Originally published at UFC Fight Night Report: Norma Dumont defeats Aspen Ladd in a lackluster five-rounder
UFC Fight Night Report: Norma Dumont defeats Aspen Ladd in a lackluster five-rounder
By: Eric Marcotte
The UFC returned on Saturday afternoon with a Fight Night event from the Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Initially, this card was set to be headlined by a fight between Miesha Tate and Ketlen Vieira, but a positive COVID test for Tate forced the bout to be rescheduled. In its place, a featherweight bout between Holly Holm and Norma Dumont was moved into the main event slot. Unfortunately, Holm soon withdrew from the card as well, following a knee injury. Dumont remained on the card, and Aspen Ladd stepped in to take Holm’s place in the main event. Just two weeks ago, Ladd missed weight at bantamweight (in frightening fashion), and her bout was removed from that card. Now fighting a division up, Ladd looked to make a successful featherweight debut here against Dumont, and ideally fast-track herself into a title opportunity against Amanda Nunes, something Dumont was also hoping to accomplish here. In the co-main event, former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Andrei Arlovski, faced Carlos Felipe.
The commentary team for this card consisted of Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping. Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded to Jim Miller, Nate Landwehr, Bruno Silva, and Danaa Batgerel.
*Ariane Carnelossi def. Istela Nunes by rear-naked choke at 2:57 of Round 3
*Danna Batgerel def. Brandon Davis by TKO at 2:01 of Round 1
*Luana Carolina def. Loopy Godinez by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Danny Roberts def. Ramazan Emeev by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
*Bruno Silva def. Andrew Sanchez by TKO at 2:35 of Round 3
*Nate Landwehr def. Ludovit Klein by Anaconda Choke at 2:22 of Round 3
*Manon Fiorot def. Mayra Bueno Silva by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
*Jim Miller def. Erick Gonzalez by KO at 0:14 of Round 2
*Andrei Arlovski def. Carlos Felipe by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Norma Dumont def. Aspen Ladd by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
ISTELA NUNES (6-1, 1 NC, 114.5) VS ARIANE CARNELOSSI (13-2, 115.5) – STRAWWEIGHT
Carnelossi immediately closed the distance and started throwing hooks. Nunes was throwing some decent counter shots while on the retreat, prompting Carnelossi to go for a takedown. Nunes was able to defend the attempt, largely due to some egregious cage grabs, but no points were deducted and the fight continued on the feet. It was a very tough opening round to score, but I thought Nunes landed the better strikes and scored the round in her favor.
Carnelossi continued to search for a takedown in round two. They spent a large portion of the round in a stalemate against the cage, but Carnelossi was ultimately successful in recording the takedown. She was unable to keep Nunes down for any significant portion of time, but it was the only notable moment of the round, three minutes in. After a minute of separation, in which Nunes began to make up some ground with her striking, Carnelossi took Nunes back down and ended the round on top.
After about two minutes on the feet, Carnelossi was able to take Nunes back down, and she transitioned to the back of Nunes. She started hunting for a rear-naked choke, sunk one in, and Nunes was forced to submit.
WINNER: Ariane Carnelossi by rear-naked choke at 2:57 of Round 3
It was an ugly fight at times, but Carnelossi’s strategy ultimately proved effective. Carnelossi was able to take Nunes down numerous times throughout this fight, clearly sensing a significant advantage for herself in the wrestling department. There were an absurd amount of cage grabs for Nunes over the course of the fight, and while I want to say that is something Nunes will have to watch out for in the future, perhaps she should actually just embrace them because it’s not as though she was punished for the grabs once throughout the fight. Carnelossi improved to 2-1 in the UFC with this win.
DANAA BATGEREL (9-2, 135) VS BRANDON DAVIS (14-8, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Batgerel cracked Davis with a hard overhand right that almost dropped him in the opening minute. Batgerel sat him down with the next big right he landed and swarmed him with shots until Herb Dean stopped the fight.
WINNER: Danna Batgerel by TKO at 2:01 of Round 1
Three consecutive first-round knockout wins in the UFC is a clear sign that a fighter has some serious power. Batgerel has done just that, and in his lone UFC loss (his promotional debut), he won fight of the night honors. Danna Batgerel is a very entertaining fighter, and he is quickly becoming someone to keep an eye on at bantamweight, as these knockout wins just continue to pile up.
LOOPY GODINEZ (6-1, 121.5) VS LUANA CAROLINA (7-2, 125.5) – FLYWEIGHT
Godinez fought just seven days ago, where she beat Silvana Gomez Juarez by first-round submission.
Godinez and Carolina spent the first half of the round wrestling against the cage, with neither fighter pulling ahead in any significant fashion. After a brief moment of separation, Godinez was able to re-engage and secure a takedown. She spent the remainder of the round in top control, attempting an armbar at the end of the round, just before time expired. 10-9 Godinez.
Carolina was able to keep it on the feet throughout the second round, causing Godinez to tire from her numerous takedown attempts. Now in her comfort zone, Carolina was largely able to chip away at Godinez, while avoiding the majority of Godinez’s offense herself. This was a fairly clear round for Carolina. 19-19.
Knowing that she needed to get the fight to the ground to win this fight, Godinez continued to hunt for takedowns in round three. Carolina’s defense continued to hold up, however, and she was able to land a series of knees to the body while defending Godinez’s attempts. The third round was the closest of the fight, but I narrowly gave it to Carolina, who outlanded Godinez throughout the final round while defending her takedown attempts. 29-28 Carolina.
WINNER: Luana Carolina by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
The third round really could have been scored for either fighter, but I agreed with the judges here, giving the win to Carolina. She showcased some very strong takedown defense throughout this fight, stopping almost all of Godinez’s attempts to bring the fight to the ground. Godinez took this fight on very short notice after just fighting seven days ago, so despite the loss, I think this was a performance that will definitely earn her a lot of points with the UFC brass. Carolina is now 3-1 in the UFC.
DANNY ROBERTS (17-5, 170.5) VS RAMAZAN EMEEV (20-4, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT
Emeev caught Roberts with a left hand to begin the fight. He was successful with his first takedown of the fight, but nearly got caught in a triangle choke from Roberts. Emeev avoided it, however, and the fight returned to the feet. Roberts unsuccessfully went for a takedown of his own to end the round. 10-9 Emeev I suppose, but it was close.
Roberts sprawled on a takedown attempt in the opening minute of round two, landing a decent knee to the body moments later. They exchanged hooks and had an exchange against the cage that resulted in an elbow that cut Roberts open on his forehead. Robert’s strategy seemed to be more takedown-oriented than striking based, which largely played into Emeev’s game, and Emeev likely took this round as well. 20-18 Emeev on my scorecard.
They continued to grapple in round three, and Roberts opened up with this combination of knees to the body and punches to the head, resulting in his best moment of the fight to this point. They began to exchange some dangerous blows in the pocket, with both men landing some very powerful strikes. It was really hard to say who was getting the better of these wild exchanges, but Roberts was reacting poorly to Emeev’s harder shots. I ultimately scored the fight 30-27 for Emeev.
WINNER: Danny Roberts by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
I was definitely surprised by the decision here, but it was a close fight. I gave it to Emeev as I thought his shots were doing more damage throughout each round, and he was out landing Roberts on the strike count as well. Regardless, this was a very strong win for Roberts, who had been inactive for nearly two years going into this fight. Roberts is now 7-4 in the UFC.
ANDREW SANCHEZ (12-6, 185) VS BRUNO SILVA (20-6, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Silva viciously attacked the body in the opening minute, mixing in an uppercut at the end of his combination. Sanchez took Silva down, as Michael Bisping made fun of American “Kickboxing” Academy being a wrestling-focused camp. Sanchez smothered him on the ground for a significant portion of time, but a low blow separated them with twenty-five seconds remaining in the round. When the action resumed, Sanchez immediately caught him low again.
Sanchez immediately took Silva back down to begin round two. Silva was slightly more active off of his back here, landing a punch off of his back that actually wobbled Sanchez slightly. Despite this brief moment of success for Silva, this was a largely dominant round for Sanchez, who had seven takedowns recorded by the end of the second.
Silva came out swinging in round three, really beating up the body of Sanchez. Silva caught Sanchez with yet another low blow, and a point was deducted. Silva went right back on the attack as the fight resumed, and Sanchez was looking rough. Sanchez eventually started returning fire, but he was getting overwhelmed, and Keith Peterson stepped in to stop the fight.
WINNER: Bruno Silva by TKO at 2:35 of Round 3
Silva was awarded a black belt by his coaches after the win. Fitzgerald made fun of the fighter with zero career submissions being given a black belt after a bout he largely got dominated on the ground in, but I suppose there have been stranger moments in the sports’ history. This was an impressive comeback win for Silva, and his corner should be praised for being honest with him and firing Silva up before the final round. Silva improved to 2-0 in the UFC with this win.
NATE LANDWEHR (14-4, 145.5) VS LUDOVIT KLEIN (17-3, 145.5) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Klein found success on the feet in round one, largely due to a number of strong kicks to the body. Landwehr fell a bit behind due to inactivity, and while this was by no means a dominant five minutes for Klein, he was the more active fighter and looked to be on his way to winning the round. In the final seconds, Landwehr came alive with a flurry of punches and likely stole a slow round with this late activity.
Klein opened up round two with an aggressive flurry of his own, capped off by a head kick. Landwehr fired back with a strong combination of his own later in the round, and nearly sunk in a choke against the cage. Klein was beginning to look a bit overwhelmed, allowing Landwehr to really turn it up and land a number of hard right hooks. Klein connected with a pair of spinning back elbows late in the round, but I thought this was another one for Landwehr.
Not long into the final round, a failed takedown attempt from Klein resulted in Landwehr taking top position. Landwehr immediately locked in the Anaconda choke that he was looking for earlier, and an exhausted Klein tapped out.
WINNER: Nate Landwehr by Anaconda Choke at 2:22 of Round 3
Landwehr was a sizeable underdog coming into this one but won both of the first two rounds on my scorecard before finishing things in the third. While it felt as though his lack of activity was hurting him at times early in the fight, he turned it on when he needed to, and ultimately seemed to overwhelm Klein whenever he got aggressive. Landwehr is now 2-2 in the UFC.
MANON FIOROT (7-1, 125.5) VS MAYRA BUENO SILVA (7-1-1, 126) – FLYWEIGHT
Bueno Silva was immediately aggressive with kicks to the legs and body. It did not take Fiorot long to return fire, throwing a number of her own kicks, as well as some punches that were mostly blocked by Bueno Silva’s high guard. Fiorot knocked Bueno Silva off of her feet at one point but allowed her back to her feet. Bueno Silva partially connected with a head kick, before Fiorot ended the round with a takedown. 10-9 Fiorot.
Fiorot went after another takedown to begin the second round, which resulted in a stalemate against the cage for the first ninety seconds of the round. They had some wild exchanges in the clinch, with both fighters landing, but it seemed as though Fiorot had the advantage in terms of activity. They both connected with combinations of kicks in the final thirty seconds. 20-18 Fiorot.
Fiorot continued to outland Bueno Silva in round three and took the fight back to the ground with just under four minutes on the clock. She landed numerous left hands, causing Bueno Silva to bleed from her nose. Fiorot lost the position and allowed Bueno Silva back to her feet with half the round remaining. Bueno Silva was taunting, but she was down big on the scorecards. The fight went the distance, and I scored it 30-27 for Fiorot.
WINNER: Manon Fiorot by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Both fighters had an impressive output throughout this fight, but Fiorot was just on another level. It felt as though she never took a break throughout the fight, throwing countless heavy combinations Bueno Silva’s way as she attempted to finish the fight. Fiorot is definitely one of the stronger prospects at flyweight, and the commentary team was basically setting her up as a future title challenger from the moment she walked out. She is still far off from a title shot in my opinion, but she’s not far off from ranked competition, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fiorot in there with a ranked opponent next.
JIM MILLER (32-16, 1 NC, 155) VS ERICK GONZALEZ (14-5, 155) – LIGHTWEIGHT
This marked Milers 38th UFC appearance, against Gonzalez who was making his UFC debut here.
Miller nearly caught Gonzalez with a flush head in the opening minute but was ultimately taken down, with Gonzalez beginning to work from half guard. Miller quickly worked his way to his feet, but Gonzalez wobbled him almost immediately. Despite being rocked, Miller was able to take Gonzalez down and bought himself time to recover. Gonzalez eventually escaped but got caught by a pair of left hands from Miller as the battle resumed on the feet. Miller just kept throwing that left hand until Gonzalez looked wobbly on the feet, however, Gonzalez was able to wrap him up, and he made it out of this wild first round.
Seconds into round two, Miller landed a full force left hand, and Gonzalez just crumpled to the ground, unconscious.
WINNER: Jim Miller by KO at 0:14 of Round 2
38 years old, and 38 fights into his UFC career, Jim Miller remains a dangerous fighter at 155lbs. This was a wild fight, capped off by a brutal knockout finish. Gonzalez was dealt a tough hand for his UFC debut here against a veteran like Miller, but he had him in some serious trouble early in round one, so I’m not going to write him off just yet. Miller is now tied for third all-time for finishes in the UFC following this knockout.
ANDREI ARLOVSKI (31-20, 2 NC, 245) VS CARLOS FELIPE (11-1, 259) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Arlovski landed a heavy kick to the body, and Felipe responded with a straight right hand that backed him off. It was largely a slowly paced fight, as you would expect from a modern Arlovski bout, but he was clearly the more skilled striker, landing fluid combinations while avoiding the majority of Felipe’s big swings. 10-9 Arlovski.
Arlovski continued to outstrike Felipe in round two. Felipe was missing on so many of his shots, and Arlovski was continuously responding with strong counters and lengthy combinations. Felipe had a bit more success in this round, but I thought this was another one for Arlovski, despite Felipe really starting to turn it on late. 20-18 Arlovski.
Felipe cracked Arlovski with a right hand to begin round three. Arlovski started to talk to Herb Dean about a perceived foul but was repeatedly caught by Felipe in the process. Felipe began to land repeatedly, as Arlovski had slowed considerably from the opening round. Arlovski threw a leg kick but seemed to stumble to the ground in the process, allowing Felipe to throw a number of ground and pound shots before Arlovski was able to climb back to his feet. This was a strong round for Felipe to end the fight. 29-28 Arlovski.
WINNER: Andrei Arlovski by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
Despite all three judges (as well as myself) scoring the fight 29-28 for Arlovski, this was really a fight that could have been scored for either fighter. Arlovski clearly took round one, Felipe clearly took round three, and the strike count for round two was dead even. Arlovski has changed his game drastically over the years to evolve with the sport and continue to fight at a high level. His current fight style, that relies heavily on movement and outpointing his opponents, has extended his UFC run by over half a decade, and despite being over fifty fights into his lengthy career, he remains a fighter that most unranked heavyweights struggle to overcome, and he definitely still has a place in the UFC.
ASPEN LADD (9-1, 145) VS NORMA DUMONT (6-1, 145.5) – FEATHERWEIGHT
This was a very slow opening round. Both fighters attempted to work their jab to varying degrees of success. With a minute to go in the round, Brendan Fitzgerald informed the viewers that Ladd had landed one strike to that point. A dreadful opening round. 10-9 Dumont.
Dumont continued to throw her jab in round two. Ladd’s forehead was quickly reddening from the impact of Dumont’s shots. Ladd finally shot for a takedown but was unable to take Dumont down. Another very slow round, that Dumont took based on activity. 20-18 Dumont.
Into round three, Dumont defended another takedown attempt, and continued to work her jab. On occasion, she followed up that jab with a straight left. Ladd failed on another pair of attempted takedowns. The round eventually ended. 30-27 Dumont.
Ladd’s coach was completely honest with her, telling Ladd that she needed to pick up her activity big time, and if she wanted to win this fight, she was in need of a finish. Unfortunately, this speech changed absolutely nothing about Ladd’s approach. Dumont continued to defend takedowns while throwing the occasional jab Ladd’s way, and actually secured a takedown of her own late in the round. With about twenty seconds left in the round, Ladd rolled into top position and threw down a number of ground and pound strikes. Maybe twenty seconds of somewhat efficient ground and pound was enough to win her this round. I have no idea, and it doesn’t really matter. 40-36 Dumont I suppose.
Ladd pressed Dumont into the cage to begin round five (after receiving another bewildered scolding from her corner). She may have accidentally knocked her head into Dumont’s nose at one point, drawing blood from the nose of Dumont. Nothing happened in this round. Shockingly, it went the distance. 49-46 Dumont.
WINNER: Norma Dumont by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
This was one of the worst fights I’ve ever seen. Somehow, Dumont throwing a jab every thirty seconds was enough for her to dominantly win this fight. I don’t want to criticize either fighter too much, because this was a fight put together on short notice, Ladd had not fought since 2019, and it’s easy to be a critic from the comfort of your couch, but there are not many positives to take away from this one. Ladd was frozen from the first round onwards and was completely unable to get anything going for herself offensively. Dumont’s jab was effective, and her takedown defense held up well, but there is really not much to make of her performance here either. Dumont is now 3-1 in the UFC, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to reschedule that fight against Holly Holm.