Ever since her fight against Holly Holm was scrapped due to Holm suffering kidney swelling, Julianna Peña has been trailblazing a campaign to fight Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight championship. It has not gone unnoticed that Peña is currently ranked outside the division’s top 5 (#6) and is not on a winning streak, but one of the people who is in the best position to speak up about the situation, Aspen Ladd, has relatively quiet. That all changed when the #3-ranked contender was a guest on the What the Heck program Tuesday.
“I’m at the point now where I have a timeline of when I’ll be back, and by that time, I highly doubt that fight will have materialized, and it makes no sense for her to jump ahead and get the fight just because she’s talking a lot of trash, but you know how the game works,” Ladd said.
“She’s doing everything she needs to do to get the most attention possible for her. “I heard a rumor that she wanted a TUF show against Amanda, but I highly doubt that will happen. So she’s promoting herself in the best way she can, probably.”
Aspen Ladd Suggests Fight Against Peña Next
Aspen Ladd also mentioned that Peña’s most recent victory over Sara McMann should not warrant a title shot because the book on how to defeat McMann is already out: weather the storm, make it a dog fight, and watch the Olympian break. Ladd admitted that this was also her game plan prior to her fight with McMann falling apart last year.
In the end, Ladd argues that whether or not Peña believes this win is enough for a title shot is irrelevant because the bantamweight timeline has her and Peña on the collision course, not Nunes and Peña.
“But the thing is, she doesn’t make the decisions – Amanda does, and Amanda just fought at 145, she doesn’t fight often, and if she’s going down to 135, especially if they’re going to ax the 145-pound division, it’s going to be a long time before that fight materializes, and in that case, she definitely needs to fight me before she fights Amanda,” Ladd argued.
Neither Julianna Peña, Aspen Ladd, nor bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes has a fight booked at the moment. Dana White did say that Nunes vs. Peña could be next, but to Ladd’s point, Nunes’s timeline to return may force The Venezuelan Vixen to don the fighting gloves once more before she gets her much-desired fight against Amanda Nunes.
Do you think Aspen Ladd vs. Julianna Peña is the fight to make next? Or should Peña face Nunes for the title?