A rematch between #7 bantamweight Aspen Ladd and TUF 26 finalist and #2 flyweight Sijara Eubanks has been booked for UFC Fight Night 151 in Rochester, New York. Originally meeting at Invicta FC 21, Ladd defeated Eubanks by unanimous decision, in what was Eubanks’ final fight before entering the TUF house. This was also the only fight in Ladd’s 7-0 career that has gone to decision and she’ll be looking for the finish in this one.
Aspen Ladd is 2-0 in the UFC, with two finishes. In her debut, she beat tough Swede Lina Lansberg and most recently gained a performance of the night bonus by finishing Tonya Evinger at UFC 229. Eubanks is also undefeated in the UFC, having gone 2-0 since her stint on TUF. She defeated Lauren Murphy at UFC Fight Night 131 by unanimous decision before getting the better of veteran Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 230. Eubanks did miss weight at UFC 230, weighing in at 127.2lbs, explaining her move back to bantamweight to face Ladd.
The First Encounter
The first fight was early in both fighters careers. Ladd, just 21 at the time was 4-0 with four finishes and came into the fight with a lot of confidence. The BJJ black belt, Eubanks was 2-1 but was coming off a finish victory against Amber Lynn.
The first round at Invicta 21 started with Ladd being the aggressor and consistently walking Eubanks down. When Eubanks did shoot in on Ladd, she was able to control Eubanks from the bottom and not allow her to get off too many damaging shots.
The second took place mostly on the feet with Ladd being able to piece up Eubanks at will. In the third round, Ladd closed the distance early. Using her superior strength she controlled Eubanks in the clinch, and eventually took her down. Keeping heavy on Eubanks for the majority of the round, Ladd showed good top pressure. Eubanks was able to take her back with a minute to go in the bout but Ladd was able to stay calm and regain her guard.
Ladd won the bout by unanimous decision 30-27 X2 and 29-28. They run it back in New York however, after both have had some bad luck with previous fight bookings.
Hard done by?
Both of these fighters have had some bad luck when it comes to fight cancellations. Firstly Aspen Ladd was booked to fight at UFC 235 against former 135lbs champion Holly Holm. It was reported that the UFC favoured a match-up between Holm and champion Amanda Nunes however and cancelled the bout. Understandably Ladd was angered by this and took to Twitter to air her annoyance.
Similarly, Sijara Eubanks was scheduled to face current 125lbs champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 230 for the vacant flyweight belt. The UFC, however, pulled Eubanks out of this fight in favour of a match between Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Understandably annoyed at this, Eubanks also took to Twitter and went off on both Shevchenko and Jedrzejczyk.
The MMA community reached a consensus that both fighters were hard done by in these situations. The Eubanks predicament, in particular, is broken down well here. This article goes some way in attempting to explain why she didn’t get the shot.
One thing is for sure, the rematch between Ladd and Eubanks is sure to be exciting. Both have previously got a feel for one another, so hopefully, they will pick up where they left off. Stay tuned on mmasucka.com for more fight announcements for this card and fight week content!
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