Friday, December 9, 2022

Aspen Ladd Calls for Fight Against Julianna Pena Next

Aspen Ladd has just the person to fill her empty fight schedule: “The Venezuelan Vixen” Julianna Pena.

After Julianna Pena defeated Sara McMann at UFC 257, Pena made one thing abundantly clear: the only fight she is interested in next is UFC double-champ Amanda Nunes.

“She told me that she would fight me, and now she’s saying that I’m not a contender. And that, to me, just sounds like she doesn’t want to fight me,” Pena said of Nunes in a UFC 257 media scrum. “I’m going to have to talk to the bosses and see what they have to say, but for the most part, Amanda’s the only fight that makes sense for me.”

Julianna Pena’s victory over McMann was brought about largely by circumstance since it was actually Aspen Ladd who was scheduled to face Sara McMann back in June 2020, but after tearing her ACL and MCL, Ladd had no choice but to withdraw from the event. And prior to that, Ladd was supposed to fight Pena herself back in March. That time, it was Pena who had to pull out of the fight due to an undisclosed injury.

After hearing Pena’s calls for a world title shot, Aspen Ladd decided to weigh in on social media, reminding the TUF winner that they still have some unfinished business.

“I know who I want, but she has to actually follow through. Spring is approaching and I will be ready,” Ladd wrote on Twitter.

This is an interesting departure from the norm. Aspen Ladd is currently ranked #3 in the bantamweight division while Pena is ranked #6. Yet, it is the #3-ranked fighter lobbying to fight the #6-ranked fighter as the #6-ranked fighter threatens to hold out for a title shot. Perhaps the UFC brass, whom Ladd was sure to tag in her Twitter post, will decide to give Ladd what she wants so that Amanda Nunes has a clear-cut contender for when she comes back down to bantamweight.

Do you think a fight between Aspen Ladd and Julianna Pena is the fight to make right now?