Aspen Ladd vs. Miesha Tate seemed like a no-brainer after their most recent performances. However, they’ve instead gone in separate directions.
October 16, 2021, marked Ladd’s first fight since tearing her ACL in 2019, but she was intending on returning sooner. Matched with Macy Chiasson for a July Bantamweight tilt, Chiasson suffered an injury before the fight was re-made for October 2. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t pan out that time, either.
Ladd weighed in one pound over the 136-pound limit and, as a result, the fight was canceled due to health concerns. Therefore leading Ladd to fill in for Holly Holm at 145 pounds against Norma Dumont a week later — while being pelted with criticism from the former champion in Tate along the way.
“That’s the Karen of MMA. I just wanted to hit her, I still want to hit her,” Ladd told LowKick MMA’s James Lynch of a potential Tate bout. “But, that’s not in my future right now, I have a different fight but just purely — they wouldn’t even have to pay me, honestly. That’d just be a fun one.”
Ladd dropped a five-round unanimous decision to Dumont in one of the more forgettable showings of 2021. She now finds herself scheduled to return to 135-pounds for a meeting with No. 3-ranked contender, Mexico’s Irene Aldana at UFC 273 on April 9, 2022.
As for Tate, she’s 1-1 since returning to action after a five-year retirement. Also losing by unanimous decision in a five-round affair recently, but against Ketlen Vieira, Tate is now expected to join the ranks of the 125-pound Flyweight division for a clash with former title challenger Lauren Murphy.
“The sport’s kind of passed her by since [she left],” Ladd said in response to if she’s surprised Tate is making the move down. “She was a dominant wrestler, and that’s what got her to where she is,” Ladd said. “I think she came back for money. She’s talking a big talk but she’s not going to make another title run. At ‘35, she wasn’t doing well so she was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to drop weight and see.’ But that’s a tough weight class, too. I don’t know.”