Julianna Pena Out of UFC Columbus, Ladd Fight Off Card

Julianna Pena UFC
Julianna Pena Credit: Dave Mandel/Cageside Press

UFC Columbus later this month has suffered an injury blow. On Friday, news broke that bantamweight Julianna Pena had been forced out of her fight with Aspen Ladd.

MMA Junkie was first to report the development. As a result of Pena’s withdrawal, Ladd is reportedly off the card as well. The hope is that the fight can be re-booked in the short term, rather than finding Ladd a replacement opponent.

The reason for Pena dropping off the card has not been disclosed. The UFC has not officially announced the news.

After taking time off to give birth to a daughter, Pena returned to the octagon last July at UFC Sacramento. She defeated former UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montaño by unanimous decision. Prior to stepping away during her pregnancy, Pena had built up a 4-1 run in the promotion. Her only loss inside the UFC came to current women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, at 135lbs in 2017.

Ladd (9-1) is coming off a rebound win over Yana Kunitskaya at UFC DC in December. That win saw her bounce back from her first-ever career loss, against Germaine de Randamie in the UFC Sacramento main event.

UFC Columbus (UFC on ESPN 8) takes place March 28, 2020 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.