UFC expert picks: In a classic clash of styles, can Aspen Ladd handle Norma Dumont?
After a weigh-in scare last week, Aspen Ladd will get a second chance this weekend — at a heavier weight class.
Ladd, one of the top women’s bantamweight fighters in the world, will meet Norma Dumont on short notice in the featherweight main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. Dumont’s original opponent, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, withdrew due to injury last week.
Last Friday, Ladd attempted to weigh in for her scheduled bantamweight bout with Macy Chiasson. But Ladd had a hard time staying still on the scale and, after several minutes of trying to register a weight, she missed the mark by one pound at 137. Chiasson declined to take the fight.
Now Ladd will move up to the 145-pound weight class, one perhaps more natural for her. Dumont also moved up from bantamweight to featherweight after missing weight last November.
Weight will certainly be one of the top storylines going into the main event this weekend, but this fight has real stakes. Dumont has won two in a row and could be close to a featherweight title shot. Meanwhile, ESPN has Ladd ranked No. 4 in the world at bantamweight, and she could potentially steal Dumont’s spot near the top of a thin featherweight division.
Which fighter has the edge in a fight that came together just a few days ago? And how much will all the weight stuff matter in the end? ESPN talked to two top coaches and women’s featherweight contender Felicia Spencer, who is coming off a loss to Dumont, for their analysis and predictions.
Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.
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