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.
I apologize to my opponent @ufc @UFCFightPass @Mickmaynard2 @danawhite my team, my fam and all the fans. I was 1.8 lbs over, I was told she would not take the fight. We offered an additional $5,000 along with the 20% purse deduction, no go on her end, I tried to make it right.— Aspen Ladd (@AspenLaddMMA) April 20, 2018
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.
@AspenLaddMMA why are you trying 2 make @LeslieSmith_GF look like she is scared. My girl fought @criscyborg! You missed weight after knowing about the fight 10 weeks prior. Politics are now involved, thanks to you. And you should have class and clear that up #NoOneisScaredHomie— KeriMelendez (@KeriMelendez415) April 20, 2018
More 2 the story. @LeslieSmith_GF & @AspenLaddMMA knew 10 weeks prior about the fight. If Aspen did all she could she would have made weight. Politics behind the scenes. Please stop trying 2 make Leslie look bad. Les is on a 3 fight winning streak & fought @criscyborg #notscared— KeriMelendez (@KeriMelendez415) April 20, 2018
UPDATE: News from the Smith front:
Leslie Smith confirms on @MMAjunkieRadio that she will get full $62,000 purse for #UFCAC (show and win money). It also represents completion of her UFC contract. UFC not interested in bringing her back. She says she's now a free agent.— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) April 20, 2018
I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this.