UFC Did Aspen Ladd’s coach go too far? Tv Channel
The primary narrative coming out of the main event was not how Norma Dumont probably secured a title shot in the women’s featherweight division with her unanimous decision win (and good for her doing so), but rather the scenes and sounds coming from Aspen Ladd’s corner between rounds as she tried to make something happen in the fight.
We don’t need to sugarcoat anything: That was not great stuff. Ladd (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) could not get out of first gear from the opening bell, and it was evident she was falling behind on the scorecards as each round passed.
Not many people would disagree that, in this scenario, the onus is on the corner to encourage the athlete to turn things around. We’ve seen countless methods of coaching in that scenario, but the way Ladd’s boyfriend and head coach, Jim West, talked to his fighter seemed to startle a lot of the viewing audience.
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This by no means is a “sensitive” media take. There were more than a few fighters who thought West was out of line for how he spoke to Ladd, and did not view it as a constructive way to encourage her. That seems to be a fair criticism. If it wasn’t, West wouldn’t have released a statement apologizing for his ways. Personally, I think West could’ve approached the moment differently, but who am I to say?
We know the fighter-coach relationship is a unique one. West obviously knows Ladd infinitely better than anyone, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to pick up on tone. And given Ladd wasn’t able to turn the fight around, it didn’t seem to be all that effective.
I don’t know if I would go as far as to echo Miesha Tate’s comments and call West’s cornering “abusive,” but it was far from perfect. It should serve as a teachable moment for all involved, and hopefully West will be better in his role after this experience.