The main event features Ladd—the UFC’s No. 3 ranked bantamweight competitor—against seven-fight pro Dumont. Ladd makes her first appearance since December 2019, a third-round TKO win over Yana Kunitskaya at UFC Washington, after recovering from a torn ACL and MCL. The 26-year-old was scheduled to compete against Macy Chiasson in July before Chiasson suffered an injury the day before the fight. The bout was re-booked to UFC Vegas 38 earlier this month and was scratched after Ladd missed weight.
Dumont was originally scheduled to face Holly Holm in this spot before the former champion was forced to withdraw earlier this week with an injury. “The Immortal” will look to make it three straight victories following decision wins over Ashlee Evans-Smith and Felicia Spencer.
Check out the UFC Vegas 40 live blog.
Round 1: Both women look laser focused on the way to the octagon. Ladd makes the walk for the first time in nearly two years. Keith Peterson is the third person in the cage to make sure the nonsense is nonexistent. They’re off and running and Dumont throws out the jab. Ladd throws a left hand, her first attempt of the fight. A lot of respect being shown here through the first minute with not a lot of action, but pretty common in a spot like this. Dumont continues to pump her jab out and lands a quick right hand behind it. Jab lands for Dumont, Ladd answers with a counter right hand. They trade jabs as we reach the halfway point of the opening round. Dumont lands a right as Ladd charges in and they reset. Another jab lands from Dumont and Ladd is trying to find some rhythm in her first round since December 2019. Final minute of the round and another jab from Dumont. With 45 seconds left in the round, Ladd has unofficially landed one strike. Good left hand lands from Ladd and Dumont partially lands a jab as the horn sounds.
MMAFighting scores it 10-9 for Dumont
Round 2: The right side of Ladd’s face is showing a bit of swelling from the Dumont jabs as her coach is asking for more urgency. Ladd comes out with a little more volume, but eats yet another jab, and another around 15 seconds later. The jab continues to get peppered in by Dumont and Ladd just hasn’t been able to get going. Final 90 seconds of the round and not much has changed. Ladd trying to counter the jab a little more now, as Dumont lands an oblique kick, followed by a short combo to end the round.
MMAFighting scores it 10-9, 20-18 overall for Dumont
Round 3: Ladd’s coach Jim West is turning up the volume a little bit in the corner, telling his fighter he’s down two rounds. Ladd throws a leg kick to open up the second and both fighters land in an exchange. Ladd eats another jab but is marching forward a little more, switching stances. Dumont comes up short with a combo, but follows up with another stiff jab. Takedown attempt thwarted by Dumont and this fight staying out in space is not doing Ladd any favors. Hard jab from Dumont, Ladd moves in close and eats a left hand before clinching against the fence looking for a takedown. Dumont is able to defend and begins opening up with the jab again. Ladd answers with a left hand of her own before diving for the legs of Dumont and they move to the fence before they separate. Ladd moving forward in the final seconds with more than one punch as the round ends.
MMAFighting scores it 10-9, 30-27 overall for Dumont
Round 4: Ladd’s coach really letting her have it between rounds. Ladd was listening because she went right in and grabs a single, now moves to a double. Dumont trying to defend as Ladd really needs to finish this takedown. Dumont turns Ladd around and separates. Two minutes down and Dumont tries a push kick to the body that misses. Stiff jab lands clean from Dumont and Ladd is moving forward, eats a combination, as Ladd’s coach is yelling for her to work and move forward. High kick attempt from Ladd who starts to open up a little more. Left hand from Ladd, who looks for a takedown, but Dumont gets one of her own. Dumont on top who looks to move to side control, but Ladd’s active guard keeps her safe. Final minute of the round and Dumont continues to lay on top, but Ladd sweeps with 25 seconds to work. Big shots from Ladd, hammerfists, elbows, and doing whatever she can to try and score points as the horn sounds.
MMAFighting scores it 10-9, 40-36 overall for Dumont
Round 5: Again, Jim West trying to fire Ladd up in the corner — although the broadcast censored out 95-percent of it. Dumont throws a left hand, and Ladd darts in to the fence in the clinch. Dumont trying to separate, but Ladd is like velcro. She grabs on to a single and really needs this takedown. The battle against the fence continues. Hard elbow from Ladd, and another in close as we approach the halfway point of the final round. Dumont has had perfect takedown defense thus far. Ladd still working for this takedown but Dumont continues to defend, although she has been bloodied up for her efforts. Final minute of the fight and Dumont lands a knee to the body, which puts her over 100 strikes for the fight. Ladd landing knees and punches to the body but that’s it. Ladd wins the round, but loses the fight convincingly on my card.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Ladd, 49-46 overall for Dumont
OFFICIAL DECISION: Norma Dumont def. Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)