‘The Iron Lady’ came out strong early and dropped the previously undefeated Ladd with a picture-perfect right hand. From there, she swarmed with a few ground strikes to pick up the TKO stoppage in 16 seconds. But many onlookers cried that Ladd was still coherent and that referee Herb Dean had stopped the action far too quickly.
Never one to avoid controversy, de Randamie weighed in that the stoppage was just fine. Ladd didn’t need to take any unnecessary damage, she claimed. Speaking during his ‘Believe You Me’ podcast (via Galaxy MMA), former UFC champ Michael Bisping agreed. But first, he offered his viewpoint of the post-fight chaos as a member of the coverage team. Then, he acknowledged that de Randamie was always going to win a striking contest:
“I’m in the arena. Literally, everybody’s booing like crazy. I’m speaking to Germaine, I’m speaking to Aspen Ladd. ‘Early stoppage! Early stoppage!’ She gets cracked in the face. First of all, Aspen Ladd gets hit. On the feet, it was always going to be one-way traffic. That fight was always going to be about whether or not Aspen Ladd could take it down. If she could take it down, she’d probably win. If she couldn’t take it down, she was f***ed.”
When Ladd inevitably lost the striking battle immediately, Bisping acknowledged that she was still coherent:
“Of course, as this happened, she didn’t get a chance to take it down. She got caught with a great shot. She hit the floor hard, but she didn’t faceplant. What she did, she put her forearms out, caught herself on the floor. When someone has their cognitive ability to realize she’s been punched and put her hands out on the floor to stop herself, to support herself, that says she’s still conscious.”
With that said, “The Count” believed Dean could have let things go on a bit longer due to the magnitude of the fight:
“Then de Randamie came in for the next shot, it kind of missed it, hit the shoulder. Then Aspen turned into her opponent so it looked like an early stoppage. Even though Aspen Ladd caught herself, she stared into fresh air. She was totally stunned and out of it. So I think Herb Dean, could he have let it go longer? Yeah, I’d say so. Being the main event, a fight of that magnitude, sold-out crowd.”
Bisping Ultimately Agrees
However, Dean’s goal was ultimately to protect Ladd’s safety. In that regard, Bisping confirmed he did do the right thing:
“To do that takes a lot of f***ing balls, and it’s a very difficult job being a referee. So before anybody talks s*** and throws him under the bus, he was doing that for the best of reasons. He did it for Aspen Ladd’s benefit, he did to protect her from herself, he did it to protect her from Germaine de Randamie, and it was the right call. I think if you look at it and break it down like we just did, I think it was the right call.”
Do you agree with Michael Bisping’s breakdown of the UFC Sacramento main event?