UFC Vegas 40 is set to go down later today (Sat., Oct. 16, 2021) live from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, streaming live online exclusively via ESPN+. Headlining the event will be a women’s Featherweight fight between Aspen Ladd and Norma Dumont. In the co-headlining act, Andrei Arlovski battles Carlos Felipe in a Heavyweight tussle.
Ladd was forced out of her fight against Macy Chiasson after she failed to make weight in what truly was a disturbing scene at the scale (relive it here). A few weeks later, though, Ladd was tasked to be Holly Holm’s late replacement in a main event fight. Thankfully for Ladd, the bout will be contested at 145 pounds so she didn’t have to kill herself once again to try to make the 135-pound limit. As a result of her scale fail, Ladd has reignited her feud with former division champion Miesha Tate. While that is a fight we would love to see down the line, there is no telling if Ladd will ever go back to Bantamweight after missing weight a couple of times.
For now, Ladd will focus on the task at hand because Dumont is a formidable foe who is looking to make the most of her opportunity. Dumont is 6-1 in her young professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, including going 2-1 inside the Octagon. She is coming off a close split decision win over former title contender Felicia Spencer and is looking to build off that momentum to
climb the rankings possibly earn a title shot against the winner of the upcoming fight between division champion Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena. For Ladd, getting a win over Dumont will give her two wins in a row and possibly set her up for a fight against Holm, whom she was supposed to tussle with a few years ago.
Arlovksi is seemingly on the last leg of his MMA career. With that in mind, I would have preferred to see the promotion book him against a fellow veteran with similar experience and name value. “Pitbull” has been a staple in the sport for years and facing someone like Carlos Felipe — no disrespect — just doesn’t do much for me. Felipe is just four fights into his UFC career and is 3-1 in the span. Perhaps the promotion is trying to use Arlovski’s name to build Felipe, but someone like Alexey Oleinik would have been more appropriate. Arlovski is 3-1 in his last four, so it’s not like he’s struggling. Sure he doesn’t need to be getting the top guns in the division, but he shouldn’t be given a man with just four fights inside the Octagon, either.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
The original main event was supposed to feature a women’s Bantamweight fight between Miesha Tate and Ketlen Vieira. But, after “Cupcake” tested positive for COVID-19, the fight was scrapped. A 145-pound fight between Holly Holm and Dumont was then pegged as the new headliner, but that was trashed after “The Preacher’s Daughter” suffered an injury. Ladd was tasked to be her last-minute replacement.
A fight between Kennedy Nzechukwu and Da Un Jung was scheduled to go down at this event as well, but it was ultimately yanked and rescheduled to go down at the upcoming Fight Night event on Nov. 13 headlined by Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez.
Other than Holm’s knee injury, Timur Valiev was also stricken by the injury bug and was forced out of fight against Daniel Santos. Santos was then forced out of his reshuffled fight against Marcelo Rojo for undisclosed reasons.
Also, while not an injury, the always-entertaining Julian Marquez was looking to earn his third straight against Jordan Wright, but “The Cuban Missile Crisis” was forced out of the fight after he was deemed medically unfit to compete.
Erick Gonzalez got the call up to make his UFC debut against long-time veteran Jim Miller. Gonzalez is currently on a two-fight win streak and spent the majority of his professional MMA career fighting under the Combate Americas banner where he racked up an 8-4 record. “Ghost Pepper” is very experienced, but there likely won’t be much he can show Miller to catch him off guard. After all, Miller has been fighting for UFC for 13 years now and has a total of 48 professional fights under his belt. While Miller may have lost a step or two, it would still be a huge feather in Gonzalez’s cap if he can get a win.
Istela Nunes will make her UFC debut against Ariana Carnelossi after fighting in multiple organizations throughout her MMA career, including ONE Championship. She only has seven fights under her belt, though she has been fighting for six years now. As for Carnelossi, she threw up a dud in her UFC debut against Angela Hill but bounced back nicely with a win over Na Liang at UFC 261.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Dana Betgerel is looking to extend his win streak to three — all under the UFC banner — as he gets set to battle Brandon Davis, who will be making his return to the Octagon after a two-year hiatus. During that span, Davis racked up four straight wins to earn another shot on the biggest combat stage in the world.
Sijara Eubanks — who was once considered a UFC title contender — was to face Luana Carolina before she was pulled from the fight due to COVID-19 protocols. As a result, Lupita Godinez stepped in to take the fight on a week’s notice. What makes Godinez’s willingness to step up on short notice even better is the fact that she competed just seven days ago, defeating Silvana Gomez Juarez at UFC Vegas 39. As a result, she now has the shortest time gap in between fights, breaking Khamzat Chimaev’s record of 10 days.
Ramazan Emeev and Danny Roberts are set to duke it out in the center of the cage in a fight that has slugfest written all over it. Emeev is on a two-fight win streak while Roberts recently got back on track by defeating Zelim Imadaev.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
UFC’s iron man Jim Miller has seen better days inside the Octagon throughout his 13-year run with the promotion. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak, dropping back-to-back fights to Vinc Pichel and Joe Solecki. Up next for the long-time veteran is a fight against Gonzalez, who will be making his UFC debut as we discussed earlier. If Miller loses his third in a row, there is no telling if UFC matchmakers will be willing to keep him around much longer.
Interest Level: 3/10
The card is severely lacking, but that can be attributed to the multiple injuries that ravaged it. Still, it doesn’t help UFC that Bellator 268 will be going down later tonight, meaning some views might be down a bit for UFC.
In further main card action, Manon Fiorot goes for consecutive win number eight when she battles Mayra Bueno Silva in women’s Flyweight action. Silva is coming off a draw to Montana De La Rosa, while Fiorot picked up her second straight win against Tabatha Ricci in her previous outing.
Hard-hitting Middleweight up-and-comers Andrew Sanchez and Bruno Silva will collide in a fight that has a high chance of ending in a knockout. In fact, Silva’s last five wins have ended in such fashion, four of them in the very first round.
Also, Nate Landwehr hopes to earn a trip back to the winner’s circle after he suffered a devastating knockout loss (flying knee) in his last outing against Julian Erosa (see it again here). He will be facing Ludovit Klein, who suffered his first loss in four years in his previous bout against Michael Trizano. Prior to that setback, Ludovit was on an eight-fight win streak.
Enjoy the fights!
UFC Vegas 40 Main Event On ESPN+:
145 lbs.: Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont
UFC Vegas 40 Main Card On ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe
155 lbs.: Erick Gonzalez vs. Jim Miller
125 lbs.: Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
185 lbs.: Julian Marquez vs. Jordan WrightCANCELED (full details here)
145 lbs.: Ludovit Klein vs. Nate Landwehr
UFC Vegas 40 Prelims Card On ESPN+ (4:30 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Andrew Sanchez vs. Bruno Silva
170 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev vs. Danny Roberts
125 lbs.: Luana Carolina vs. Lupita Godinez
135 lbs.: Danaa Batgerel vs. Brandon Davis
115 lbs.: Ariane Carnelossi vs. Istela Nunes
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change due to COVID-19.*