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Report: Irene Aldana vs. Aspen Ladd targeted for UFC 273

Ladd has decided to return to bantamweight for her next fight. 

Aspen Ladd is back at bantamweight and draws a top-five name for her next Octagon appearance.

Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPN Deportes reported on Thursday that a fight between Ladd and Irene Aldana is being added to UFC 273, the upcoming pay-per-view event purportedly expected to take place on April 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Ladd has not recorded a win at bantamweight since her third-round technical knockout of Yana Kunitskaya at UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Rozenstruik two years ago. The No. 4 ranked contender was then forced out of action for about a year because she suffered a torn ACL and MCL in her knee during a training session. Ladd underwent surgery and was set to return earlier this year against Macy Chiasson at UFC Vegas 32. However, that fight was canceled after Chiasson re-injured a stress fracture in her foot days before the event.

A few months later, Ladd and Chiasson were supposed to meet at UFC Vegas 38, but that was also canceled, this time over concerns for Ladd after a very concerning weight cut. The 26-year-old did not have to wait long to fight, however. She instead filled in on short notice for Holly Holm against Norma Dumont in the scheduled featherweight headliner of UFC Vegas 39, where she ultimately dropped a unanimous decision to the Brazilian.

Aldana recently scored a first-round technical knockout over the previously mentioned Kunitskaya at UFC 264. Prior to that win, the Lobo Gym product competed in her first main event showing under the UFC banner, but suffered a unanimous decision loss to Holm. Aldana has won six of her last eight fights.

UFC 273 has no headliner attached to it at this time. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more information on the event as it becomes available in the coming weeks.