The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Vegas 40

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Norma Dumont UFC
Norma Dumont, UFC Norfolk ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.

Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.

Aspen Ladd UFC Sarah Kaufman Yana Kunistkaya
Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Aspen Ladd (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC)

Bantamweight (135lbs.): 4-1 (UFC), Missed weight 2x

Featherweight (145lbs.): 0-0 (UFC)

Aspen Ladd is a fighter that has had some difficulty with cutting weight throughout her pro MMA career. Ladd has only missed weight two times but she has had quite a few ‘scary’ looking weigh in scenes.

Ladd began her pro MMA career back in 2015 at 125lbs. Aspen moved up to 135lbs in 2016 and has not fought at another weight class since then. Ladd missed weight for an Invicta fight in the bantamweight division in one of her last couple fights before being picked up by the UFC back in 2016.

Aspen missed weight for her 2nd scheduled UFC fight in April of 2018, which is the weigh-in photo you see above. Ladd weighed in at 137.8lbs. for the bout and as a result, her fight with Leslie Smith was cancelled.

Ladd struggled heavily with making weight for her fight against Germaine de Randamie in July of 2019. Even though Aspen ultimately made weight, she did not look good at all, and it showed up in her fight the following day. Ladd was dropped and finished with literally the first punch that her opponent threw, ending the fight in 16 seconds. Not to take away anything from Germaine but there is no way that Ladd’s chin was not compromised by a bad weight cut heading into that fight. This was the first loss of Ladd’s pro MMA career.

Of course, most recently (and we do mean recently), Ladd missed weight for her scheduled fight against Macy Chiasson less than two weeks ago. To make matters worse, Ladd fell ill due to cutting too much weight during adverse conditions and the fight was canceled, though Ladd has contended Chiasson turned down the fight.

Moving forward, though its tough to know for sure, it’s very likely that the 26 year old will have a tough time making 135lbs and not being completely compromised come fight time. For UFC Vegas 40 Aspen Ladd will be making her UFC debut at 145lbs and headlining a card. 

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