Having only recently been cut by the UFC, it appears that Aspen Ladd has a new home in the PFL. The story was first broken by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and we now know that she will compete in PFL’s 2023 featherweight regular season.
Having not competed since April and being forced out of a recent bout with Sara McMann due to missing weight, Ladd was released by the UFC with Dana White stating that ‘It had to happen‘. We discussed Ladd’s weight-cutting issues and weight-cutting problems as a whole in a recent piece that can be found here.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) October 4, 2022
Ladd had a brilliant start to her UFC career, going 3-0 with three dominant performances. Then came her first main event against former featherweight champion, Germain de Randamie. Unfortunately for Ladd, the weight cut seemed to really affect her, leading to a quick 16-second finish in favour of the Dutch striking star.
She bounced back with a comeback victory over Yana Kunitskaya but after consecutive losses at both 135lbs and 145lbs, as well as a whole host of weight misses, the UFC decided to relieve Ladd from her contract.
In a recent statement, Ladd said:
“I want to thank the Professional Fighters League for giving me the opportunity to continue my career in the PFL SmartCage. I am excited about the PFL’s sport season format where you win and advance based on talent and merit. I look forward to testing myself against the best women’s featherweights in the world.”
The PFL has not had a women’s featherweight division up to this point, only having a lightweight division that has been dominated by Kayla Harrison and recently opening up a flyweight division with Dakota Ditcheva picking up the first-ever win in this weight class.
It will be good to see Ladd at featherweight as we know that she has struggled to make bantamweight. Also, with PFL’s relentless season schedule, where fighters have to make weight multiple times in a short space of time, moving up a weight class will make this easier for Ladd.
The PFL’s Championship finals were announced last week and along with the signing of Marlon Moraes and Shane Burgos in recent times, the promotion is steadily gaining strength. We discussed the announcement of the upcoming finals in a recent video: