UFC Vegas 40 Main Card Predictions

Though last week’s card was a bit lacking in terms of name value, it delivered with a number of highlight reel performances and finishes, all capped off by Marina Rodriguez’s unanimous decision win over Mackenzie Dern.

This week, we have a caed similarly missing some big names, especially after Holly Holm fell out of the main event. However, we have some fun scraps to look forward to, as well as a rising prospect in Manon Fiorot.

Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont (FTW)

Image result for aspen ladd ufc

The surging Aspen Ladd (9-1, 4-1 UFC) will look to secure the next title shot in the Bantamweight here with another win. Ladd is coming off a TKO victory of Yana Kunitskaya after a slightly questionable stoppage at the hands GDR, which served as the first defeat of her career. Ladd’s aim of the game is to use her wrestling, secure position, and unleash an onslaught of ground and pound. Ladd’s top game is unparalleled and she can dish out an otherworldly amount of damage once she is on top of her opponent. On the feet, she is not lost, but certainly prefers to get the match to the ground and go to work. She has shown significant improvement in that regard, knocking down and finishing Kunitskaya in her last fight as previously mentioned. This will be her first fight since December 2019, and she has suffered four fight cancellations due to an ACL tear and numerous weight misses. She is stepping up a weight division as a replacement for Holly Holm, after a bad weight miss two weeks ago at UFC Vegas 38 that scratched her scheduled contest with Macy Chiasson.

Norma Dumont: 'I must do a good job' so the UFC doesn't kill featherweight  division - MMA Fighting

Four straight wins brought Norma Dumont (6-1, 2-1 UFC) to the UFC, but she received a rude welcome in the form of a Megan Anderson KO. A drop to Bantamweight proved more fruitful, as she defeated Ashlee Evans-Smith by decision despite missing weight. Though she was booked to fight Erin Blanchfield on April 10th, the bout was scrapped after Dumont missed weight by an atrocious four pounds. “The Immortal” actually has a genuinely threatening skillset and a Sanda background, despite being absolutely bulldozed by Anderson. She has a high striking rate with serious power, but keeps an astounding 72% takedown defense. She is no slouch on the mat either, with 2.43 takedowns averaged per 15 minutes in the UFC and two submission wins in her career. The most worrisome aspect of Dumont’s game is that she leaves her head on the center line when throwing combos, leaving her wide open for a heavy counter. She came up big as an underdog in her last contest, winning a unanimous decision over former title challenger Felicia Spencer.

There are a few intangibles in this bout, as we don’t know how Ladd will look up a weight class. In addition to this, Dumont has not seemed particularly consistent to me, being horrifically finished by Anderson then having a decent performance opposite the veteran Evans-Smith. She really impressed me in her last fight, however, particularly when it came to her takedown defense. That may be the tell in this fight, as Ladd often relies on her wrestling to get her offense going. Dumont holds a clear edge on the feet with a much higher strike differential, along with a size advantage Ladd will not be used to. While I am a huge fan of fighters stepping up in weight and not killing themselves to have a size advantage, think Dumont has all the advantages on her side. With the takedown defense and size to keep the fight on the feet, as well as a considerable striking advantage, I expect her to pick Ladd apart on the feet and score substantial ground control for a clear decision win.

My Pick: Norma Dumont via Decision

Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe (HW)

My Pick: Carlos Felipe via Decision

Jim Miller vs. Erick Gonzalez (LW)

My Pick: Jim Miller via Submission

Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (FLW)

My Pick: Manon Fiorot via Decision

Julian Marquez vs. Jordan Wright (MW)

My Pick: Jordan Wright via Submission

This card has an early start time, with the main card getting going at 7 PM EST, and the prelims correspondingly kicking off at 4 PM.

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