A glimmer of life in the women’s featherweight division was seen Saturday at UFC Vegas 27.
Originally, Felicia Spencer, former 145lb title challenger and ex-Invicta FC champ, had been paired up with boxer Danyelle Wolf. Wolf had earned her way into the promotion on Dana White’s Contender Series last year — with a 1-0 record, and massive question marks circling her MMA transition.
With Wolf withdrawing from Saturday’s bout with Spencer, however, Norma Dumont, a former featherweight who had struggled making the move to 135lbs, was returning to her more natural home.
That made Spencer vs. Dumont the second women’s 145lb fight of 2021 in the UFC — the exact same number as could be found on Bellator 259 one night earlier.
Through the first 30 plus seconds of Spencer vs. Dumont, nary a strike was thrown. Just plenty of respect and feints, until Spencer finally threw a combo to close the distance. When the pair did open up, both ladies took some big swings. Spencer also ate a low kick from Dumont, an attack she’d go back to again moments later. Spencer, meanwhile, threw a couple of high kicks that came up short. It wasn’t until the final minute that Spencer finally got the fight to her wheelhouse, pushing Dumont up against the fence. But the Brazilian quickly reversed and moved back to center.
Things opened up a little quicker in the second. And again, when Spencer closed the distance, Dumont easily threw her off. In the stand-up department Dumont seemed to be getting the better of the Canadian, countering well. Heading to the third, the fight was still up for grabs, but if there was an edge, it was leaning towards Norma Dumont.
Spencer flashed a high kick early in the third, but it was Dumont who landed a takedown in the opening minute. That was not good news for the “Feenom,” as every second at a disadvantage meant the fight was slowly slipping away from her. Spencer worked her way back to the fence as best she could, but Dumont didn’t make it easy. In a key error, Spencer gave up on escaping and looked instead for a kimura. Luckily, the was able to scramble free regardless moments later. As the round progressed, Spencer backed her opponent against the fence, sneaking in a few strikes in the process. Elbows over the top looked nasty, and Spencer would finally put her opponent on her back with just over a minute remaining. She’d finish out the round on top — but it wasn’t enough to win her the fight.
There’s a chance Dumont jumps into the Wolf fight now, while what comes next for Spencer in a division sparse on bodies is anyone’s guess.
Official Result: Norma Dumont def. Felicia Spencer by split decision (30-27, 28-28, 29-28)