Exclusive: Aspen Ladd On The Differences Between The UFC And PFL And Debut Against Julia Budd

Aspen Ladd discussed getting her first PFL bout and the differences she has seen between her new promotion and fighting in the UFC.

Aspen Ladd
Credit Aspen Ladd on Instagram

Aspen Ladd has found a new home in The Professional Fighters League and is very happy about it. 

After five years with the UFC, Aspen Ladd parted ways with the organization. Ladd’s time with the UFC was filled with weight issues and other struggles. She left the promotion following her last bout being canceled due to her missing weight. She didn’t let herself be down about this and instead quickly signed a new contract with a new promotion. 

It was announced in October of 2022 that Ladd had signed on to join the featherweight division of The Professional Fighters League. Ladd now has the comfort of fighting at 145 pounds and in a full season of MMA. The PFL model is very different from that of the UFC and in the end, she will have a chance to win one million dollars. So far, Ladd is finding the PFL setup quite enjoyable. She spoke about this and more in an exclusive interview with MiddeEasy. 

“A lot of it’s very similar. They’re run in a very similar way, except I would say that the PFL is more chill, for lack of a better word and it was fun,” she said. “It was enjoyable. Yeah, you have a schedule, you have all this stuff to do, but it’s like we’ll handle it, we’ll get there. Everything’s happy. Whereas like, the UFC is like militant with everything. So it’s the same stuff, different attitude, and it was a lot more fun with the PFL.”

Aspen Ladd defeated Julia Budd in her first PFL bout

Despite only signing with the PFL in October, the promotion was able to land Ladd a spot on the huge year-ending PPV card. Ladd was surprised and happy to hear that she was going to be facing former Bellator champion, Julia Budd, in her first PFL appearance.

“I remember getting as soon as what happened with UFC with me happen, we were on to the next step. And even when I was getting ready to sign the contract the PFL we had brought up like, when are we going to fight? I didn’t think that I’d be able to get onto, there was only one fight card left at the end of the year, and I knew exactly which one it was. So it’s like, they’re probably not going to get me on that because it’s the biggest night of the year and I just signed,” she said. “Then they brought up well, ‘we might have a fight’ it was ‘might’ they didn’t know and then they threw the name at me and is like, are you serious? That’s fantastic.”

That name was Budd and Ladd was excited to show what she could do in her first bout with PFL. She explained that she has never had an easy fight in her opinion throughout her career and was happy to take on the challenging Budd. Ladd won that PFL debut by split decision, proving that she will be a force to be recorded with next year in the PFL 2023 season.

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