Aspen Ladd’s Return In The Works For UFC Washington DC

Aspen Ladd
Image via UFC/Zuffa LLC

Aspen Ladd is looking to erase the bad memories of her recent UFC defeat.

The No. 5-ranked UFC women’s bantamweight contender recently suffered her first-ever MMA loss to former UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie at July 13’s UFC Sacramento. The finish came by somewhat controversial stoppage after ‘The Iron Lady’ floored Ladd with a huge punch in the first round.

You’d think she may want to ease back into it, but Ladd apparently isn’t looking for an easy return fight.

According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, a return bout versus No. 8-ranked Yana Kunitskaya is in the works for December 7’s UFC Washington DC. Also on the card, former women’s strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha will meet Cynthia Calvillo:

A Tough Test

Kunitskaya is a former UFC women’s featherweight title challenger who took on Cris Cyborg on short notice in March 2018. Although she found some early success with a takedown, Cyborg ultimately finished her off with strikes. Kunitskaya moved back down to bantamweight and has since won two fights by decision. She was last seen beating Marion Reneau at March’s UFC Wichita.

The JacksonWink MMA product should provide a tough test for Ladd, who was a perfect 8-0 before running into de Randamie.

Addressing Weight Issues

There was a significant concern for Ladd after she appeared completely out of it while making weight for her fight with de Randamie. She also missed the bantamweight limit for her 2018 bout with Leslie Smith and once in Invicta FC as well. But MMA Gold, Ladd’s management, released a statement to ESPN.com about her weight issues. It revealed she would be working with both the UFC PI and CSAC:

“Aspen has partnered with the UFC Performance Institute and the California State Athletic Commission, and we see no problems ahead.”

As for Gadelha, she recently rebounded from a loss to Nina Ansaroff by defeating Randa Markos at July’s UFC 239. The former title challenger has split wins and losses in her last four bouts and will need a victory to keep building momentum at 115 pounds.

Calvillo was last seen defeating Cortney Casey by decision at February’s UFC on ESPN 1. Prior to that, she rebounded from her first-ever loss to Carla Esparza by defeating Poliana Botelho by submission in November 2018. Calvillo currently sits at No. 11 in the women’s 115-pound rankings.

A main event for UFC Washington DC has not been announced as of this writing.

Will Aspen Ladd get back on track against Yana Kunitskaya?