UFC Vegas 40 Post-Fight: Aspen Ladd’s Coach Jim West Made The Right Call

The narrative surrounding UFC Vegas 40 wasn’t the fact that Norma Dumont pulled off the upset in the main event, but rather the advice her opponent Aspen Ladd received in between rounds.

Did Aspen Ladd’s Coach Jim West Go Too Far? 

Dumont ended up winning a unanimous decision over the California native, but some pundits, including former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, took issue with MMA Gold coach Jim West’s cornering advice.

West later apologized for actions on Saturday, however, I believe this whole ordeal became a bigger issue because it was a male coach directing a female fighter. If West had given this advice to his other students like Max Griffin or Anthony Hernandez, I don’t even think this would be a problem.

It should be noted, West gave similar advice to Ladd in her last bout against Yana Kunitskaya which lead to a third-round knockout for the 26-year-old at UFC on ESPN 7. Had Ladd won this matchup, this wouldn’t be a topic of discussion. It’s only because Ladd had an underwhelming performance and lost, that the cornering advice has been brought to the forefront. At the end of the day, every fighter is different. While Ladd didn’t come away with the victory, nobody knows a fighter better than their coach. That’s why you’ve seen fighters like Daniel Cormier and commentator Laura Sanko, back up West with his methods. I echo those statements and believe at the end of the day, the coach always has the best intentions for his fighters.

 

What’s Next For Dumont and Ladd? 

Without overlooking Dumont’s exceptional performance, I think rescheduling the Holly Holm fight makes a lot of sense. The featherweight division still appears to be alive (for now) and with PFL champion Kayla Harrison rumored to join the promotion next year, why not rebook this pivotal fight for the division. In terms of Ladd, I think it depends on what weight class she’ll compete in. It seems like 135-pounds is too much of a cut for her at this point and I’m not sure the UFC would let her compete at bantamweight going forward. Why not the loser of the upcoming featherweight bout between Felicia Spencer vs. Leah Letson fight on Nov. 13?

 

 

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