After a six-fight run in the UFC’s 135-pound division, Karol Rosa will move up to featherweight to take on Norma Dumont at UFC Vegas 71. Rosa earned five victories in her six showings, now coming from a win over Lina Lansberg in October.
Dumont who also once fought at bantamweight has called 145lbs her home since May 2021. Since inserting herself into the weight class she has gone 3-1 dispatching former title challenger Felicia Spencer while doing so. The six-time Sanda state champion and national Sanda champion is one of the most skilled strikers in the division and a solid test for the BJJ black belt Rosa.
Oddsmakers are split on who deserves the nod in such a close fight. They sit as almost even going into fight week.
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Karol Rosa has tremendous boxing and jiu-jitsu on top of a slick double-leg takedown. Against a seasoned Sanda fighter like Dumont, Rosa’s biggest obstacle will be bridging that range in order to land with her hands and get in on the hips. She has a wicked powerful overhand right and straight right but should keep on her jab to set it up. She also has a good right low kick, an investment always worthy against someone as footwork dependent as Dumont.
Dumont has a time-tested strategy. She is extremely light on her toes, especially up at 145 lbs, allowing her to float in and out of range, mostly as she pleases. She will stick and move on the outside with a shifting lead low kick, and lead sidekick to the body from the southpaw. This patient tag-and-go tactic forces her opponents to take risks as the fight slips away from them, at which point Dumont switches stance to conventional and looks to land a pull counter right hand, or unexpectedly meet their blitz with a sharper cross down the middle. She will also constantly show the check left hook behind her jab so they have to respect her as they commit forward, although it’s not one of her high-percentage shots for landing.
Against someone who predominantly boxes like Rosa, this style works very well. Rosa also tends to go square in her stance sometimes as she advances which opens up that cross even cleaner from Dumont, as long as she doesn’t loop. Dumont’s two losses: Macy Chiasson and Megan Anderson both showed that a big reach advantage and aggressiveness could upset her typical work. However, Dumont and Rosa will share the same reach and height so don’t expect this to be a factor that carries over from those fights.
One of its strengths of Rosa in terms of grappling is posture. When she level changes to double, her back is as erect as possible, allowing her to kick out of sprawls or attempt a switch very quickly. It also allows her to elevate much more easily. She thrives in the top half guard where she flattens her opponents and lands hooks; often body, body, head, and then looks to knee staple the leg for the option of passing. Dumont also has solid jiu-jitsu, although her bottom game can lack urgency, meaning it’s critical she wins the takedown battle rather than the exchange on the mat. Dumont has powerful hips and base and can reverse takedowns from the clinch. She has good technical top control but will give up a lot more space than she needs to at times.
Prediction and Betting Guide
I think the key factor in this fight is Dumont’s control of distance. Her ability to maintain range and force Rosa to deal with her kicks puts Rosa in a position where she is the one who needs to take risks. That being said, it is also key that Dumont keeps her wits about her and stays patient. If she gets aggressive and clashes with Rosa, that’s when the level change is available and also when she can get clipped with the overhand at boxing range. Dumont should look to land with her power shots when Rosa presents her with the opportunities and not rush anything unless she absolutely needs to. At pick’em odds Dumont is a solid pick.
Pick: Norma Dumont to win (-112 odds at MyBookie)
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