Germaine de Randamie handed Aspen Ladd the first loss of her professional mixed martial arts career over the weekend in Sacramento, Calif., but it wasn’t without some controversy.
The Dutch striker landed an overhand right to Aspen’s head in the opening seconds of the main event bout that resulted in referee Herb Dean stepping in and calling a halt to the action at the 15-second mark.
Ladd was never unconscious and many fans at Golden 1 Center immediately began booing the stoppage.
“I believe it was a good stoppage,” de Randamie told reporters after her win. “It was a clean shot. She dropped, she turned 360 degrees to the other side when I hit her, so, it was a clean shot.”
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Ladd, 24, was disappointed in the result but remained classy in defeat.
“I lost the fight. Germaine’s a great competitor,” Ladd said. “I was still aware, so I wish he hadn’t stopped the fight, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. Referees have a tough job. They have to make split-second decisions. This one did not go my way so I wish it hadn’t occurred, but I really can’t tell you what he saw. … No hard feelings.”
Meanwhile, de Randamie, the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight championship who was stripped of her belt due to an unwillingness to face former 145-pound champ Cris Cyborg, can make a case for a title shot in either the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. She has won five in a row overall with her most recent loss being in 2013 to Amanda Nunes who currently holds both belts.
UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber stepped out of retirement to compete one more time in front of his hometown fans in Sacramento for the night’s co-main event and “The California Kid” picked up a thrilling 48-second TKO victory over Ricky Simon in bantamweight action.
Of the 12 fights on the card, all but five went the distance. De Randamie was the only fighter to earn a stoppage win who didn’t also walk away with a $50,000 post-fight performance bonus.
Here are the complete results from the event:
— Germaine de Randamie def. Aspen Ladd by TKO
— Urijah Faber def. Ricky Simon by TKO
— Josh Emmett def. Mirsad Bektić by TKO
— Karl Roberson def. Wellington Turman by split decision
— Marvin Vettori def. Cezar Ferreira by unanimous decision
— John Allan def. Mike Rodriguez by unanimous decision
— Andre Fili def. Sheymon Moraes by knockout
— Julianna Peña def. Nicco Montaño by unanimous decision
— Ryan Hall def. Darren Elkins by unanimous decision
— Jonathan Martinez def. Pingyuan Liu by knockout
— Brianna Van Buren def. Lívia Renata Souza by unanimous decision
— Benito Lopez def. Vince Morales by unanimous decision