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Aspen Ladd signs with PFL, expects to compete at featherweight

The former UFC fighter parted ways with the promotion last week. 

Aspen Ladd is headed to the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

Following her recent release from the UFC, Ladd is joining the PFL roster and expects to compete in the soon-to-be announced women’s featherweight division in the upcoming 2023 regular season. The promotion and Ladd confirmed the signing on Tuesday.

“I want to thank the Professional Fighters League for giving me the opportunity to continue my career in the PFL SmartCage,” said Ladd in a statement. “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.”

Though hailed as a future contender in the bantamweight division, Ladd would never gather momentum as her repeated struggles on the scales led to several fight cancelations throughout her UFC tenure. Pivotal fights against Leslie Smith, Macy Chiasson and Sara McMann were canceled, with the latter being the catalyst for her release.

Ladd and McMann were scheduled to fight at UFC Vegas 60 this past September, but the MMA Gold product weighed in at 138 pounds — two pounds over the bantamweight limit. Because that was the third time she missed weight, UFC president Dana White said the release ‘had to happen’ now.

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

When she was in action, Ladd went 4-3 in the UFC, with wins over Tonya Evinger, Sijara Eubanks and Yana Kunitskaya among her highlights. However, in her final appearances, she suffered consecutive decision losses to Norma Dumont (at featherweight) and Raquel Pennington at UFC Vegas 40 and UFC 273, respectively.

There is no word yet on an opponent for Ladd, but that will chance as the 2023 regular season approaches.