Exclusive: Aspen Ladd Is Approaching PFL Debut With ‘Been There, Done That’ Attitude

The event is headlined by Kayla Harrison vs. Larissa Pacheco 3.

Though Aspen Ladd is making her debut with the PFL next Friday, she’s not feeling too much pressure. 

Ladd will fight former Strikeforce and Bellator champion Julia Budd at the 2022 PFL World Championships at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden next Friday, November 25. 

“It’s kind of just like a ‘been there, done that’ approach,” Ladd told FIGHT SPORTS during Tuesday’s virtual media conference.  

“Everything’s different but when you’ve experienced the best and the worst already, you can kind of already prepare for whatever they might bring.” 

Ladd was released from the UFC in September after she missed weight at UFC Vegas 60 by two pounds. That was the third time that she came in over the contracted weight and, though there was no specific reason given by the UFC for her departure, multiple news outlets reported that it was likely due to missed weight. 

But on Tuesday, Ladd, who used to fight at 135 pounds (bantamweight), admitted that she feels much healthier at featherweight – 145 pounds – and doesn’t have to go on as strict of a diet as she did before. 

She left the UFC on a two-fight losing streak to Norma Dumont and Raquel Pennington. 

Budd is also coming off a loss, which most recently was handed by Genah Fabian by unanimous decision back in May. That marked her fourth overall loss of her career – her other three belonging to some of MMA’s top female talent including Cris Cyborg in January 2020, Ronda Rousey in November 2011 and Amanda Nunes in January 2011. 

“I learn more from my losses than my wins,” Budd told FIGHT SPORTS.  

“[In the Cyborg fight] I let my emotions get the best of me and leading up to it… I learned [to] not let my emotions get the best of me and to control them.” 

Budd was slated to face PFL standout Kayla Harrison back in July, but was forced to withdraw due to a fractured orbital bone, Budd revealed on Tuesday.  

At the virtual press conference, she said that she would still like to get a fight with Harrison – and a rematch with Cyborg – but added that she is focused on her upcoming fight and warned fans to expect “fireworks.” 

The event will stream on ESPN+ pay-per-view for $49.99. Harrison will headline in a trilogy fight against Larissa Pacheco. 

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