Aspen Ladd may never love cutting weight to get down to 135 pounds, but that doesn’t mean she can’t find a healthy way to do it.
Ahead of her most recent appearance in the UFC, the 24-year-old bantamweight contender was shaky and unstable as she stepped on the scale just a day before she was scheduled to face former UFC champion Germaine de Randamie.
Ladd ended up gaining back 24 pounds between Friday’s weigh-ins and Saturday’s fight night and afterwards the California State Athletic Commission issued a temporary suspension in the state to prevent her from making the cut back down 135 pounds. That suspension was eventually lifted after the commission was satisfied by changes that Ladd had made in her preparations as she gets ready to fight at UFC on ESPN 7 this weekend.
Never one to make excuses, Ladd admits that she did endure a really tough weight cut the last time she competed but she truly believes it was more about timing than poor planning on her part.
“The last one was just brutal and I think part of it was because I did the cut twice in a six-week period but everything’s going good right now,” Ladd explained when speaking to MMA Fighting.
“We’ve done things that have worked in the past. We’re working with the [UFC Performance Institute] and we’re working with a nutritionist. Everything has gone extremely well.”
Ladd made a quick turn around for her last fight after defeating Sijara Eubanks in May and then booking her fight against de Randamie less than eight weeks later.
She would be far from the first fighter in history to struggle with multiple weight cuts in a short period of time but now that Ladd has her nutrition on point, she’s feeling better than ever ahead of her return in Washington D.C.
“It’s probably just the length of time. I’ve been dieting since the middle of September so I’ve had time to acclimate to it,” Ladd said. “Being very, very strict. I have a meal plan company, I have my coach and I have the PI so I’m utilizing it all together and they’re doing an extremely good job.
“I have things explained to me on a daily basis that I didn’t know before. Like there’s a difference between a water load and a water taper for example. It’s just there’s little things you’re going to learn the rest of your career. It’s the same as fighting. I’m never going to know all of it.”
While the weight cut has been tough on Ladd in the past, she’s always been able to recover in time for the fight, which was reflected the perfect 8-0 start to her career.
Now that she’s actually taking huge strides in improving her nutrition, which in turn will hopefully make it easier to get down to the bantamweight limit, Ladd is confident the results will show in her performance.
“I’m usually very good at the recovery part of it. It’s just getting there you feel like you’re going to die,” Ladd said. “We get better every time, or at least you attempt to, and this is probably the best I’ve felt leading up to one.”