With the UFC since 2014, Ashlee Evans-Smith returned to the octagon on Saturday at UFC Vegas 15. She also returned to the bantamweight division, after a two-fight stint at flyweight saw Evans-Smith go 1-1.
Well, she mostly returned to the bantamweight division. After opponent Norma Doubmont, who last fought at featherweight, missed weight, the pair’s UFC Vegas 15 showdown was moved to a 139.5lb catchweight.
Evans-Smith was the favorite entering the fight, despite a layoff of nearly two years. She held center early, looking to close the distance and get her hands on Brazil’s Dumont. Norma Dumont, however, had some dangerous kicks and counters that forced Evans-Smith to halt her momentum more than once. And when Dumont came forward, her right hand looked nasty. Late in the round they’d clinch, with Evans-Smith getting a body lock with double underhooks. But Dumont was too strong and instead landed a takedown of her own at round’s end.
The second found the pair scrambling on the ground after a throw. A second trip to the ground found Dumont in side control, then on the back. Evans-Smith was active on bottom but Dumont was able to transition to mount. From there, she was able to land a few big elbows and eat up a healthy amount of clock. Evans-Smith did power up, but was looking worse for the wear, and ate a left hand back on the feet. The American would find some success at the end of the frame, however.
Round three found Evans-Smith in need of a finish. To do that, she’d need to stay off her back. In that regard, she was successful. But on the feet, she was trailing, and it was Dumont’s combinations landing hard. The Brazilian seemed to be conserving her energy, not going after the finish to the final minute, scoring a knockdown. Evans-Smith was rocked, and just barely hung on to the final bell.
Official Result: Norma Dumont def. Ashley Evans-Smith by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)