- Two of the top four ranked women’s bantamweight competitors meet in the main event of UFC Fight Night 155 fight card on Saturday, July 13th
- Can Germaine de Randamie or Aspen Ladd secure a shot against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes?
- Will De Randamie’s height and reach advantages thwart Ladd’s high offensive output?
The UFC returns to California’s capital city for the first time in nearly three years for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 155 fight card. In the headlining bout of the event, which takes place at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center and streams on ESPN+, former UFC women’s featherweight titleholder Germaine de Randamie faces the up-and-coming Aspen Ladd. The UFC is billing the bantamweight contest as a title eliminator.
Germaine de Randamie vs Aspen Ladd Odds
|Germaine de Randamie||+145|
*Odds taken 07/09/19
De Randamie vs Ladd Recent Fights
De Randamie has not been very busy over the past two-and-a-half years. She won the inaugural women’s featherweight title with a decision over Holly Holm in February 2017 and then defeated former women’s bantamweight title challenger Raquel Pennington in November of last year. That fight also went to the scorecards.
As for Ladd, she’s fought four times since January 2017, racking up wins against Sijara Eubanks in both Invicta FC and the UFC. She also defeated Lina Lansberg and ex-Invicta FC bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger under the UFC banner. Ladd won fight-night bonus awards for her two most recent victories.
De Randamie vs Ladd Skill Sets
De Randamie was a champion kickboxer before making the full-time transition to MMA. That experience shows in her fighting style. She has good power, good control of distance, and with her background in muay Thai, she’s not someone to trifle with in the clinch, where she can land heavy knees to the body and control her opponent’s body position via the Thai plum. The ex-champ’s advantages in the striking department and her reach should allow her to work her jab effectively and if Ladd does rush in, de Randamie could very well catch her with a counter punch or elbow.
There are concerns about Ladd, concerns she addressed after her May win over Eubanks. “It was a fistfight/brawl, and that was partially my fault,” she admitted. “I should’ve listened to my coaches better. I just feel like I’ve got so much more to work on.”
Ladd probably wants to avoid getting in a brawl with de Randamie. She will also need to avoid getting caught with kicks at distance from de Randamie. Ladd is a strong striker and can pour on the volume as her average of 5.68 significant strikes landed per minute indicates. Ladd might want to start the fight seeing how she fares with her standing striking. If she struggles in that department look for her coaches to call for takedown attempts.
Ladd can lay down heavy ground strikes and de Randamie has struggled when she finds on the mat. Ladd’s takedown accuracy is an impressive 80%, so she should be able to to get de Randamie to the ground, where the ex-champ’s advantages will be entirely negated.
De Randamie vs Ladd Tale of the Tape
|Germaine de Randamie||Category||Aspen Ladd|
|135 pounds||Weight||135 pounds|
|2.96||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||5.58|
|1.91||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||4.89|
|0||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||2.31|
|0.1||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||1.7|
What’s on the Line?
The UFC is pitching this matchup as a title eliminator. That means the winner of this bout could end up with a shot at Amanda Nunes, who holds both the women’s bantamweight and the women’s featherweight titles. Nunes already defeated de Randamie in 2013 via a first-round knockout. That win took place before Nunes began her current nine-fight winning streak.
Another issue with de Randamie as a potential title challenger is that she surrendered the featherweight belt rather than fight Cris Cyborg. That’s a bad look for anyone and it’s questionable if the UFC will be willing to give de Randamie an offer for another shot at UFC gold considering she iced the division for several months in 2017.
If Ladd wins, the question becomes is she ready for a shot at Nunes? She just turned 24 in March and has only been fighting as a pro since 2015. Sure, she’s shown a ton of promise and could one day be a champion, but that time might not be 2019. On the other hand, if Ladd does win and gets a shot at Nunes, it could be a good learning experience for Ladd and allow her to experience all that comes with a UFC title fight. A title fight could also show her what deficiencies she may have to shore up in her all-around fight game.
Is the winner of this fight guaranteed a title shot? Let’s say that it’s complicated.
Youth vs Experience
This is a tough, tough pick. If everything were equal, I would go with Ladd in a heartbeat, but everything is not equal. De Randamie has much more combat sports experience and she knows how to use her length to her advantage. De Randamie does have decent height and reach edges and that could prove to be a problem for Ladd if she can’t get inside.
Both of these women have something to prove. De Randamie wants to show the UFC she deserves another shot at a title, while Ladd might have a chip on her shoulder over Holly Holm being removed from a scheduled UFC 235 bout against her in order to give Holm a shot at Nunes, especially now that Holm was knocked out in that fight.
It might be a risky pick, but I’m going with the younger and less experienced fighter in this matchup. I think Ladd learned a lesson in the Eubanks fight and that she will focus more on the instructions and advice her corner provides her in this high-stakes matchup.
Pick: Aspen Ladd (-175)