Fresh into the Professional Fighter’s League roster and back in a weigh class that doesn’t require a demanding weight cut, Aspen Ladd believes she has the stuff to measure herself up to the best the PFL has to offer.
After her third fight cancellation due to missing the bantamweight weigh-in limit in September, Ladd was released from the UFC, before joining PFL in October. Now back at featherweight, Ladd earned a split decision victory over Julia Budd (29–28, 28–29, 29–28) at PFL 10 last Friday, marking her return to winning ways after two consecutive setbacks in the Octagon.
Having defeated the former Bellator 145-pound champion, Ladd told reporters that she has a better resume than the two fighters who were featured in the final of the Lightweight tournament- Larissa Pacheco and Kayla Harrison .
While she hasn’t been dismissive of their achievements, Ladd revealed that she believes herself to have a better MMA resume than both of them.
“I think Larissa has progressed incredibly,” said Ladd after her victory over Budd, “She’s done very well with her striking.”
“I think Kayla has been the queen for a long time. But if you look at either one of their resumes, it’s absolutely nothing compared to the people that I have fought and have come in fighting. So, you have different levels of experience with different levels of opponents,” she added.
While she struggled at making weight at bantamweight, jumping back up to the division she’s more comfortable in, has given Ladd the breathing room she needed.
“Elated,” Ladd commented on her successful featherweight return, “I went through some serious health struggles, not just my knee the last couple of years, like, it was bad. Auto-immune stuff, lost all my hair. This little shaved down [hair] is not because I wanted to – it was because I had nothing left. And just getting healthy again and feeling good and being unable to live and fight and do what I love and not feel like crap. It’s been years of a lot of difficult stuff, and it’s just a huge relief.”
Although Ladd did not leave the UFC with the best of records (5-3), she did mark some impressive victories, namely against former Invicta FC champions such as Tonya Evinger and Yana Kunitskay, as well as shared the Octagon with the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie, and also veterans like Lina Länsberg and Raquel Pennington.