The UFC’s women’s featherweight division is, simply put, the division that isn’t.
Isn’t a true division. Isn’t a fully fledged weight class. Isn’t anything more than a marketing vehicle allowing the UFC to promote Amanda Nunes as a double-champ.
Yet while those statements are, for the most part, demonstrably true, for now, the division appears to be sticking around. That’s per fighter Norma Dumont, who told MMA Fighting this week that the UFC has asked her to remain at 145lbs.
Brazil’s Dumont made her octagon debut in February 2020 against Megan Anderson at featherweight, only to be finished in the opening round. That led to a drop to bantamweight by “The Immortal” — who would drastically miss weight in her next two bouts. The first moved forward, and saw her defeat Ashlee Evans-Smith at a 139.5lb catchweight. The second, against Erin Blanchfield in April, was cancelled outright.
Dumont (6-1) returned in May at UFC Vegas 27, defeating former title challenger Felicia Spencer. The plan after that, she told MMA Fighting, was to drop back to bantamweight. The UFC had other ideas, however.
“The UFC asked me to stay in the 145-pound division to shake things up,” she told the website.
Just how she’ll shake things up remains to be seen. With Anderson fighting out her contract earlier this year, the division consists of Dumont, Spencer, and the 1-0 Danyelle Wolf, a former boxer who won her lone fight on Dana White’s Contender Series.
And, of course, there’s champ Amanda Nunes.
“I would like to have more fights before I face Amanda,” Dumont said, “but I believe I’ll probably fight Amanda with two more wins at 145 pounds. I won’t have the time I wanted to mature, so we will have to speed up the process and evolve.”
Still, asking Dumont to remain at 145lbs suggests that the division isn’t done just yet. “The UFC requested that so they won’t close the division,” Dumont said. “If I go down, [they will] probably close the division because there will be no one left as potential contenders for the belt. … Based on our conversation [with the UFC], they will probably bring someone from 135 [to fight me].”
If that is the case, it could mean that the fight between Spencer and Wolf is back on. Wolf had been expect to face the Canadian in May, but was forced to withdraw. Dumont took her place. In any case, for the time being, the UFC’s featherweight division will continue to limp along.