Days after Aspen Ladd had to drop out of her fight, she’s replacing Holly Holm on short notice to fight Norma Dumont up a weight class at featherweight on Saturday. Despite the move up, Ladd (9-1-0) is still favored by UFC betting lines.
While not official, this could be a title eliminator fight for either fighter but especially for Dumont (6-1-0). She upset Felicia Spencer and if she beats Ladd unquestionably, she could be next for double champion Amanda Nunes. But with so many questions surrounding both fighters, this one is a tough matchup to crack.
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m. ET
- Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV, United States
- Watch on: ESPN+
Norma Dumont vs Aspen Ladd
Weight Class: Featherweight (145)
Rounds: Five (Main Event)
Moneyline: Norma Dumont Ev, Aspen Ladd -130
Ladd, on the flipside, has never been an underdog. The closest she came was as a pick’em against Germaine De Randamie, which she lost via an early KO. But without significant weight cutting to drain her, we could see the best Aspen Ladd.
Ladd Finally Fights Up At 145
After another hard time making weight, Ladd is finally doing what many observers have wanted: fight up a weight division at featherweight. The 26-year-old looked visibly drained in some instances either getting KO’d early or having the fight canceled due to medical concerns.
Now at 145, Ladd won’t have to cut too much weight and can fight to her true potential. Moving up weight classes has helped fighters like Robert Whittaker and Dustin Poirier. However, as a grappler, going up against a bigger opponent like Dumont could also pose its problems.
Ladd will be the smaller fighter here. The last time she went up against a bigger fighter, she lost. And Dumont is heftier than De Randamie while also posing as a serious striking threat. But if Ladd is reinvigorated, she could be found for a bargain price on the sportsbook.
Dumont Could Be Next In Line
Dumont has bounced back from her knockout loss against Megan Anderson by rattling off two straight wins. The Brazilian is a striker but also has a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu and has been known to “dirty up” fights with heavy clinch work.
If it comes to that, Dumont may be thick and strong enough to beat Ladd at her own game. But Dumont can also keep Ladd at a distance and outstrike her. Though one area of concern for “The Immortal” is her ground game, especially from the bottom.
Dumont needs to be able to fend off Ladd when she gets top position. If she can beat Ladd, a title shot against Nunes is likely next for her. More importantly, she would have cashed as an underdog for the third fight in a row.
Dumont vs Ladd: Who Wins?
It is tough to be confident in either fighter given how much there is still to discover. Ladd could out-grapple Dumont and beat her up from top position or Dumont can neutralize her grappling and outstrike her or even submit her.
The best UFC bet here is to take the chance on the dog, Dumont, or to bet on this fight to not go to decision. It’s a five-rounder and the questionable gas tanks of both fighters can lead to one succumbing before the final bell.