Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Aspen Ladd vs Norma Dumont



Mar 6, 2018

Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont​


Strange days for this weekend's headliner, Aspen Ladd. Less than two weeks ago, Ladd failed dangerously to make weight, drawing criticism to herself and even her team for putting her in a seemingly unsafe position to fight. But a week later, she gets the call to move up a weight class and replace former women's bantamweight champ Holly Holm. That's a lot of respect for the No. 3-ranked bantamweight. In the meantime, relative newcomer Norma Dumont goes from being a severe underdog to a minimal one.

MMA analysts Reed Kuhn and Ian Parker are here to give you their best bets for UFC Fight Night.

Prelims start at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+, and the main card begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

Odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Women's featherweight main event: Aspen Ladd (-135) vs. No. 10 Norma Dumont (+115)​

Tale Of The Tape​

Last fight weight classWomen's bantamweightWomen's featherweight
Analyzed minutes3734
Stand-up striking offense
Total knockdown ratio (scored:received)1:11:1
Distance knockdown rate2.9%1.3%
Head jab accuracy34%40%
Head power accuracy36%46%
Total stand-up strike ratio0.81.0
Striking defense
Total head strike defense66%80%
Distance knockdown defense ("Chin")98%95%
Wrestling and grappling
TD attempts per min standing/clinch0.360.36
Takedown accuracy75%40%
Advances per takedown/top control2.00.8
Opponent takedown attempts63
Takedown defense67%100%
Share of total ground time in control88%75%
Submission attempts per trip to ground0.380.00

The fact that Dumont was already preparing to face an excellent striker and is accustomed to facing larger opponents bodes reasonably well, despite the new opponent. Ladd has had strong finishing performances, but she is less tested in later rounds, let alone in Rounds 4 or 5. She has also fought at bantamweight for her entire career, and there's a reason for weight classes in MMA.

Both prefer to strike, and when these two go toe-to-toe it's Dumont who has the sharper performance stats. She has much better striking accuracy and head strike defense. And having faced larger opponents throughout her career, we might discount Ladd's power while boosting Dumont's ability to withstand it.

There's a lot of extra uncertainty in this matchup given recent events, the division switching and the minimal career data for both fighters. But if we go strictly by the math, there's a little value taking Dumont for the upset.

Kuhn's pick: Money line lean on Dumont at plus money.

Originally slated to fight Holm in the main event, Dumont now welcomes Ladd into the division. This is a very tough matchup for Ladd as her first fight in a new weight class, and the timing of this fight doesn't do her any favors. Ladd's fight on Oct. 2 against Macy Chiasson was cancelled due to Ladd missing weight. Once she stepped on the scale, Ladd was shaking and now two weeks later is being asked to jump up a weight class and fight a five-round main event. That seems like a very tough task.

If Ladd wants to show the world she is the deserving favorite in this fight, there is only one path to victory here. She needs to put Dumont on her back as early as possible and work her ground and pound. However, based on Dumont's last performance, I do not see that happening. In her last outing, Dumont's takedown defense against the relentless Felica Spencer was excellent. She was able to outstrike Spencer, control the narrative over the three-round fight and get the most impressive win of her career. If she can follow the same blueprint, I believe Dumont walks away with her third win in a row.

Parkers' pick: Dumont +115 to win

Best bets elsewhere on the card​

Julian Marquez (-230) vs. Jordan Wright (+190)

After suffering the first loss of his career (via KO in Round 2 against Joaquin Buckley), Jordan Wright bounced back in a big way with a TKO victory over Jamie Picket in May. The "Beverly Hills Ninja" is a well-rounded fighter seeking his second victory in a row as he takes on the dangerous and very durable Julian Marquez. Marquez enters this bout riding a two-fight win streak, a submission in Round 3 over Maki Pitolo and a submission win in the second half of Round 2 against Sam Alvey. Both fighters like to fight at a very intense pace and are always looking to finish the fight. However, there is only one loss via finish between the two of them. In fact, Marquez's only losses have come via decision, and all of his wins since he entered the UFC have been by finish after the start of the second round.

I think the fight starts off a little slow (despite the high finish rate from both fighters) as they feel each other out while respecting each other's power. As the fight goes on, I expect Marquez to dictate the pace and push Wright against the cage for the majority of the first round until he is able to get it to the floor. Wright has excellent takedown defense, so most of the time spent will be him defending against the cage trying to separate. Look for this fight to go over the 1½-round mark, as the action will more than likely pick up at the start of the second round, and I believe the durability of both fighters will get us there.

Parker's pick: Over 1.5 rounds ( -110 )

There's plenty of finishing potential between middleweights Marquez and Wright. Both men are dual threat finishers, but Marquez has the better performance metrics and has also faced the tougher talent. While both are striking threats, Wright has shown poor strike defense to date. And Marquez has experience with more advanced submissions.

Kuhn's pick: Money line play on Marquez, or use him in a two-way parlay.

Bruno Silva (-150) vs. Andrew Sanchez (+125)

After delivering his first KO victory in eight years, Sanchez returned to the cage against Makhmud Muradov and lost by TKO in Round 3. Sanchez, who is known more for his grappling and ground control, has gotten into a bad habit of wanting to keep fights on the feet and stand against dangerous strikers. If he plans on standing and not using his ground game against Silva, I don't see the fight lasting very long for Sanchez. Silva enters this fight riding a five-fight win streak, with all wins coming by KO or TKO. After a three-year layoff, we saw Silva struggle early in his last outing against Wellington Turman. Turman was able to take Silva to the ground and put him in a few potential fight-ending submissions. Silva was able to escape and then get the KO victory at the end of the first round. Between Sanchez's willingness to stand and engage in striking and Silva's power and precision striking, I think Silva gets it done within the distance and continues his rise as a prospect to look out for.

Parkers' pick: Silva -150 to win; Silva to win inside the distance (+140)

Ludovit Klein (-330) vs. Nate Landwehr (+260)

Klein looks to bounce back after having his eight-fight win streak snapped at the hands of TUF winner Michael Triziano. Landwehr, Klein's opponent Saturday, is a wild striker with not much to offer on the ground. He likes to brawl, the once very durable Landwehr was knocked out in his last two losses. Klein will be the better and more technical striker here, and he also has the ability to take this fight to the ground whenever he decides. Once the fight hits the floor, Landwehr will have little to no answers, and that is when Klein will take over and dominate. I do not see this fight going the full distance. Instead of taking Klein at -330 (which is way too high on a straight wager), I'm taking Klein to win inside the distance at -110.

Parkers' pick: Klein to win inside the distance -110

Ramazan Emeev (-270) vs. Danny Roberts (+220)

If you need another pairing for parlays, consider welterweight Emeev over Roberts. Emeev has advantages on the feet and on the ground and is more likely to initiate grappling, where the advantages are stronger.

Kuhn's pick: Emeev for parlays.