Brazilian MMA fighter Norma Dumont said she has had a wrestling camp as a part of her preparation for Aspen Ladd’s strong takedown game ahead of the UFC Fight Night main event against the American on Saturday.
“I have had three months of wrestling practice camp here. I brought in two wrestlers and neither of them were able to actually get a takedown against me. I was able to take them down. So, whilst the takedown might be a significant strength of Aspen, it is also a really strong aspect of my defence,” Dumont said during an interaction with Sportstar.
Ladd has six successful takedown attempts at an accuracy of 75 percent. However, the 26-year-old hasn’t competed since 2019, when she defeated Yana Kunitskaya by knockout.
Meanwhile, Dumont is coming off a decision victory over Felicia Spencer in May this year and plans on leveraging her 10-pound (4.5 kgs) edge over her opponent to capitalise on her takedown defence.
“Well, an area that obviously comes into play would be on my takedown defence. That’s certainly something that favours me in that sense. And also, I am a heavy puncher, I am a hard hitter. That natural strength and natural weight that I have is probably something that brings me an advantage,” she said.
The Brazilian is bracing for a belligerent and no-holds-barred challenge from Ladd, who is coming in as a late replacement for an injured Holly Holm for the headliner event.
“We know how she goes about her business in the octagon. We know she is very confrontative, very aggressive. She likes to bring the fight right from the start which may be a difference between her and Holly, who would be a controlled fighter, would like to drag things out a little bit more. Maybe across those five rounds,” Dumont said.
While Dumont and Ladd will lock horns in the featherweight division, both fighters have faced hardship trying to make the weight cut for the bantamweight category. Two weeks ago, Ladd was barred from competing with Macy Chiasson after she overshot the 135-pound requirement for the bantamweight division. Dumont has also undergone health complications trying to make the cut for the lower weight category but now feels at ease competing in the featherweight.
“Featherweight, 65 kgs, is a weight that is more natural for me to fight at. So, when I am in camp for a fight at featherweight, I’m obviously more able to work on my sparring and other aspects rather than the weight cut right up until the fight week itself. Whereas if I was going into a bantamweight fight, I would probably have to look at my weight cut a little earlier on in the camp,” she said.
With just a three-match long fight history at the UFC, which began with a knockout defeat to Megan Anderson in February 2020, Dumont is a largely yet-to-be decrypted contender and the 31-year-old intends on keeping things that way.
“I like to approach each fight as its own fight. I like to bring into each fight that I go into a different technique, a different gameplan, a different strategy, different mindset even. When you consider that with every fight I learn, I improve, I mature. I’m in a process of constant evolution,” she said.
“Every time I step into the octagon, people will see a different Norma, people will see a Norma who brings new elements, new gameplans, new strategies, and maybe my gameplans, my skills and techniques will remain unpredictable for a long time,” she added.
Watch UFC Fight Night – Ladd vs Dumont on 17th October 2021, LIVE on SONY TEN 2 (English) from 4:30 AM IST.