Norma Dumont expects UFC to pressure top-5 bantamweights to fight her with UFC Vegas 90 win

Norma Dumont hit the 136-pound mark to make weight for a bantamweight bout for the first time in her UFC career, possibly clearing her path for bigger matchups moving forward.

Dumont moved up to featherweight after missing weight early in her UFC career, then found success in the division, beating five of her six opponents. But she was determined to cut back down to 135 pounds following the dissolution of featherweight after Amanda Nunes’ retirement, and now hopes UFC matchmakers can continue giving her key fights.

To start with, Dumont battles Germaine de Randamie this Saturday at UFC Vegas 90, welcoming the former titleholder back to the UFC after a three-and-a-half year layoff.

“The excuse [other UFC contenders] had was they wouldn’t fight me at featherweight,” Dumont said on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast. “The UFC tried to book me against Irene [Aldana], [Holly] Holm, Miesha [Tate], [Pannie] Kianzad, all these girls, and the answer was always the same: We won’t fight at featherweight. And we had the same problem now, their excuse was they didn’t believe I would make weight.”

While Dumont successfully made weight Friday in Las Vegas, she doesn’t expect it to end her matchmaking woes. In fact, Dumont expects things to only get worse once she beats de Randamie, thus making her a “high-risk, low-reward” matchup for top bantamweights.

“UFC already wants to book me against top-five fighters, but they don’t accept it,” Dumont said. “Their excuse is they don’t think I will make weight, but [Holly] Holm agreed to fight Kayla [Harrison]. Kianzad said the same thing and then agreed to fight Macy [Chiasson], who didn’t make weight [twice]. I think it’s just excuses. They would have accepted it if it was an easy fight.”

A win on Saturday puts Dumont on a four-fight hot streak, and the Brazilian isn’t ruling out issuing a challenge to 135-pound champion Raquel Pennington after the victory.

“The conversation we had with the UFC is that making weight and having a good performance, the UFC will pressure top-five fighters to accept this,” Dumont said. “If they don’t accept it, there’s not much I can do, then give me a title shot already.

“I want to fight for the title,” she continued. “Pennington has the belt and she’s tough, but she intimidates absolutely nobody. Any top-five [contender] can beat her. She’s not like Amanda [Nunes], who was a tougher fight, so everybody wants to put their hands on this title shot as soon as possible. They won’t stop and fight a super tough opponent who is moving down in weight and is ranked No. 11. I understand that, but that’s not my problem. UFC has to figure this out with them. Bring them [to me] just like they brought Germaine.

“We had a deal with the UFC that I would have fought Amanda in December at featherweight, so [I will call out] Raquel Pennington. If she’s not next for me, I know there are others chasing this chance for the belt. Honestly, just give me any of them, no problem. But I want Pennington. Simple.”

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