After the blockbuster UFC 239 last weekend, this weekend’s UFC show brings things back to the ground with a bit of a bump. Fight Night 155: De Randamie vs. Ladd will air from Sacramento, California, and it isn’t the deepest card to be honest.
Despite that, there are some clear highlights on offer here; the main event could decide Amanda Nunes’ next title challenger at 135lbs, while the return of Urijah Faber should also be interesting. With a full 13 fights scheduled for ESPN+, this one could be a bit of a marathon.
On a side note, Lightweights Beneil Dariush and Drakkar Klose were scheduled to meet on the main card; that fight has been canceled due to an injury to Dariush and as of writing, no replacement has been announced.
Here are the predicted outcomes for UFC Fight Night 155: De Randamie vs. Ladd.
#1 Germaine De Randamie vs. Aspen Ladd
Undefeated prospect Aspen Ladd was actually scheduled to fight Holly Holm back at UFC 235, but of course, Holm somehow found herself in another title fight, and so she ended up beating Sijara Eubanks in May instead.
Now, the powerful and aggressive grappler has another chance to capture a shot at Amanda Nunes’ Bantamweight title – by defeating the current #1 ranked Germaine De Randamie, the former UFC Featherweight champion.
In essence, this should be about as pure of a striker vs. grappler match as it’s possible to find in the UFC in 2019. Judging by her previous fights, Ladd’s aggression makes her a willing striker – but she’s not the most technical with it.
Her grappling, on the other hand, is fantastic, particularly once she finds herself in a dominant position on the ground. There’s a reason she’s got 5 TKOs in 8 fights from the ground.
De Randamie, on the other hand, is a classic Dutch Muay Thai style kickboxer, all long attacks from range and nastiness in the clinch, too. 8-3 doesn’t sound like a great record on paper, but she hasn’t lost a fight since 2013 and has wins over Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington on her record, and the Holm fight was of course contested on the feet. It wasn’t pretty, but GDR was largely able to pick the vaunted striker apart to take a clear decision.
On the ground though, ‘The Iron Lady’ is a huge question mark. We’ve only seen her on the mat basically once in her UFC tenure, and she was comfortably beaten by Amanda Nunes in that fight. Sure, there’s no shame in losing to Nunes, but GDR looked like a fish out of water in that outing and offered nothing from her back in defense.
Essentially then, I feel that if Ladd can get this fight to the ground, she should win comfortably. She’s clearly an elite-level grappler as we saw in the way she destroyed veteran Tonya Evinger and dealt with BJJ black belt Eubanks on the mat, and her takedowns are pretty good too.
The problem for her in this fight though is that she gains a lot of her takedowns from the clinch, which is one of GDR’s strongest areas.
The Pennington fight last November, for instance, was fought primarily from the clinch, and despite her best efforts ‘Rocky’ never came close to taking GDR down, and ate tons of punishment from close range, largely knee strikes to the legs and body.
A similar thing happened to Ladd when she faced a similar – but inferior – fighter to GDR in Lina Lansberg in 2017, although she did manage to get Lansberg down and eventually TKO her.
Could Ladd simply spam double legs from the outside, Demian Maia-style, in the hope that if she can get GDR to the ground it’s almost a guaranteed win?
I guess so, but it’s not something we’ve really seen from her before and that worries me a little. With that said, GDR hasn’t really shown one-hit KO power which means that Ladd should be able to survive to close the distance even if she gets sloppy and eats some counters.
This is a super-hard fight to pick, but I’m going to take a risk and take Ladd; I feel like she’s a better athlete than Pennington and should be able to land at least one takedown over five rounds.
And while GDR might’ve improved on the ground since that Nunes fight – we don’t really know, though – I’m not sure she can have improved enough to survive a beast like Ladd once she gets top position.
The Pick: Ladd via third round TKO