An intriguing women’s bantamweight bout between top contenders Julianna Pena and Aspen Ladd has been added to UFC Columbus.
UFC on ESPN 8 takes place Saturday, March 28 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The main event is a heavyweight bout between title contenders Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Pena vs. Ladd is expected to take place on the main card.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to break the news of Pena vs. Ladd on his Twitter. Check it out below.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 11, 2020
Ladd is currently the No. 2 ranked women’s bantamweight on the UFC roster, while Pena is ranked No. 4 overall. The winner of this bout could very well be next in line for a title shot against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Ladd (9-1) bounced back from her first career knockout loss to Germaine de Randamie with a TKO win over Yana Kunitskaya in December. Overall Ladd has a 4-1 record in the UFC with wins over Kunitskaya, Sijara Eubanks, Tonya Evinger and Lina Lansberg. At just 24 years of age, Ladd looks poised to be one of the top women’s bantamweights on the UFC roster for many years to come.
Pena (9-3) is coming off of a decision win over Nicco Montano on the same card that Ladd lost to de Randamie on. That was Pena’s first fight in over two years following her lone Octagon defeat to Valentina Shevchenko in 2017. Pena then took time off to become a mother, but her victory over Montano showed that she hasn’t missed a beat despite the layoff. Pena overall has a 5-1 record in the UFC with wins over Montano, Cat Zingano, Jessica Eye, Milana Dudieva, and Jessica Rakoczy.
With Nunes looking for her next opponent, the winner of Pena vs. Ladd could very well be next in line for the title shot against Nunes at 135lbs.
Who do you think wins, Julianna Pena or Aspen Ladd?