Jim West, Aspen Ladd’s Coach and Partner, Apologizes For “Harsh” Treatment of Fighter at UFC Vegas 40

Aspen Ladd and Norma Dumont, UFC Vegas 40
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 16: (L-R) Aspen Ladd punches Norma Dumont of Brazil in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 16, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Coming out of UFC Vegas 40 on Saturday, arguably the biggest topic of conversation was about someone who wasn’t even fighting.

Jim West, head coach at MMA Gold, not to mention coach and boyfriend of main event star Aspen Ladd, could be heard between rounds getting more and more riled up over Ladd’s lack of action in the fight. Increasingly more agitated with his fighter, West could be overheard essentially berating her, rather than giving her much in the way of technical advice.

It led many, including former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, to label West’s conduct abusive.

West did, following round one, attempt to give some helpful advice to his pupil. After that? Not so much. A breakdown of some of West’s comments follows, along with the round prior to which he made them.

Round 2

“You’re kind of standing in that no man’s land. Lead with your back side, not your front side, because she’s trying to counter you with the right hand.”

Round 3

“You’re f*cking around. You gotta fight. You’re down 2-0 now. You gotta fucking fight. You gotta change the pace, and it’s gotta be quick.”

Round 4

“You’re down 3-0. Please tell me what you’re doing. You have to throw more than one punch. You gotta get into the f*cking fight. It’s time to fight. It’s the fourth round, you’re down 3-0. Pick it up. Fight to win. Fight to win every second of every minute of every round. You have to finish this broad now.”

Round 5

“Honestly I don’t know what you’re doing. You close the distance, and you’re jumping out. I don’t know what you’re waiting for. What are you waiting for? What are you waiting for? You have cardio for f*cking days. Push the f*cking pace. You have to, you have to go f*cking balls to the wall. Throw caution to the wind, and you gotta f*cking go. You’re down basically 4-0, you may have won that last round, either way, you’ve got to f*cking finish her.”

Multiple fighters, media members, and fans kept the debate going Sunday. West, to his credit, has now apologized for his conduct, recognizing that it may have been “harsh.”

Tonight was not our night. 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,” West wrote on social media. “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 Aspen Ladd from the bottom of my heart I will continue to be better each time.”

Ladd (9-2) was making her featherweight debut in the fight against Norma Dumont. Just two weeks removed from missing weight for a bantamweight bout against Macy Chiasson, Ladd was stopped in her tracks by Dumont’s jab, and never seemed to find her rhythm.

It was also Ladd’s first fight since 2019, with the 26-year old missing all of 2020 due to tearing her ACL and MCL in training.