It’s hard to talk about Norma Dumont’s performance at UFC Vegas 40 without also getting into the lackluster showing from opponent Aspen Ladd. Not to mention the coaching controversy that erupted when coach and boyfriend Jim West chose to repeatedly chew his fighter out between rounds. Yet it shouldn’t be ignored that Dumont fought her fight, relied heavily on her jab, and secured her third straight win on Saturday.
Here’s what comes next for Dumont, potentially, and the rest of the main card winners.
What a change a weight class makes. When Norma Dumont entered the UFC last year, she was a 4-0 fighter brought in to help the promotion pretend it offered a women’s featherweight division. To date, it does not. The division was a showcase for Cris Cyborg, then a showcase for Amanda Nunes, the champ-champ.
After losing to Megan Anderson, Dumont was given basically one option: drop to bantamweight. But after missing weight twice, she was out of options, until the UFC granted her a fight with one of its few other featherweights, Felicia Spencer.
Dumont wasn’t supposed to win against Spencer, but she did. She wasn’t supposed to win against Aspen Ladd either, but she did that too. Moving forward? With Kayla Harrison on the horizon, the UFC seems to be slowly coming around to the idea that building a 145lb weight class, for real this time, might be a good idea. That’s why Norma Dumont was booked against Holly Holm, originally, atop UFC Vegas 40. It’s why Felicia Spencer has a fight against the returning Leah Letson also coming up. Now that Dumont has won three straight, two at featherweight, the Holm fight seems like an even better idea. When Holm is ready, book it.
Dumont’s next fight: Holly Holm
Former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski was fighting in the UFC before Dana White was president, before Zuffa even owned it. Remember that time we all thought Arlovski needed to retire, because his chin was shot and he’d left the UFC only to see his career fall into a tailspin? That was a decade ago.
Arlovski refuses to go away quietly. Hell, he refuses to go away at all, and he seems just fine with beating up rookies to prove a point: he’s not done yet. So you might as well give “The Pitbull” what he wants. That happens to be a fight with Alexander Volkov. Despite being 4-1 in his last five fights, Arlovski isn’t even ranked. But his name value makes him immune to rankings, heck Volkov vs. Arlovski probably headlines a Fight Night card. Volkov fights Marcin Tybura later this month, and win or lose, give Volkov to Arlovski after. Volkov’s not ready for a title shot just yet anyway as he’s coming off a loss to Ciryl Gane.
Arlovski’s next fight: Alexander Volkov
Lightweight Jim Miller is the UFC’s “Iron Man,” a veteran of over 50 fights who only recently pulled out of a bout for the first time ever, due to COVID-19. He holds the record for most UFC fights at 38 as of this past weekend, where he knocked Erick Gonzalez out cold.
Miller is a fighter’s fighter, an all-around good guy who just likes to fight. It makes all the sense in the world to book him against Cowboy Cerrone for fight #40 as they’re neck-and-neck in the race for most fights, but what about fight #39?
Fellow veteran Jeremy Stephens is 0-5 (1 NC) in his last six fights. Stephens is that rare fighter who can endure a run like that and still keep his job, so let’s see if he still has enough in the tank to go against Miller. Veteran vs. veteran feels a lot better than trying to feed Miller to another young lion.
Miller’s next fight: Jeremy Stephens
Manon Fiorot is good, really good. More importantly, perhaps, she’s flying under the radar. No one is talking about title shots for the French flyweight just yet, despite an eight-fight win streak pre-dating the UFC, and the dominance she’s shown in the cage. On Saturday, she beat up Mayra Bueno Silva. It wasn’t close.
Keep developing her. As much as Valentina Shevchenko has cleaned out the weight class there is no need to rush Fiorot, who could pose a real problem to the champ some day. She does, however, need a step up in competition. Coming up, Joanne Calderwood is fighting Taila Santos. Give Fiorot the winner.
Fiorot’s next fight: Winner of JoJo Calderwood vs. Taila Santos
Nate “The Train” Landwehr submitted Ludovit Klein at UFC Vegas 40, and earned himself an extra 50K doing it. The featherweight is now 2-2 in the UFC, and is capable of putting on a show. Tucker Lutz is fighting Lando Vannata next month, and “Groovy” Lando is definitely a showman. On the flip side, if Lutz wins, he’s 2-0 in the UFC. The winner goes to Landwehr.
Landwher’s next fight: Winner of Lando Vannata vs. Tucker Lutz