Fighting, finally, for the first time in nearly two years – and after a failed shot at a return two weeks ago – Aspen Ladd never seemed to get started.
Consequently, Norma Dumont (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) didn’t have to do a ton of work to cruise to a unanimous decision over Ladd (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) with a pair of 49-46 scores and a 48-47. Ladd moved up to 145 pounds two weeks after a weight cut gone wrong at bantamweight forced her removal from a fight against Macy Chiasson.
The women’s featherweight bout was the UFC Fight Night 195 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It streamed on ESPN+.
“I know she took the fight on short notice. But she’s a 145er. She’s got all the strength, and I want her to keep fighting in this (division),” Dumont said through a translator in her post-fight interview. “That’s what we trained for – (to not get taken down). We know her strength is ground-and-pound.”
Dumont pumped her jab early while Ladd circled on the outside and did little in the first two minutes looking for openings. Just past the midway mark, they traded right hands, but it wasn’t much in the way of a true exchange. With 20 seconds left, Ladd landed her second punch of the round and it got Dumont’s attention enough that she gestured her to do it again. But it was a mostly uneventful opening round built on the jab for Dumont.
Ninety seconds into the second round, the story was the same – jabs from Dumont and little action from Ladd. She finally threw a kick, and two minutes into the frame Ladd shot for a takedown. She pressed Dumont to the cage and worked to drag her down, but Dumont circled out and got back to the middle.
Ladd continued to have little answer for Dumont’s jab in the third. Dumont didn’t have to do much – her jab didn’t have to land at a high percentage because Ladd wasn’t offering up many responses. Just ahead of the midway mark, Ladd again tried to take Dumont down and pressed her to the fence. But Dumont again defended and with two minutes left got back to the middle. Ladd tried a combination late in the round, but it really was the first time.
In between the third and fourth rounds, Ladd’s coach, Jim West, was blunt with her in the corner and asked her what she was doing and told her she was down three rounds. He told her to not be careless, but that she needed a finish without question to win the fight.
In the fourth, Ladd came forward quickly and threw a punch, then pressed Dumont to the fence again. For more than a minute, she tried to get Dumont to the canvas, but couldn’t. Ninety seconds into the round, the fight went back to the middle. Dumont landed a punch near the middle of the frame, but started to back up from Ladd’s forward movement. Ladd threw a head kick with around two minutes left, but not long after that Dumont landed a takedown and went to work on Ladd from guard. Ladd was able to reverse the position and swung away for the rest of the round.
In the final round, Ladd blitzed forward and tied Dumont up. But Dumont turned her around and stayed on her feet. They traded position on the fence and Ladd stayed after a takedown hoping to get the fight to the mat – where she’s been known to put fights away. Ladd landed an elbow with around three minutes left, but it was one and done.
West continued to get on Ladd in between rounds and asked her what she was waiting for. In the fifth, Ladd did her best work of the fight, nearly all of it in clinch positions. But she never had Dumont in any kind of real trouble and all Dumont had to do was stay on the feet, play defense, and cruise to the win.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 195 results include:
Norma Dumont def. Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
Andrei Arlovski def. Carlos Felipe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jim Miller def. Erick Gonzalez via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:14
Manon Fiorot def. Mayra Bueno Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Nate Landwehr def. Ludovit Klein via submission (anaconda choke) – Round 3, 2:22
Bruno Silva def. Andrew Sanchez via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 2:35
Danny Roberts def. Ramazan Emeev via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Luana Carolina def. Loopy Godinez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Danaa Batgerel def. Brandon Davis via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:01
Ariane Carnelossi def. Istela Nunes via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:57
Twitter reacts to Norma Dumont’s win over Aspen Ladd in ho-hum UFC Fight Night 195 headliner
UFC Fight Night 195: Best photos from Las Vegas
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UFC Fight Night 195: Official scorecards from Las Vegas
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