Aspen Ladd eyeing fights with Julianna Pena or Raquel Pennington in UFC return

Aspen Ladd, UFC Rochester
Image: @ufc on Instagram

UFC women’s bantamweight contender Aspen Ladd is hoping the promotion can match her up against Julianna Pena or Raquel Pennington next.

Ladd was supposed to fight Pena earlier this year but her opponent was forced to withdraw from the contest. Ladd was then booked to fight veteran Sara McMann, but this time it was Ladd who had to withdraw due to a severe knee injury. Ladd is now recovering from her injuries and she hopes to make a full recovery so she can return to the Octagon in 2021.

Speaking to MMAjunkie.com, Ladd’s coach Jim West gave a timeline for her comeback to the Octagon, while mentioning that Pena and Pennington are two opponents of interest.

“Aspen does (physical therapy) two or three times a day, five times a week, so she’s really putting a lot of work. Last I heard, she’s about five or six weeks ahead of schedule, and a lot of it boils down to as much effort as Aspen puts in. She pushes past most that I’ve seen. Her hiking and all that kinda stuff adds to that, so my guess is you’re probably gonna see Aspen fight sometime around the end of February, the beginning of March,” West said.

“Aspen wants to fight Julianna Pena really bad. They were supposed to fight several times, and we’re gonna get that fight at some point, or maybe Raquel Pennington. I don’t know what Raquel is doing at that time, but Julianna is on Aspen’s radar.”

Ladd most recently competed at UFC Washington, D.C. last December, where she finished Yana Kunitskaya with strikes to rebound from a TKO loss to Germaine de Randamie. As for Pena, she is also coming off of a loss to de Randamie by submission. Pennington, meanwhile, is coming off of a decision win over Marion Reneau back in June.

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