This weekend, a pair of women’s featherweight fighters will be in action, competing at a weight that many expect to be eliminated from the UFC’s lineup soon enough.
The future of the female 145-pound division has long been discussed, with the weight class not boasting top 15 rankings since 2021. And now, the absence of a champion has brought the discussion to the forefront.
Following a successful defense of her bantamweight title in the UFC 289 main event, former two-division queen Amanda Nunes called time on her career, leaving both the bantamweight and featherweight belts vacant.
While 135 pounds remains an active division with plenty of contenders vying for the recently relinquished strap, the same can’t be said for the higher weight. Post-Nunes’ retirement, UFC President Dana White even implied that the division is likely to retire with the “Lioness.”
That, however, has been branded a mistake by one woman hoping to succeed Nunes at 145 pounds.
Dumont Wants To Be ‘The Face’ Of Featherweight
During UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Bueno Silva media day on Wednesday, Norma Dumont was asked for her take on the uncertainty surrounding the featherweight division ahead of her 145-pound fight with Chelsea Chandler on Saturday night.
Dumont has been booked to fight at the higher weight for all but one of her seven Octagon outings. And having won two straight at featherweight, she’s pleading with the UFC to keep the division going.
“I think that if the UFC does not proceed, does not continue with the division, I think that it’s gonna be a huge loss to the UFC,” Dumont said. “What I feel is that, on Saturday, we’re taking this fight thinking that they’re going to see somebody who is eager to continue, that wants to be the face of this division, and is working forward. It’s gonna give them reason to be excited about actually having fights in the future.”
The Brazilian could perhaps make that continuation more likely with an impressive performance this weekend.
In the past, Dumont has publicly made the case for the featherweight division to remain in place, even calling on some of the bigger bantamweights to commit to the higher weight class.
And with the rumored return of Ronda Rousey, perhaps the forgotten division has some juice left in it yet.
Let's go girls! You don't have to kill yourself to fight. I don't understand why not fight at featherweight. We can make a big division and not screw up our physical, mental and professional health.
Macy @TheAspenLadd @IreneAldana_ @ufc @Mickmaynard2 @arielhelwani @Alexdavismma
— Norma The Immortal Dumont (@NormaDumont5) September 16, 2022
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