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They said ‘135 or nothing’ - Aspen Ladd opens up about UFC release

Aspen Ladd gives her side of the story regarding her UFC release.

Aspen Ladd misses weight for her UFC Vegas 60 fight against Sara McMann.
Aspen Ladd misses weight for her UFC Vegas 60 fight against Sara McMann.
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Since 2018, Aspen Ladd has had trouble making weight. Her most recent scale mishap happened in September for her supposed UFC Vegas 60 bout against Sara McMann, where she weighed in at 138 pounds, two pounds over the bantamweight limit.

The fight was subsequently scrapped and Ladd was released from the UFC roster shortly after. According to UFC president Dana White, it was something that “had to happen.”

“It’s never fun when you have someone who’s actually talented. She’s a talented fighter, but part of the job is making weight,” White said of Ladd.

“She’s not made weight so many times. It had to happen. Not something you want to do, but something that had to be done.”

But as Ladd told Ariel Helwani in a recent episode of The MMA Hour, she was left with very few choices.

“It was pretty much 135 or nothing,” she said.

“I clearly cannot make that weight at 135, at least not consistently without dying. And I need to make the move up. And they don’t have an opportunity at 145.

“They have the weight class, but honestly, if you’re a 145er in the UFC, I would recommend if you can go down, do it. If not, look at your options. So it was time to look at mine.

“It was kind of both parties knew that this was the last straw. ‘Cause if you’re only given the singular option and I physically can’t do it… after this last cut, I’m not trying again. And when you’re told that that is not there, it’s like, ‘OK, we need to go figure out something else.”’

And figure it out, she did. The 27-year-old Ladd recently signed with the PFL as a featherweight competitor. She is scheduled to face former Bellator champion Julia Budd for her debut on November 25 in New York City.