Danyelle Wolf defied odds by securing a UFC contract with just one professional MMA fight on her record. In 2020, the boxer turned fighter made her debut on Dana White’s Contender Series, beating Taneisha Tennant by leaning on her illustrious boxing background. She holds three gold medals at the US National Championships and a 2014 Golden Gloves championship. Although first hoping to enter the Olympics, she eventually shifted her focus to mixed martial arts after her weight class was not included in the 2016 games.
However, the odds are against her, as in just her second professional fight, she will take on Norma Dumont. With nine fights under her belt, Dumont has been with the UFC since February of 2020, going 3-2 and earning a rear-naked spot in the bantamweight top 15.
This fight will be contested at 145 pounds, where rankings are not yet created, but it would be likely that Dumont would also show up there. With a background in Chinese Sanda including six State championships and a national title, this fight will be a showdown between two elite strikers in their own right.
The Brazilian fighter, Dumont, will come in as the favorite over the American boxing champion in Wolf.
We have seen two versions of Norma Dumont. Usually, she tends to float on the outside, constantly bouncing and landing long-range attacks, such as her jab and lead sidekick, in order to set up long rear power strikes. This version picks apart her opponent en route to a one-sided decision where very little risk is taken, and slick range control essentially dictates all engagement. If her opponent pressures her and takes her to a level of output where she can’t consistently just float on the outside and do enough with light shots, she will engage in more of a firefight in which she will stand heavier on the lead leg and sit down on her shots quite a bit more. She still sticks her jab ahead of all of her combinations, but she will then settle into her heavy straight right and follow-up left hook.
Her primary means of difference is her distance control, she will fade out of range after attacking to avoid the counters, but the problem with this is it makes it more difficult for her to counter as she is the one exiting. If she is on the lead however, she is one of the most difficult fighters to counter because she can get in and get out so quickly and so fluidly.
In terms of her grappling, Dumont is far more fundamental in her approach, she has good defense as far as taking punishment goes, and along the fence she is good at getting to her feet. Offensively she doesn’t offer a particularly dangerous guard game, and while she has good guard passing, she tends to chip away at her opponents rather than execute any kind of especially devastating ground and pound or submission threat. However, another strength of Dumont is her ability to reverse takedowns, specifically from the clinch in transition.
Wolf is going to want to force Dumont into a close-range fight and draw out that fire. Her background is in amateur boxing, and she has sharp, powerful hands. She stands conventional, heavy on the lead leg, and does mix in short leg kicks to allow entrance into the pocket. She has a powerful intercepting jab that lands more like a power punch than a setup. She does use that power threat to force her opponents to circle to her right and into a straight or hook.
From what we have seen on the Contender Series, the largest hole still in her game is a susceptibility to leg kicks, both outside to the thigh but also the lead sidekick to the knee. In regards to the latter, she has shown she will fade back and straighten the lead which could spell disaster if a good kicker times the sidekick at that point. We have not seen much grappling in the career of Wolf so far, but what we have seen is a potentially dangerous guillotine and evidently solid fence work while defending takedowns.
One of the kryptonite for Norma Dumont in the past has been women who have height and reach over her, negating some of her good range control. At 5’11, Wolf will stand five inches taller than Dumont and hold a three-inch reach advantage. However, there are just too many options for Dumont in this fight. Moving in and out and leaning on her Sanda kicks are massive, especially attacking the body with her lead sidekick and picking apart the heavy lead leg of Wolf. Although both strikers, if Wolf does start to gain some success in closing the distance, Dumont should by far have the superior ground game as a plan B. The biggest thing for Dumont will be staying composed, Wolf almost always leans on her boxing but will throw out the odd head or leg kicks or even jump for a submission, so while Dumont should be confident everywhere, she can’t become relaxed anywhere.
Prediction: Norma Dumont to win (-325 odds to win at BetUS)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.