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As Ladd (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) began to fall behind on rounds to Dumont (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the women’s featherweight matchup at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, her head coach and boyfriend, Jim West of MMA Gold, grew frustrated in the corner. He repeatedly asked his fighter what she was doing in a perplexed tone, and his bluntness drew the ire of some viewers.
Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate was the most outspoken about West’s approach, even going so far as to label it “abuse.” Ultimately, West didn’t seem to do Ladd any favors as she lost a largely one-sided unanimous decision and looked flat from beginning to end.
The fighter-coach relationship is an intimate one in most instances, and often coaches will tailor how they use the 60 seconds in between rounds depending on the situation and personality of a given fighter.
Even West admits he did Ladd a disservice at UFC Fight Night 195. He issued a statement in the aftermath of the fight and admitted he did not take the right course of action to help Ladd’s chances of victory.
“Tonight was not our night,” West wrote in a statement on Instagram. “It’s been our night many many times at the highest level but not tonight. I blame myself. Though it may not be my fault. it’s not up for debate. I take all the blame. Yes after the first couple rounds I may have been a little harsh but I know aspen and at that time technical conversation was not in the cards being down 3 rounds. Nonetheless I own it and I am sorry @aspenladd from the bottom of my heart [sic] I will continue to be better each time.”
Ladd has yet to speak extensively on the situation, but she did release a statement of her own after the loss and promised to get back as a better version of herself.
“Not my night,” Ladd wrote on Instagram. “Congrats to my opponent. We will be back better. In the mean time I finally got to get back in there after nearly 2 years. Now it’s time to take a step back, take a breath, and get back to fighting and feeling like myself again. On to the next.