The MMA world was left wide eyed following Amanda Nunes’ decision to retire in June, leaving behind her legacy as the former undisputed bantamweight and featherweight champion.
Recent reports now indicate that Nunes will also hold the distinction of being the final featherweight champion in the UFC, as the promotion plans to remove the weight class in September.
Since its establishment in 2017, the featherweight division has seen just three champions. Dutch striker Germaine de Randamie was the inaugural champion, claiming the gold in January of that year after a close decision victory over former bantamweight titleholder Holly Holm in Brooklyn, New York.
After being stripped of the title due to her refusal to face Brazilian veteran Cris Cyborg, Cyborg later captured the featherweight title in the summer of 2017 with a third-round TKO win over Tonya Evinger. She went on to defend the title against Holm and Yana Santos.
In 2018, Cyborg suffered a stunning first-round knockout loss to her fellow Brazilian Nunes in Las Vegas, Nevada, leading to Nunes becoming the featherweight champion.
Recently, Norma Dumont, who currently holds the 11th rank in the bantamweight division, shared that the UFC had informed her of their plans to eliminate the featherweight division by the end of September. Dumont expressed her confusion about the decision, as she believes there are no suitable opponents left in the division.
“The UFC said, ‘Look, there’s really no one else to fight, Norma,'” Dumont stated during an interview with MMA Fighting. “‘There’s no point fighting lower level athletes.’ The reality is, there’s no one else. It really makes no sense to me and to [the UFC].”
Dumont further revealed that there have been instances where bouts initially scheduled in the bantamweight division were moved to featherweight due to athletes struggling to make weight. The UFC’s announcement to close the featherweight division after her next bout has raised concerns about the future of this weight class in the organization.
Norma Dumont has been on an impressive winning streak, securing victories against Danyelle Wolf, Karol Rosa, and Chelsea Chandler in her last three fights. Despite her success, it seems that the featherweight division’s fate has been sealed, and Amanda Nunes will hold the final title in its history.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.