What’s next for Aspen Ladd after UFC Vegas 40?

aspen ladd, mma

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 40, we saw a showdown in the women’s featherweight division. Top bantamweight contender Aspen Ladd (9-2) moved up to featherweight to take on striker Norma Dumont (7-1).

Ladd was supposed to compete back at UFC Vegas 39 in the bantamweight division, but couldn’t make weight. After having a significant layoff due to injury, the weight cut in her return bout proved to be too much. Ladd was removed from the card.

When Holly Holm fell out of the main event against Dumont, the UFC asked Ladd to move up in weight to fight Dumont. Ladd gladly accepted and many were interested to see how she would look in a weight class she’s likely better suited for.

She’s always been looked at as one of the brighter prospects in the UFC, but making 135 pounds has been a struggle for her. Given the state of the featherweight division, this was actually a golden opportunity for Ladd to build some momentum in a new home.

However, the fight didn’t go her way at all. Ladd spent most of the fight on the outside with Dumont picking her apart. There was a lot of tentativeness and non-aggressiveness from Ladd which ultimately cost her the fight at UFC Vegas 40.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 40?

Ladd picked things up towards the end of the fight, but she still walked away losing a decision. There was a lot of controversy surrounding her coaches. Ladd was getting criticized by her coaches in between rounds for not being aggressive and not really fighting.

The criticism from her coaches was completely warranted. We’ve seen Ladd take her coaches feedback before and immediately apply it. Her coaches were trying to get her fired up at UFC Vegas 40, but by the time Ladd got going, it was a bit too late.

So the question becomes, what’s next for Ladd? Well, if she would’ve won, I really liked her at 145 pounds. The UFC needs a new challenger for Amanda Nunes, and Ladd could have made for a compelling challenger.

However, after that performance, she’s likely heading back to 135 pounds. That is perfectly fine as long as she can show the UFC that the weight won’t be an issue. If she can make 135 pounds, I think a good next fight for her would be former title challenger Sara McMann (12-6)

UFC Match Maker: Donald Cerrone – Jim Miller 2

Donald Cerrone

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 40, Jim Miller (33-16, 1 NC) made the walk that he’s made many times before. Miller walked to the octagon for the 38th time in his career with the promotion and he was looking to snap a two-fight losing streak.

Standing across from Miller was Erick Gonzalez (14-6). Just seconds into the second round, Miller completely flattened Gonzalez with a massive left hand. Miller got the knockout victory which was his first KO/TKO victory since 2016.

It’s been an incredible career for Miller in the UFC. The 38 year old has been in there with some of the best that the sport has to offer and he’s remained competitive even this late in his career.

Given the career that he’s had, many start to wonder what’s next. His win at UFC Vegas 40 showed that he’s still got plenty left in the tank, but it’s hard to match make fighters like Jim Miller. That is unless there’s a fighter that just lines up perfectly given the circumstances.

Will the UFC run back Cowboy and Miller?

When thinking about the next fight for Jim Miller, there was one fight that immediately jumped out at me. That is a rematch with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC). Like Miller, Cerrone is one of the most tenured fighters in the UFC.

The two men first fought way back in 2014 with Cerrone scoring a big time finish. That win was one of eight straight for Cerrone which led to his first shot at UFC gold. Cowboy, like Miller, has had a long and historic career.

That said, things haven’t been smooth for Cowboy. After making another run at a title shot, Cowboy hit a brick wall once he reached the top of the lightweight division. Cerrone finds himself on a 0-5, 1 NC streak in his last six fights.

He’s asked the UFC for one more fight at lightweight and the promotion is willing to do it. However, they haven’t been able to match him up. Well, I think Miller just became the perfect candidate and he told Ariel Helwani yesterday that he would be down.

I think we are going to see this fight get booked for early in 2022. These two legends should battle again and it will be a fun one for fight fans.

Sound Off: Do you want to see the rematch between Cowboy and Jim Miller?

UFC Vegas 40 Preview: Aspen Ladd – Norma Dumont

Tomorrow in the main event of UFC Vegas 40, we are going to see a rare headliner in the women’s featherweight division. One of the brightest prospects in the promotion Aspen Ladd (9-1) makes her return as she takes on Norma Dumont (6-1).

Ladd was supposed to fight last weekend at 135 pounds. However, she failed to make weight and ultimately the fight was called off. When Holly Holm fell out of this weekend’s main event, the UFC called Ladd and asked if she’d take this headlining spot at 145 pounds.

Without hesitation, Ladd accepted the opportunity. This will be Ladd’s first fight in just under two years. The last time we saw her was back in 2019 when she stopped Yana Kunitskaya. Ladd is one of the best prospects in the UFC‘s bantamweight division, but she’s always had trouble with weight.

Fighting at 145 pounds should be refreshing for the young star. Standing across from her tomorrow is going to be Norma Dumont. Dumont is 2-1 since joining the UFC and her lone loss came against Megan Anderson in her promotional debut.

Since that loss, she’s put together two consecutive wins. Her last win came against former title challenger Felicia Spencer by split decision. If Dumont is able to defeat Ladd tomorrow, she could have an argument as a deserving challenger in the UFC‘s shallow featherweight division.

UFC Vegas 40 Prediction

This main event at UFC Vegas 40 is going to come down to takedowns. It’s no secret what Aspen Ladd’s game plan is going to be tomorrow night. Ladd is going to try and close the distance in order to get Dumont to the mat.

If she’s able to do that, she can easily finish this fight. Ladd has some of the nastiest ground and pound out of any fighter on the roster male or female. If she gets on top of you, she will throw everything including the kitchen sink at you.

That said, if she can’t get it to the ground, she could be in for a rough night. I really like the striking especially at range of Dumont in this matchup. If she can defend the takedowns, I can easily see her picking apart Ladd from the outside.

I keep going back-and-forth on my prediction for this matchup at UFC Vegas 40. In a vacuum if both fighters were at their best and trained for this, I would pick Aspen Ladd. However, given the short-notice nature and the weight cut from last week, I like Dumont by decision.

Prediction: Norma Dumont by Unanimous Decision

Holly Holm out, Aspen Ladd in against Norma Dumont at UFC Vegas 40

UFC Vegas 40’s main event is changing once again. Originally the promotion was planning on next weekend’s card being headlined by Miesha Tate and Ketlen Vieira. However, the UFC scrapped that after Tate tested positive for Covid-19.

From there, the UFC shifted the featherweight contest between Holly Holm and Norma Dumont (6-1) as the main event. However, we learned last night from Ariel Helwani that Holly Holm has injured her knee and is out of the UFC Vegas 40 main event.

Holm’s injury is not considered to be severe. The former champion is wanting to get back into the cage either at the end of this year. The UFC has already moved on from this news and they’ve found a replacement for Holm.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report last night that the UFC has tabbed Aspen Ladd (9-1) as the replacement for Holm. Ladd was supposed to fight last weekend at UFC Vegas 38, but her fight was cancelled after an alarming weigh-in where Ladd came in heavy.

UFC Vegas 40 New Main Event

Aspen Ladd has been considered to be one of the top female prospects in the UFC since making her debut a few years ago. Her lone loss came against former UFC champion Germaine de Randamie.

However, outside of that loss, she’s been sensational. Now, we haven’t seen Ladd compete in almost two years. She’s always struggled to make 135 pounds. That was evident last week when she tried to hit the scales.

She’s not going to have to worry about the weight which might produce the best Aspen Ladd we’ve ever seen. That said, she’s going to have a tall order in front of her next weekend.

Norma Dumont will come into UFC Vegas 40 having won back-to-back fights since losing her promotional debut. Her last win was a victory over former title challenger Felicia Spencer. If she’s able to defeat Ladd next weekend, she could perhaps only be a win away from giving Amanda Nunes a new featherweight contender.