Aspen Ladd and her team filed an appeal to the California State Athletic Commission, claiming that an early stoppage by referee Herb Dean cost her the fight against Germaine de Randamie at UFC on ESPN+ 13.
Last week, her appeal got denied by a vote of 3-2, upholding de Randamie’s win as a valid one. Not only did CSAC vote in Dean’s favor, but Bellator analyst John McCarthy is also in agreement with the judgment. In a Q&A interview on Monday, McCarthy said with conviction that Herb Dean made the right decision by stopping the fight when he did.
MMA Junkie reported on the matter.
McCarthy backs up Herb Dean
Ladd was hit with two back to back right-hand strikes from de Randamie 16 seconds into the fight. The weight of the shot made Ladd spin around and drop down on all fours immediately, after which referee Dean intervened and stopped the fight, resulting in Ladd’s TKO loss.
Ladd later contested the stoppage and also accused Dean of gender discrimination, saying that he would not have gone for the stoppage if it was a male fighter in the same situation. While defending his case to CSAC, Dean said with emphasis that he does not discriminate against women.
McCarthy agreed with Dean and being a former referee, also shared his own experience regarding gender discrimination within the Octagon.
“I used to have people all the time ask me, ‘How do you referee women different than men?’ You don’t. It’s exactly the same. What about the groin? Women have a groin. It may not be the same, but it’s the same rule, and if a woman gets hit in the groin, stop, time, you get your time.”
McCarthy went on to agree that the stoppage was indeed an early one. But in hindsight, it saved Ladd from getting a worse beating and jeopardizing the next few months of her career. He drew a parallel between this fight and the one between Mike Davis and Thomas Gifford earlier this month, which had a controversial late stoppage by the referee. It fired up conversations on whether the extra few blows would cause harm to Gifford’s career in the future.
Contrary to that, McCarthy believes Dean actually did Ladd a favor with the early stoppage that she is not appreciating now. But it would help her come back to the cage much quicker and without any serious injury.
“So Aspen Ladd, in that fight, yes she could have taken one more. I’m telling you right now: She was done. She was not going to make it out of that. Herb actually saved her. I’m not saying it was the best; it was a little early, but he actually saved her from a beating, and she’s going to be able to come back, and she’s going to do just fine because he didn’t let that happen to her. I know it’s frustrating to her. She can’t see the future, but a lot of times the referee, I swear to God, you can see the future, and Herb, it was the right call. I thought it was early too.”
However, it seems like Aspen Ladd has finally moved on from her previous loss. Next up, she has a fight against Yana Kunitskaya at UFC on ESPN 7 in Washington D.C. on December 7.