Aspen Ladd has a new fight house.
The 27-year-old California fighter, recently fired from the UFC, has signed an exclusive deal to join the PFL roster, where she is expected to compete in the new women’s featherweight division starting in 2023.
PFL representatives confirmed the news to MMA Fighting after an initial report from ESPN.
Ladd was once considered the top bantamweight, but Ladd constantly struggled to make weight in the UFC due to numerous fight cancellations due to her problems on the scale.
Despite a strong resume including victories over Yana Kunitskaya and Sijara Eubanks, Ladd failed to make weight on three separate occasions, causing her bouts to be cancelled. In the latest incident, Ladd weighed in at 138 pounds – two pounds over the bantamweight limit for a non-title fight – and her fight against Olympic silver medalist Sarah McMann was cancelled.
It was after the cancellation of this fight that the UFC decided to release Ladd from her contract.
“We tried to work with her – she’s a great kid,” UFC president Dana White said of Ladd’s release. “It’s never fun when you have someone really talented – she’s a talented fighter. But part of the job is gaining weight.”
Now Ladd will try to start a new life under the auspices of the PFL, moving to the women’s featherweight division for the first time in the organization’s history.
For now, the PFL only promotes a women’s lightweight division led by two-time champion Kayla Harrison, but there will now be a featherweight season in 2023 that will see Ladd enter the group that makes up the new weight class.