Women's BantamweightsNorma Dumont (5-1 | 1-1 UFC) vs. Erin Blanchfield (6-1 | 0-0 UFC)
Odds: Dumont (-240), Blanchfield (+200)
When it was announced that Blanchfield would be stepping into this fight as a late replacement, the signing was rightfully lauded, as she is one of the brightest prospects in women's MMA. Still just 21 years old, Blanchfield has a well put-together game and the poise of a much older fighter; she has some finishing ability both as a submission artist and with her signature head kicks, and if all that fails she's able to fall back on a solid wrestling game. Even as young as she is, Blanchfield has proven all that she needs to prove outside of the UFC and should be ready to rise up the flyweight ranks. Of course, the issue is that this late notice opportunity comes up a weight class at bantamweight, and Norma Dumont's physicality should make things interesting. Dumont bullied her opponents as a bantamweight on the regional scene, but made her UFC debut at featherweight, where she was overwhelmed and knocked out by Megan Anderson. Things looked much better back down at bantamweight against Ashlee Evans-Smith in November, even if Dumont still gets by on aggression rather than any sort of technical depth. Blanchfield is a bit of a fireplug, so this could be a tough ask here, even if she's the much more skilled fighter; her lone loss to Tracy Cortez was controversial, but did at least show she can be stalled out a bit against a strong wrestler. It's not a particularly confident pick given that it's based on little but her size advantage, but the pick is for Dumont to grind out a decision win.
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