Skip to main content
Aspen Ladd celebrates her TKO victory over Yana Kunitskaya of Russia in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Capital One Arena on December 07, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Fight Coverage

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Ladd vs Dumont


Saturday night’s main event came together last week, as Aspen Ladd steps up to replace the injured Holly Holm in a featherweight showdown with intriguing Brazilian Norma Dumont.

A contender in the bantamweight division who has been sidelined since the tail end of 2019 after suffering a knee injury last year and having a couple fights fall apart, Ladd was poised to return a couple weeks back, but was pulled from her bout with Macy Chiasson after missing weight.

The 26-year-old is an undeniable talent with a number of questions hovering around her future at the moment, and this feels like an opportunity to make an instant impression in a division and get her career moving in a positive direction again.

The 31-year-old Dumont had similar scale issues in her lone attempt to compete in the 135-pound weight class, missing the mark before registering a unanimous decision victory over Ashlee Evans-Smith in her second UFC appearance. She returned to featherweight in May, collecting a split decision win over former title challenger Felicia Spencer to put herself within arm’s reach of her own championship opportunity.

The initial pairing felt like a title eliminator, and despite the change atop the marquee, the new combination could still very well carry those kinds of stakes. Ladd has been earmarked for contention since arriving in the UFC as an unbeaten prospect and Dumont established herself as such by toppling Spencer, the division’s resident tenacious truth machine, and if either of them is able to turn in a dominant effort on Saturday, they could put themselves on Amanda Nunes’ radar.


Speaking of truth machines, Andrei Arlovski returns to serve as the requisite step up in competition for streaking Brazilian Carlos Felipe in this weekend’s penultimate pairing.

The 42-year-old Arlovski remains a staple in the UFC heavyweight division, currently residing outside the Top 15, but remaining a savvy, skilled litmus test for ascendant hopefuls like Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Tanner Boser, and Tom Aspinall. After going 3-6 with one no contest over a 10-fight stretch between 2017 and 2019, inclusive, the former champion has gone 3-1 over his last four fights, posting decision victories over Philipe Lins, Boser, and most recently Chase Sherman, while falling only to Aspinall.

Felipe served a two-year suspension before ever stepping into the Octagon, and returned from a full three-year absence with a loss to Serghei Spivak in his promotional debut. Since then, the Brazilian heavyweight has registered three straight decision victories, narrowly out-working Yorgan de Castro, Justin Tafa, and Jake Collier while showcasing solid striking and a ton of Diaz Brothers-inspired swagger.

The setup and ramifications of this one are obvious: if Felipe wants to make a move in the heavyweight division, he needs to secure a victory, and if he does not, he — like Boser and Sherman before him, and several others back in the day — will have to press pause on his upwards ambitions, while Arlovski will once again show he’s not the old head you want to test if you’re not quite ready to compete with the big boys.


Bonus Résumé: Jim Miller
Bonus Résumé: Jim Miller

It’s the man with the most appearances in UFC history against a promotional newcomer in the rugged lightweight division, as Jim Miller welcomes Erick “Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez to the Octagon.

This is Jim Miller’s 50th professional fight, the last 37 of which have come under the UFC banner, which is an incredible sentence to write. The New Jersey native has been a permanent presence in the 155-pound weight class for more than 4,700 days — a dozen years less a couple days — facing damn-near everyone that passed through the division at one point or another. While he’s not a contender at the moment, he’s still a game, respected veteran and a handful for hopefuls and fellow veterans alike.

The 29-year-old Gonzalez steps in having earned a pair of victories already this year and four wins in his last five fights. His two most recent losses came against UFC vets Rafa Garcia and Humberto Bandenay, with each fight going the distance towards the tail end of his hyper-active, six-fight 2019 campaign.

Will the frisky veteran get back into the win column in his 38th promotional appearance or can Gonzalez waltz in and secure his first victory by toppling one of the eight fighters in promotional history to earn 20 or more wins inside the Octagon?


Middleweights Andrew Sanchez and Bruno Silva meet in this main card pairing where the former looks to get back into the win column, while the latter aims to collect a second straight UFC victory.

Since winning the light heavyweight competition on Season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter, Sanchez has gone 4-4 inside the Octagon, never winning or losing more than two straight, while frequently engaging in competitive, entertaining scraps. Last time out, “El Dirte” battled Makhmud Muradov at UFC 257 on Fight Island, pushing “Mach” for more than a dozen minutes before getting clipped and finished a tick before the three-minute mark of the third round.

REWIND: Dern vs Rodriguez Final Results | Performance Bonuses 

Silva ended a two-and-a-half-year absence in June, making his promotional debut opposite fellow Brazilian Wellington Turman. After a sluggish start, “Blindado” rallied in the second half of the opening round, putting away Turman with ferocious ground-and-pound late in the frame to extend his stretched out winning streak to five.

Sanchez has started to let his hands go and mix things up on the feet a lot more lately, but he might want to get back to his grappling roots here, as Silva is a power hitter with five straight finishes and nine stoppage victories in his last 11 wins. Whomever dictates the terms of engagement is likely to get their hand raised, and watching that chess match play out on Saturday night is going to be thoroughly entertaining.


Manon Fiorot training for UFC 266
Manon Fiorot (Photo by Juan Cardenas/Zuffa LLC)

One of the top newcomers thus far in 2021, Manon Fiorot looks for her third straight UFC victory as she takes a step up in competition, facing off with Brazilian Mayra Bueno Silva on Saturday night’s main card.

Fighting out of Nice, France, “The Beast” has won seven straight after losing her professional debut, including back-to-back contests inside the UFC Octagon. In each of those instances, Fiorot ended things without her opponent hitting the canvas, pouring on the offense to the point that the referee had no choice but to step in and stop things.

Four fights into her UFC journey, Silva has amassed a 2-1-1 record with submission wins over Gillian Robertson and Mara Romero Borella. Last time out, she battled to a draw with Montana De La Rosa, pushing her overall record to 7-1-1 through her first nine appearances.

Fiorot has been a marauder thus far, constantly moving forward, throwing volume, dictating the terms of engagement, and simply overwhelming her opposition, so it will be interesting to see if a more experienced, more well-rounded opponent like Silva can counter that pressure, make Fiorot move backwards, and put a halt to the French talent’s ascent in the flyweight division.


Julian Marquez Finishes Sam Alvey Via Submission | UFC Fight Night: Vettori Vs Holland
Julian Marquez Finishes Sam Alvey Via Submission | UFC Fight Night: Vettori Vs Holland

Middleweights angling to take another step forward in the 185-pound ranks square up on Saturday night when Julian Marquez shares the Octagon with Jordan Wright.

A frontrunner for “Comeback Fighter of the Year,” Marquez missed more than two full years of competition after suffering a torn latissimus dorsi, but has earned a pair of submission victories already this year to begin working his way back up the divisional ladder. The Glory MMA & Fitness representative is 3-1 inside the Octagon and earned finishes in each of his nine career wins, showing a combination of power, skill, grit, and tenacity that makes him an intriguing name to track going forward.

Through the first 14 fights of his professional career, the 30-year-old Wright has still yet to see the third round, earning all but one of his dozen victories in the opening five minutes. He rebounded from the first loss of his career by running through Jamie Pickett in 64 seconds in May and can make a major statement by adding a victory over Marquez this weekend.

Middleweight is one of those divisions where a couple quality wins puts you on the fringes of the Top 15, and from there, a couple more wins means you’re in the mix, so this is a pivotal matchup for each of these hopefuls if they want to head into 2022 in range of breaking into the rankings.


It’s a battle of experienced welterweights as Danny Roberts squares off with Ramazan Emeev on Saturday night.

A couple of postponements means that this is Roberts’ first appearance since registering a second-round knockout win over Zelim Imadaev in Moscow in November 2019. The 34-year-old British southpaw has struggled to find consistency in the Octagon, entering with a 6-4 mark through 10 starts after arriving in the UFC with an 11-1 record, but aims to build on his most recent success with a similar effort against Emeev this weekend in Las Vegas.

The 34-year-old from Dagestan has quietly built a 5-1 record under the UFC banner, but he’s failed to make real headway in the division as a result of competing roughly once every eight or nine months since debuting with the promotion four years ago. A powerful top position wrestler with an impressive 20-4 record, Emeev will be looking to close the distance, gather up Roberts, and grind him into oblivion on Saturday evening.

Can “Hot Chocolate” work a stick-and-move approach and out-hustle Emeev on the feet or will “Gorets” get the job done again and collect his third straight victory?


Loopy Godinez Locks In First-Round Arm Bar | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez
Loopy Godinez Locks In First-Round Arm Bar | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez

A week after securing her first UFC win, Loopy Goodinez is back in action as she fills in for Sijara Eubanks against Luana Carolina. Taking a fight on short-notice is nothing new for Goodinez, who made her UFC debut at flyweight against Jessica Penne. Goodinez's home is strawweight, but the 28-year-old has never been afraid of taking risks. That's why just a week (yeah, that's not a typo) after her first-round armbar submission win that earned her a POTN bonus at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez, she's back and ready to pursue her second victory in the Octagon.

Carolina enters off a split decision win over Poliana Botelho in May where she missed weight. Before that, “Dread” was on the wrong end of one of last year’s most memorable submissions, when Ariane Lipski torqued her leg into a funky position with a mounted kneebar on Fight Island. Tall and rangy for the division, this is a tremendous opportunity for the Brazilian to gather some real momentum heading into next year.

A statement victory on either side could elevate the victor to the fringes of the Top 15, if not earn them a place in the rankings, so expect both to come in sharp, focused, and ready to dominate on Saturday night.


This featherweight pairing has Fight of the Night contender written all over it as all-action wild man Nate Landwehr steps in opposite “Mr. Highlight,” Ludovit Klein in this exciting preliminary card clash.

Each of Landwehr’s first three appearances inside the Octagon have been exciting and memorable, with “Nate the Train” sandwiching a rugged, unanimous decision win over Darren Elkins between first-round stoppage losses to Herbert Burns and Julian Erosa. The Tennessee native has one gear — forward — and a genuine love for wading into the fray, so you know he’ll be looking to push the pace and put on a show when he steps into the cage this weekend.

Klein debuted in the UFC with a first-round knockout win over Shane Young on short-notice in the fall of 2020, missing weight by a considerable margin. He was on the mark on the scales in his sophomore appearance but landed on the wrong side of the scorecards in a debated decision loss to Mike Trizano in May. Now 17-3 overall, the proud Slovakian remains a bit of an unknown in the 145-pound weight class at the moment and will look to show where he fits in this matchup with Landwehr on Saturday.

Each man has a general distain for going the distance and a desire to be the aggressor, so it’s a good bet that this one starts quick and keeps running hot for as long as it lasts.


Danaa Batgerel of Mongolia punches Kevin Natividad of United States during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
Danaa Batgerel of Mongolia punches Kevin Natividad of United States during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)

Mongolian bantamweight Danaa Batgerel goes searching for his third straight stoppage win as he welcomes Brandon Davis back to the UFC this weekend in Las Vegas.

After landing on the wrong side of the scorecards in his promotional debut a little over two years ago in Shenzhen, China, the 32-year-old Batgerel has posted back-to-back blistering finishes, knocking out Guido Cannetti last year at UFC 248 and following it up with a 50-second finish of Kevin Natividad at UFC 261 in April. Training out of the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, “Storm” has the look of a late bloomer with dangerous power in the ultra-competitive bantamweight divisions.

Davis went 2-5 in his first stint on the UFC roster after earning a contract on the first season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He fought a tough slate and went the distance in all but one of his losses and has since earned a quartet of victories since returning to the regional circuit to earn this second chance to compete on the big stage.

Will Batgerel keep mowing down the competition or can Davis maintain the success he had outside the Octagon when he steps back into the UFC cage on Saturday?


The action gets underway in the strawweight division this weekend as Istela Nunes finally makes her first trip into the Octagon for a date opposite fellow Brazilian Ariane Carnelossi.

An intriguing prospect with a 7-1 record when she was first signed to the UFC roster, Nunes is slated to compete for the first time since July 2018 on Saturday night after accepting a two-year suspension before ever setting foot inside the Octagon. A Muay Thai stylist who has trained at American Top Team, Nunes is a compact dynamo looking to make an instant splash in her long overdue debut this weekend.

Carnelossi actually made her own UFC debut by subbing in for Nunes opposite Angela Hill two years ago in Mexico City, landing on the wrong side of a third-round stoppage loss. She looked much improved and quite formidable in her sophomore showing in May of this year, running through Na Liang to secure a second-round finish via ground-and-pound.

This should be a high-octane affair to get the night started and a big effort from either woman will set them up for a step up in competition next time out.