UFC Vegas 71: After Slow Start, Norma Dumont Decisions Karol Rosa

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Karol Rosa and Norma Dumont, UFC Vegas 71
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 22: (R-L) Norma Dumont of Brazil punches Karol Rosa of Brazil in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 22, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC’s women’s featherweight division got a rare bit of action in at UFC Vegas 71, with Karol Rosa taking on Norma Dumont, who had emerged in recent fights as a clear-cut number one contender in the weight class.

That is to say, in a division kept alive only for the promotion to be able to call Amanda Nunes a double-champ, Dumont was the most active fighter, with a 3-1 record in her last four fights. Rosa has a similar record, but was moving to featherweight after a stint at bantamweight.

A fair bit of feeling out early saw little action actually transpire, with a lot of feinting, until a brief clinch about a minute in. Another minute would pass before an exchange of blows; more stutter steps and feints before they finally came together, Dumont pushing Rosa up against the cage. She got her underhooks in. In a low-action round, with the pair standing directly in front of each other throughout, the grappling exchange looked like it might lead to something — but after a stall, the ref reset them at center. Finally, another combination was exchanged, with Dumont following up with another punch or two.

Despite an unfortunate lack of action in the opening frame, Dumont and Rosa came out swinging in the second. Dumont walked her opponent down, firing combos, with Rosa looking to counter. They clinched up a minute in, with Rosa showing a trail of blood leaking from one eye. Off the cage, Rosa would then turn things in her favor, pressing forward throwing hands then locking up for a takedown attempt, looking for a trip or throw. A much better round in comparison to the first.

Round three opened with low kicks being traded, following which Rosa looked to grab a Thai clinch. She didn’t have that long; Dumont landed a low kick, and the pair exchanged looping punches. As they had throughout the fight, Dumont and Rosa stood in front of one another, head and lateral movement seemingly forgotten. Another clinch up along the fence followed, but they stayed standing. The biggest moment of the round saw Rosa sit Dumont down with a right hand, then take her to the fence. Rosa looked to fire knees and elbows in the clinch, but Dumont reversed. They’d jostle for position the rest of the round before heading to the scorecards.

Official Result: Norma Dumont def. Karol Rosa by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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