Aspen Ladd did not have a good week in Sacramento.
The previously undefeated bantamweight came into the event at 8-0, and while her position in the main event on the card had some fight fans scoffing, it does tell you something about the UFC’s opinion on her future potential. Unfortunately, things went very wrong for her starting on weigh-in day, when she showed up to the scale shivering and in obvious pain.
She made weight after stripping naked beneath a modesty hoop, but her terrible condition restarted that longstanding conversation about how crazy it is that you’re allowed to fight just a day after being in such a state.
Ladd seemed to recover well enough from what we saw of her afterward, but we have to think the severe dehydration played a part in Germaine de Randamie dropping her just 16 seconds into their fight. It was a solid punch right on the button, but it leveled Ladd and left her hands and knees on the canvas. Referee Herb Dean saw de Randamie coming in with a fast follow up punch and stepped in to wave off the fight.
Too soon? Well, Ladd definitely wasn’t completely out. But hard to argue the German kickboxer wouldn’t have just pummeled her into a more definitive state of unconsciousness. Given what we’d seen at the weigh-ins, I’m pretty glad we didn’t have to witness that.
Ladd is also taking the loss well. Immediately after the fight she responded to a question from post-fight interviewer Michael Bisping about the stoppage by simply saying “S**t happens, guys.”
A subsequent social media statement took the same tone.
”Not the result we wanted, I’ll roll with it,” Ladd wrote on Twitter. “Respect to @IronLadyMMA she did her job, it’s all good with @HerbDeanMMA thank u to my crew.”
She finished the post off with hashtag #MMAGOLD, and at just 24 years old we’re sure Ladd has the potential to bounce back from this nightmare of a fight and come back better and stronger. And hopefully more on point with that weight cut.