UFC on ESPN+ 53: Ladd vs. Dumont Preview

The women’s featherweight class is currently the smallest in size on the UFC roster. This, of course, means that it has the shortest climb to a title shot.

On Saturday night, Norma Dumont and Aspen Ladd will fight at 145-pounds, headlining a “Fight Night” card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Not only would winning give either fighter their first UFC main event victory, but it could set them up for a bout against current champ Amanda Nunes in the future.

Here’s a preview of that fight, plus all 10 bouts expected to happen on Saturday night.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (4:30PM EDT / 1:30PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Ariane Carnelossi (13-2) vs. Istela Nunes (7-1) (Strawweight)

Istela Nunes will get her long-delayed UFC debut in the opening bout of the evening, facing Ariane Carnelossi at strawweight.

Nunes first signed with the UFC in 2019, joining the roster after a three-fight run in ONE Championship. Her stint in the promotion was delayed from the start, as she was handed a two-year suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency before her first fight.

Nunes was scheduled to have her UFC debut that year against Angela Lee. In a weird coincidence, Carnelossi was the fighter who filled in for Nunes in that fight, losing via doctor stoppage in the third round.

Carnelossi made her return recently, stopping Liang Na in the second round of a bout in April for her first promotional win.

Bout 2: Brandon Davis (14-8) vs. Danaa Batgerel (9-2) (Bantamweight)

Brandon Davis will get a second shot at the UFC on Saturday. Returning to the promotion, he will meet Danaa Batgerel in a bantamweight fight on the prelims.

Davis had his first UFC stint from 2018 to 2019, joining the promotion after a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He departed after scoring two wins through seven fights.

Davis is now rejoining the promotion after picking up four consecutive wins on the regional scene.

He has a tough test in Batgerel, who has scored two consecutive wins. His last victory came in just 50 seconds, stopping Kevin Natividad in April.

Bout 3: Loopy Godinez (6-1) vs. Luana Carolina (7-2) (Flyweight)

Loopy Godinez could break a UFC this weekend, stepping in on short notice to face Luana Carolina.

It was reported just a few days back that Godinez would replace Sijara Eubanks, the original opponent for Carolina. This fight is coming only a week after Godinez’s last win, which was a submission victory over Silvana Gomez Juarez on October 9th.

If Godinez can win this weekend, she will have the shortest gap between two wins in UFC’s non-tournament history. The record is currently held by Khamzat Chimaev, who scored two wins within a 10-day window last year.

Carolina is coming off a split decision win she earned over Poliana Botelho in May.

Bout 4: Danny Roberts (17-5) vs. Ramazan Emeev (20-4) (Welterweight)

Danny Roberts will make his return when facing Ramazan Emeev on Saturday’s card.

Roberts has been on the UFC roster since 2015, although he has been inactive from competition since November 2019, when he snapped a two-fight losing streak with a stoppage win against Zelim Imadaev.

Emeev has scored two wins in that period of time, defeating Niklas Stolze last year and David Zawada in early 2021.

Bout 5: Andrew Sanchez (12-6) vs. Bruno Silva (20-6) (Middleweight)

Riding the momentum of a successful UFC debut earlier this year, Bruno Silva will face Andrew Sanchez in the final prelim of the evening.

Silva had a successful UFC debut in June, finishing Wellington Turman in the first round with strikes. The victory continued a five-fight streak of finish wins that he had earned on the regional scene.

Sanchez is fighting to get back into the win column after getting stopped by Makhmud Muradov in January.

Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 6: Ludovit Klein (17-3) vs. Nate Landwehr (14-4) (Featherweight)

Featherweights Ludovit Klein and Nate Landwehr will kick off the main card.

Both competitors are fighting to get back to their winning ways.

Landwehr was on the receiving end of a quick finish earlier this year, getting stopped within a minute by a flying knee from Julian Erosa in February. Landwehr’s UFC record is currently one win and two losses.

Klein took his first promotional loss in May, getting beat via unanimous decision to the returning Mike Trizano. He had a strong eight-fight winning streak before then that included one UFC victory.

Bout 7: Manon Fiorot (7-1) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (7-1-1) (Flyweight)

Manon Fiorot’s undefeated UFC run will be tested on Saturday when she faces Mayra Bueno Silva at flyweight. This matchup was first set to happen last month, although it was postponed due to COVID-19 protocol.

Fiorot, a former UAE Warriors Flyweight Champion, joined the UFC roster in January. She has scored two finish wins since then, defeating Victoria Leonardo and Tabatha Ricci.

Bueno Silva has fought once this year, going to a majority decision against Montana De La Rosa in February. Before then, she scored a win and a loss in her rookie year with the promotion.

Bout 8: Jim Miller (32-16) vs. Erick Gonzalez (14-5) (Lightweight)

Jim Miller will break set a UFC record when facing promotional newcomer Erick Gonzalez.

Miller has fought 37 times in the UFC. That number ties him with Donald Cerrone for most fights in the promotion’s history. Once Saturday’s fight begins, Miller will become the sole recorder holder.

Miller was first set to break the record last month when facing Nikolas Motta, although that fight was later scrapped due to COVID-19 protocol.

The UFC veteran will be attempting to snap a two-fight losing streak, having lost his last two fights to Vinc Pichel and Joe Solecki.

Gonzalez, a former Combate Global (previously known as Combate Americas) fighter, is joining the UFC after scoring two wins on the regional scene earlier this year.

Bout 9: Andrei Arlovski (31-20) vs. Carlos Felipe (11-1) (Heavyweight)

Rising heavyweight Carlos Felipe will face experienced vet Andrei Arlovski on Saturday’s co-main event.

After suffering a setback in his UFC debut, Felipe has been nothing but successful. He has fought three times since losing his debut, picking up a scorecard win over Yorgan De Castro, Justin Tafa, and most recently, Jake Collier.

Arlovski is a huge step-up for Felipe due to his amount of experience at such a high level of competition.

Arlovski’s pro career of over two decades has come almost exclusively at a high level. Now in his second UFC stint, Arlovski has been on the roster since 2014. He has won three of his last five, including a decision win over Chase Sherman in April.

Bout 10: Norma Dumont (6-1) vs. Aspen Ladd (9-1) (Featherweight)

UFC’s rarely showcased women’s featherweight division will finish Saturday night’s card. In a testament to how small the division is, the main event this week is only UFC’s third time holding a fight at the weight class for women this year.

Dumont will be getting her first UFC main event appearance in the bout. She lost her promotional debut at featherweight in early 2020, getting stopped by Megan Anderson.

She attempted a drop to bantamweight later that year with a fight against Ashlee Evans-Smith. While Dumont won in the fight, a weight miss of three-and-a-half pounds clouded the victory.

Dumont returned to the featherweight class in May, defeating Felicia Spencer via split decision. She was originally set to face former UFC Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm this weekend but was given a new opponent after Holm withdrew.

Ladd’s appearance on this weekend’s card ends a long break she has had from the cage. Many different circumstances in 2021 and 2020 have caused Ladd to be sidelined for two years, and have caused four separate bookings to fall through. Most recently, her fight against Macy Chiasson at bantamweight just earlier this month was scrapped after she missed weight twice.

Ladd’s last win was in late 2019, defeating Yana Kunitskaya.

A win on Saturday would be redemption for Ladd, as her sole UFC main event fight was a 16-second loss to Germain de Randamie two years back.

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