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Leslie Smith refused to fight Aspen Ladd after UFC Atlantic City weigh ins — and now ‘politics’ are making it ugly (Updated)

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Smith vs Lemos Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was forced to cancel the women’s bantamweight fight between Leslie Smith and Aspen Ladd in the wake of a disastrous UFC Fight Night 128 weigh in event.

Ladd came in heavy at 137.8 and was expected to lose 20-percent of her purse, payable to Smith. But “The Peacemaker” instead chose to scratch the fight altogether, an option afforded to combatants who believe they will be competing at a marked disadvantage.

The practice, however, is frowned upon, because of the JUST BLEED culture, as well as the inconvenience it causes for promoters. That said, if every fighter refused to step into the Octagon after a botched weight cut, I guarantee you the number of scale fails would dramatically decrease.

Kevin Lee, for example, missed weight for his Edson Barboza main event, but will still get paid — minus 20 percent — and go on with his business. The problem comes from fighters who don’t put themselves through the rigors of weight cutting, figuring it’s worth the monetary fine to come in fresh and huge, opposite an opponent who spent the week depleted and fatigued.

Long story short, Smith had the right to bail, and did, despite some extra incentives from Ladd.

Ladd’s tweet suggests that Smith didn’t want to fight and took this opportunity to bail. “The Peacemaker’s” teammates find that hard to believe, considering Smith — winner of two straight — previously moved up in weight to fight Cris Cyborg.

And now it’s getting ugly.

UPDATE: News from the Smith front:

I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this.

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