins over Danyelle Wolf and Karol Rosa in her most recent octagon appearances, improving to 5-2 under the company’s banner. De Randamie, who won but never defended the 145-pound belt, last fought in October 2020, choking out Julianna Pena, before giving birth to her son. Aldana recently lost to Nunes in a bantamweight title bout.
“I think the UFC might give up [on this division] after [July] 15th,” Dumont said. “If there’s any hope, the hope is on July 15, and I’m going there to once again defend the division, but working to put on a show. By putting on a show, maybe they’ll give me a top contender at 135 or a title shot at 145.”
Dumont said she wasn’t surprised to see “The Lioness” retire because Dumont was planning on sitting and waiting for a featherweight title shot after beating Rosa in April but was advised by the UFC to stay active. She read that as a sign that UFC knew Nunes would retire, and feels that the fellow Brazilian was “a bit” selfish in her decision.
“I understand her call, but I also think she had no interest in defending the 145 title because she knew that by retiring, she would kill the division,” Dumont said. “If she takes the risk of fighting and losing, the division wouldn’t end. I believe she decided to end the division with her retirement.
“She even said that in her [post-fight] interview, that no one would be champion from that point on because she’s retired. There’s no such thing, man. She never fought me, so that means nothing. She beat others, but she hasn’t beaten me. If you want to, come out from retirement and come get the belt, but life will go on — not at 145, because they will probably shut it off, but life will go on at 135.”
Regardless of the future of either weight class, Dumont aims to win impressively Saturday night to put her name in the mix for a shot at a UFC championship belt.
“I feel there’s pressure over me to dominate against Chelsea,” Dumont said. “I have to do that because she’s not on my level. I need to do this if I want to fight a top-five bantamweight next.”