For Ladd, it was her return to competition for the first time since December 2019 and after having reconstructive knee surgery. It was also her featherweight debut after having weight cutting issues to make the 135 pound bantamweight limit.
Dumont used her jab to keep Ladd on the outside. In the opening round, Ladd connected with a single-digit amount of strikes. She had difficulty closing the distance against the striker.
In the second round, Ladd was able to close the distance but unable to get Dumont to the ground. Dumont continued to land her jab and outwork Ladd.
Between rounds, Ladd corner told her that she was down two rounds and needed to pick up the pace. She pressed forward and was able to get inside on Dumont, but Dumont’s takedown defense held up. After the round, Ladd’s corner told her that she needed a finish to win the fight.
Ladd took her corner’s advice and come out pressuring Dumont in the fourth frame. She was able to close the distance a few times but it was Dumont that secured a takedown. In the closing moments of the round, Ladd swept Dumont and gained top position. From there, she unloaded with a series of punches but the round ended before she was able to inflict damage.
In the final round, Ladd immediately closed the distance and clinched. She worked desperately trying to get Dumont to the canvas but was unsuccessful. Ladd connected with a elbow in the clinch that bloodied Dumont’s nose, but couldn’t mount must offense. After five rounds, all three judges scored the fight for Dumont.
“I know she took the fight on short notice, but I just wanted to tell her right now that she’s a 145-pound fighter. She fights at 145. She’s got all the strength and power for 145, and I want her to keep fighting at this category,” said Dumont about Ladd following the win.
“I’ve said it many times, for you to take me down, it’s going to take a lot because I’m really good on my defenses,” she said.
UFC Vegas 40 Results – Main Card (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
- Women’s Featherweight: Norma Dumont def. Aspen Ladd by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
- Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski def. Carlos Felipe by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lightweight: Jim Miller def. Erick Gonzalez by KO (punch) at 0:14, R2
- Women’s Flyweight: Manon Fiorot def. Mayra Bueno Silva by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Middleweight: Julian Marquez vs. Jordan Wright— CANCELED
- Featherweight: Nate Landwehr def. Ludovit Klein by submission (anaconda choke) at 2:22, R3
UFC Vegas 40 Results – Prelims (4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
- Middleweight: Bruno Silva def. Andrew Sanchez by TKO (punches) at 2:35, R3
- Welterweight: Danny Roberts def. Ramazan Emeev by split decision (29–28, 28–29, 30–27)
- Women’s Flyweight: Luana Carolina def. Loopy Godinez by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)
- Bantamweight: Danaa Batgerel def. Brandon Davis by TKO (punches and elbows) at 2:01, R1
- Women’s Strawweight: Ariane Carnelossi def. Istela Nunes by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:57, R3