UFC Vegas 40’s main event between Norma Dumont and Aspen Ladd didn’t look very good on paper, and ended up looking even worse in reality. It was a five round snoozer of a decision win for Dumont that largely saw her hit the same combination on Ladd across five rounds, while Ladd struggled to get any striking or grappling game going at all (see the highlights here).
That led to her coach / boyfriend Jim West throwing what most watching agreed was pretty harsh criticism at his fighter / girlfriend.
“You’re down 3-0,” he told Ladd leading into round four. “Please tell me what you’re doing. You have to throw more than one punch! Fight to win, you have to finish.”
Now, West has taken to social media to own up for his cornering, which was big on badgering, but light on technical advice.
“Tonight was not our night,” he wrote on Instagram. “It’s been our night many many times at the highest level but not tonight. I blame myself. Though it may not be my fault. it’s not up for debate. I take all the blame.”
“Yes, after the first couple rounds I may have been a little harsh, but I know Aspen and at that time technical conversation was not in the cards being down three rounds. Nonetheless, I own it and I am sorry Aspen Ladd from the bottom of my heart I will continue to be better each time.”
What’s somewhat ironic about this situation is West was praised for his cornerwork in Aspen’s last win against Yana Kunitskaya:
Ladd went out after that pep talk and finished Kunitskaya 33 seconds into the third round.
Fellow women’s MMA fighter Miesha Tate was one of Ladd’s harshest critics after she missed weight for UFC Vegas 39, but seemed more protective of her after seeing West’s cornering.
This is ABUSE, what a douche— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) October 17, 2021
Glad I’m not the only one to see it https://t.co/BKtB5mNL6B— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) October 17, 2021
She woulda done that without him it’s who she is. He will take credit for her win but never for her loss. Trust me she can only take so much of this abuse before it breaks her spirit. https://t.co/hDx7g9aDoU— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) October 17, 2021
You’re joking me right? Maybe the only reason she’s even starting slow is because of him. She is a FIGHTER and there’s only one thing holding her back. https://t.co/GKnpaIP7HU— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) October 17, 2021
As for Ladd, she didn’t mention the cornering controversy after the fight, instead seeming to pin the poor performance on a two-year gap between fights.
“Not my night,” she wrote on Instagram. “Congrats to my opponent. We will be back better. In the mean time I finally got to get back in there after nearly 2 years. Now it’s time to take a step back, take a breath, and get back to fighting and feeling like myself again. On to the next.”
For complete UFC Vegas 40 results and coverage click here.