Aspen Ladd is willing to take her share of the blame for her Fight of the Night winning bout with Sijara Eubanks at UFC Rochester being a brawl.
Rochester, NY — Aspen Ladd does her speaking in the cage. In that sense, she had plenty to say Saturday at UFC Rochester, winning a decision over Sijara Eubanks at the Blue Cross Arena. Eubanks was returning to bantamweight, fighting at 135lbs for the first time in the UFC. The pair had fought once before, in Invicta FC, Ladd taking a unanimous decision in that fight as well.
In Rochester, the fight earned the pair Fight of the Night honors. That, at a card that wound up with nine finishes, several going into the later rounds.
Ladd’s statement was made in the octagon. She was her usual, reserved self with reporters including Cageside Press afterwards, even apologizing at one point for cussing. After uttering the word “damn.”
“I knew she’d be a very tough opponent. A lot of people would have folded in several of the positions we were in. She’s a tough fighter. It was a good fight,” she said of Eubanks and the scrap they had just completed. “That was the biggest banger I’ve been in yet. It was a good one.”
That it was, and she feels it was the type of fight that “anyone who is a fighter can appreciate,” saying her reaction to coming out of it was “‘damn I was just in a fight,’ excuse my language.”
The pair exchanged a few words afterward, which Ladd said was essentially “‘Good job, that was a heck of a fight.’ There might have been some dirty language in there, but I’m not going to repeat it.”
Damn. The scorecards for the fight, which were all over the map, didn’t even register with Ladd. “When you’re in that position, you don’t know where you stand,” she said. “It’s like ‘oh gosh, it’s going to be a decision, I think I got it, I don’t know.'” No matter how good the performance, Ladd said, “you’re still about to go to the scorecard, you don’t know where it’s going, so you’re kind of freaking out.”
Aware that Eubanks had improved as a fighter since their first meeting, after a stint on TUF, Ladd admitted that the fight was “a fistfight brawl, and that was partially my fault, I should have listened to my coaches a little bit better, instead of ‘[bite] down and throw.'”
As a result, she got “quite an earful” between rounds. “I listened when I remembered to listen, and I’m usually better about that, I need to be better next time.”
“We’ll try to be a little more technical next time,” she admitted.
Ladd was coy on when she might return, saying only “if they call and offer me a fight tomorrow, I’ll take it.” Asked if she might call out any names, she responded by saying “You’re not about to get that quite yet.”
Could that be a glimmer of hope that Ladd might one day open up a little on the mic? Don’t hold your breath. “I mean we could always live and hope, but I’m really not that kind of person,” she stated. “Like ‘okay, you’re fighting Holly Holm.’ Great! They call me, say I’m fighting Sijara Eubanks, ‘great, let’s do that!’ I’m just grateful to be here, and I enjoy what I do, thoroughly. And I’ve only fought a couple of women in the division, so whoever they offer me, I’m excited for it.”
She’s also excited, and downright happy, “have been in a fight like that, and come out victorious. It’s a certain feeling. It’s not just like, you’re very technical and you won the fight, or you subbed them and won the fight. That was a brawl, and you won the fight.”
“It’s kind of, as one of my coaches says, testing your pair,” she finished. No apology for her language that time.
Watch the full UFC Rochester post-fight press scrum with Aspen Ladd above!