Aspen Ladd has stepped up to face Norma Dumont in tonight’s main event at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ladd vs. Dumont will compete in a women’s featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night (UFC Vegas 40) but it was originally scheduled to be a battle between former champion Holly Holm and Dumont.
Read on for our Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont staff predictions and analysis.
Ladd vs. Dumont betting odds
Dumont is the underdog heading into tonight’s main event and represents excellent value considering both of our expert analysts have tipped her to win.
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Ladd vs. Dumont staff predictions
Both Aspen Ladd and Norma Dumont are relatively green in their professional careers, however with Ladd’s extensive time in the amateurs and Dumont’s background as a National Sanda champion, combat is as second nature to them as it gets. Stylistically there are a few key factors to consider in this match up.
Aspen Ladd is a very aggressive fighter, and will likely look to push the action a bit more than Dumont, who typically likes to counter and typically needs a bit of time to settle into her range management. Dumont early in the fight will often find her opportunities, but not quite commit herself to the pocket enough and find her punches swinging just shy of the target. The time it takes for her to get comfortable has varied.
Ladd’s best weapon standing up is her short left hook. Look for her to lead with the jab, right hand but really look for the left hook which she almost always ends her combinations with. She will also look to push forward and draw out her opponent’s jab which she will parry or catch with the right and land the left hook as a counter. Dumont is the more diverse striker, she has a heavy leg kick off the right leg and very powerful boxing. She is the more fluid of the two and it would be a difficult task to find a moment where she isn’t moving on the balls of her feet.
Often you will see her dip far to the left and look for the overhand, on its own and in the middle of combinations. She is particularly good at countering with the straight or overhand right off of her opponent’s body kicks.
One issue that both women have faced in their UFC careers so far is that they can get a bit overzealous. As to be expected with fighters inside their first 10 professional bouts, Ladd has in the past given up ground and pound position for the sake of the ground and pound. Dumont on the other hand has lost position trying to pass the guard without enough patience, so composure will play a factor especially in the grappling.
Another similarity is that both do their best groundwork on top and have typically defensive guards. Ladd of her back may be a bit more consistently successful in inciting scrambles and getting to her feet, while Dumont’scomp primary goal off her back has been to negate damage. However, both have impressive top control and pressure and whoever can establish theirs first has already won an important battle in the match up.
I think ultimately the two are at a similar skill level on the ground, and by far whoever can edge out the takedown battle and find themself on top will win in that area. Ladd, coming in at a weight disadvantage may lose out in some of the difficult positions. On the feet, I have to give it to Dumont, she is more dynamic and has a more diverse striking arsenal, once she figures out her range I think she lands from the outside, avoids the short hook and wins out almost everywhere the fight goes.
Prediction: Norma Dumont via decision.
Dumont has an all-around solid mixed martial arts game. I phrase it that way because she truly has a skill set that includes solid striking, grappling, wrestling, and submissions. She is a large featherweight who has only lost once professionally, a 1st round knockout loss in 2020. When her game is clicking, which it often is, Dumont keeps a consistent pace but not a consistent pressure. She is often comfortable allowing her opponents to come to her so she can defend and counter with a combination of her own. While she doesn’t have a knockout win, she does have some heat behind her counter shots. Beyond striking, Dumont has a solid grappling and wrestling game. She averages 1.8 takedowns per fight at a 40% clip and has defended 100% of takedowns against her. Once she lands a takedown, Dumont prefers to control her opponent and maintain position rather than aggressively hunt the submission. Overall, Dumont is an intelligent fighter who has the cardio and IQ to go 5 rounds without putting herself in a bad position. The question though is whether or not she has the killer instinct and dangerous finishing ability that other bantam and featherweights have.
Ladd has that aggression and dangerous finishing ability in spades. She is an aggressive wrestler who is going to look to take her opponent down and unleash devastating ground and pound. She can strike well enough on the feet in order to open up her opponent for the takedown; but, her real power and dangerous ability is that ground and pound. She is able to keep her hips low and heavy so her opponent is stuck with their back on the mat as she lets her heavy hands and elbows go. The real questions are going to be her health, weight, and cardio. The reason that she was on the shelf for over 2.5 years was that she suffered a knee injury; this is her first fight back. Moreover, prior to the knee injury, she was someone who had struggled to make weight. This is exasperated because she made weight just a week ago; and, now, only 7 days later, needs to make weight again. Both her injury and her weight cut bring concerns about her cardio in this fight. And, if a wrestler has cardio issues, they can render themselves ineffective after only a few failed takedown attempts.
I think Ladd is the more naturally talented fighter of the two and has a very clear path to victory. However, her path to victory requires her to be able to finish a takedown against a woman with a 100% defense and, likely, push a pace deep into a 5-round fight. Given a full camp and not the first fight off an injury, I might lean Ladd. But, with Dumont being a natural 145er, being the healthier fighter, having the edge on the feet, and being so well-rounded, I am going with the underdog in this one.
Prediction: Dumont by decision
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.
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.