There are times when people will describe themselves in the third person and it’s fueled by pomposity or annoying self-importance. But when Norma Dumont says it a couple times during her chat with UFC.com this week, it lands rather as an earnest moment of self-discovery, as if she were really seeing the person in the mirror for the first time during her current three-fight win streak.
“I'm happy to see that the fans have started to believe and trust Norma, my potential, and that I can get good wins,” she says. “I'm also getting to know Norma better because I didn't have a lot of experience.”
This is an important point to remember when it comes to Dumont. Her prelim bout this Saturday versus Macy Chiasson at UFC 274 will be just her ninth professional MMA fight. With that in mind, it’s a badge of honor for the Brazilian that she was awarded a UFC Fight Night main event in her last outing, where she defeated the always-dangerous Aspen Ladd.
“So far, all my opponents have been really tough,” she says, nodding to the bouts against Ladd, Felicia Spencer, Ashlee Evans-Smith and Megan Anderson. “But I'm getting to know myself better inside the Octagon, loosening up more. So I hope my consecutive wins will last a long time.”
Her lone pro loss was to Anderson during Dumont’s 2020 UFC debut, a brutal first round KO. She had been away from the sport for two years before that bout, and having just a few fights under her belt, she naturally began to wonder if she was in the right place.
“I have a lot of experience in Sanda. I was the Brazilian champion a few times,” she says, but “I had few MMA fights.
“So that makes you more mature, to understand that you'll win and lose, and you need to know how to deal with it. Details make a huge difference.”
So she puts in the work, studying all those details.
“I watch fights a lot. Sometimes I spend the whole day watching them. My husband says, ‘Go do something else.’ But I really enjoy it. It’s not just about training.”
The results of this method have spoken for themselves in the form of her win streak, one she’ll look to keep alive against the versatile Chiasson. The former TUF winner, like Dumont, is comfortable going back and forth between bantamweight and the featherweight division they’ll compete in Saturday, and she presents a new sort of puzzle to solve.
“She's a complex athlete to fight because she doesn't have a specific strength. She doesn't have the best striking, wrestling or jiu-jitsu. However, she's 5'11''. She's heavy. So it's difficult to fight her, especially because of her height and her reach. If you give her an opening, she can do well in any aspect of the game.
“But I believe I have some physical advantages. I'm stronger and I think my technique is better than hers in every aspect. We'll have to find an opening in order to overcome her reach and impose my game--which will be hard because I usually control the distance and she's 5'11''-- But we've trained to overcome that. Obviously, we're looking for a knockout or a submission. But I know she's very resilient. She moves forward, so I think it will be a very interesting fight. We've prepared for a war. We got out of our comfort zone. We want Macy to feel uncomfortable and that's what we'll try to do.”
An added layer of intrigue will be Phoenix’s capacity crowd at the Footprint Center. Both fighters have spent the last couple years in the quiet confines of the UFC APEX at the behest of a global pandemic. Dumont acknowledges the intimacy of the venue aided in putting together her streak. But in the realm of proving who you are, she welcomes the return to the big stage.
“Once you feel comfortable [at the APEX], it's like a training session. But I also missed the crowd. You get to hear your corner and have a better understanding of what's going on [at the APEX], but you miss the energy of the crowd cheering. I think you miss them the most in the end, when you win and your arm gets raised.”
UFC 274: Oliveira vs Gaethje took place on Saturday, May 7, 2022, live from a sold out Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!