After being sidelined for 20 months after surgery on a pair of torn knee ligaments, Aspen Ladd is not hoping for an easy night at the office on Saturday night’s return to UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. The rising bantamweight challenger that most fans who watch at home prefer something surprising to be at war.
Ladd (9-1), who was forced to withdraw from a scheduled match in 2020 against Sara McMann when her foot got stuck in the cage while being taken down during a sparring and tearing knee, will take on Macy Chiasson (7-1) in co-main event inside UFC ex.
“From what I’ve seen in her previous fights, she’s willing to get involved everywhere, so this could be a kind of fight,” Ladd told Morning Kombat on Wednesday. “This could be a bit of an all-around fight – the ground, standing standing. She does not look like she will ever do one thing, and it’s my favorite kind of fight, so take it with you. It’s great.
“When they give me two opponents and I know how each of them fights, I will go with the one who wants to go out there and fight. It’s better for both of us.”
Asked to clarify her statement, the 26-year-old California native explained that it is her love of entertaining that burns her all-action style.
“People are not here to see a boring decision win. They are not here to see one, ‘Oh, I’m a little, I want to spar with this girl.’ They want to see blood, they want to see people fight, they want to see a fight, “said Ladd.” When you can pull that kind of fight out – besides the fact that you can sometimes get a bonus out of it – it’s better To everyone. If you want to get involved and you want to go to war, that’s what the people want to see. ”
Ladd came back well from her lone pro defeat in 2019 against Germaine de Randamie – when she succumbed to strikes in just 16 seconds after a quick referee stop – to finish Yana Kunitskaya via the ground and strike in round 3 just six months later. But the injury she suffered immediately left her in something out of place, out of her mind within the larger title picture.
While two-division champion Amanda Nunes continues to reign ever so dominant at the top of the 135-pound rankings, Ladds time away from the division has seen it recharge a bit. While the top 10 is not necessarily deep, it is top-heavy as Ladd is expected to join multi-year providers Holly Holm, de Randamie and a returning former champion of Miesha Tate as potential opportunities for Nunes – returning on August 7 against Julianna Pena – in the near future she will defeat Chiasson.
Despite the realities of her situation given that a win should give her a big fight next, Ladd refused to look past Chiasson, saying that every time she has a fight, “that draws the end of the road. There is nothing beyond that and nothing exists until after Saturday night. “
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Meanwhile, Ladd is just hpy to literally be back on his feet after such a devastating injury. An avid hiker in her spare time, Ladd admits she was forced to endure so much of a mental challenge in recovering from losing her ability to walk after the injury as it was demanding on a physical level.
“It goes beyond the fight,” Ladd said. “Fighting is my life, it’s what I do and what I love. But when you take it out to the level where you can not walk or move, and you have to learn again how to walk. “For everything I do outside of fighting, it’s very active. It takes the next level where you have to be mobile for you to live and for your job, and I could not do any of them.”