Former champion Amanda Nunes has retired, raising questions about the future of the UFC featherweight (66 kg) division. Norma Dumont, who frequently competed in this weight class, has decided to permanently switch to the bantamweight (61 kg) division, where she is currently ranked 11th, despite having fewer fights in that division. To successfully make this transition, Norma has made significant changes to her athlete routine.
Norma has always had a muscular physique with a lot of lean mass, which sometimes made weight cutting challenging, especially when trying to compete in the 61 kg division. To address this issue, she chose to reduce her weightlifting training, resulting in the loss of some of her excessive lean mass for the bantamweight division.
She explained, “We started working on reducing lean mass when rumors of the 66 kg division closing emerged. We’ve shed about 1.5 kg of lean mass over the last three years. In my last two fights, I easily made weight and only needed to dehydrate 1.5 to 2 kg in the final weeks, thanks to changes in training, focusing more on endurance and cardio.”
The move to the bantamweight division, which offers more fight opportunities due to the larger pool of athletes, is not a recent decision. Norma had faced weight cutting challenges in the past, even with the help of the UFC Performance Institute. However, she learned from that experience, incorporating cardiovascular endurance (VO2) training and a stricter diet to reduce her weight and better adapt to the division.
She emphasized that she tailored the diet and weight loss to better suit her body. Her goal now is to cut only 3 kg for the bantamweight division and avoid extreme dehydration. She is confident that she will be able to make a healthier weight cut and is lighter in her off-training weight.
Norma is set to make her bantamweight debut in January, facing Russian fighter Yana Santos. She expects to fight more frequently in this weight class, as there are more opponent options available. The change aims to allow for healthier weight cuts and possibly the ability to have three fights per year, which was not feasible in the featherweight division.
At 33 years of age, Norma Dumont has a successful professional MMA record with ten wins and only two losses. In the UFC, she has won six of her eight fights, with three consecutive victories.
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