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Report: Aspen Ladd vs. Julianna Peña in the works for UFC Columbus

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A contest between top ranked women’s bantamweights is in the works for UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik.

According to ESPN the UFC is working on a bantamweight bout for March 28th’s card in Columbus, OH. That outlet’s reporting states that, although contracts have not been signed, the UFC is trying to match Aspen Ladd (9-1) with the returning Julianna Peña (9-3).

The 24-year-old Ladd is currently ranked 2nd in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight rankings. Her four-year pro career has been flawless, but for a quick — somewhat controversial — stoppage loss to former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie last July. After suffering defeat for the first time in her career, Ladd beat Yana Kunitskaya by TKO at December’s UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Rozenstruik card.

Peña last fought on July 13th’s UFC Fight Night: de Randamie vs. Ladd. There she defeated former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montaño by unanimous decision. Prior to that bout she suffered the first loss of her UFC career — thanks to an armbar by current flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko.

The 30-year-old Peña, who entered the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate competition back in 2013, is currently ranked 4th in the division.

If this match-up gets finalized it is expected to appear at UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik. The main event for that card is a heavyweight clash — between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, with serious title implications.

Also on tap for Columbus is a bantamweight bout between perennial challengers Raphael Assuncao and Cody Garbrandt.