Saturday, December 3, 2022

Ladd: ‘I’m On Top Of The World After UFC Departure’

If you expected former bantamweight contender Aspen Ladd to be despondent and discouraged following her UFC departure, you were sorely mistaken…

Last month, it was confirmed that Ladd’s latest weight miss had resulted in her release from the UFC. The issue, which saw her tip the scales two pounds over the limit for her scheduled fight against Sara McMann at UFC Vegas 60, marked another bout that had been cancelled on late notice owing to a botched cut.

With it being clear that she can’t compete at bantamweight, and with the 145-pound weight class being practically non-existent in the UFC, Ladd’s time in the Octagon came to an end. But it didn’t take long for her to find a new home.

Despite confirmation that talks had been held with Bellator, it was announced last week that Ladd has signed a multi-year deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where she’ll compete at featherweight in the promotion’s unique season and playoff format.

But she won’t have to wait until the start of the 2023 proceedings to get her first taste of the SmartCage. In November, Ladd will meet former Bellator champion Julia Budd on pay-per-view at this year’s PFL finals event in New York.

So, since a disheartening release from the UFC, Ladd has signed with a new organization, agreed a lucrative deal that surpasses her previous, and had a debut set for before the end of the year against a former champion at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.

Safe to say, it’s been a successful few days if your name is Aspen Ladd.

Ladd: “I Couldn’t Be Happier”

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Ladd reflected on what she described as a “rollercoaster of emotions” in recent weeks.

Having followed in the footsteps of featherweight Shane Burgos, bantamweight Marlon Moraes, and light heavyweight Thiago Santos in exiting the UFC and signing with the PFL this year, Ladd said she “couldn’t be happier” with how things have played out.

“(It’s been) a rollercoaster of emotions,” Ladd said. “Obviously, initially there’s always that, ‘Oh gosh, what’s gonna happen now?’ But since parting ways with the UFC, nothing but positivity has happened, nothing but good things. Right now, I’m just on top of the world. I couldn’t be happier with how things are going.

“Fair to say (I’m making more than I was in the UFC)… I couldn’t be happier. It’s been nothing but good news. You had the awful thing happen, and then everything since then has just been continually getting better,” Ladd added.

Having secured her next step in MMA, Ladd will turn her attention to finding success under a new banner, starting with a triumphant debut against Budd on November 25.

How do you think Aspen Ladd will fare as a PFL featherweight?

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