UFC: Sara McMann Wanted GDR, Gets Aspen Ladd on August 13 Instead

Sara McMann, UFC
Sara McMann, UFC Raleigh Weigh-In Credit: Bryson Hester/Cageside Press

Former Olympian and UFC title challenger Sara McMann has her next fight booked — but it’s not exactly against the opponent she wanted.

McMann (13-6), who won silver at the 2004 Olympic Games in women’s freestyle wrestling, will face Aspen Ladd (9-3) at the UFC’s August 13 Fight Night event. News of the match-up was first reported by All Access MMA, after Ladd teased she had a fight coming.

Responding to the news, McMann took to social media, writing “Next opponent is Aspen Ladd on August 13!! I was expecting to fight GDR (she retired) or Raquel Pennington (she is recovering from surgery) and this fight was offered instead.

That brought about a response from Germaine de Randamie, disputing that she had retired. Which in turn led to McMann calling for GDR to replace Ladd.

A former UFC featherweight champ and bantamweight title challenger herself, de Randamie has not fought since a 2020 win over current 135 pound champ Julianna Pena.

For the time being, meanwhile, it’s McMann vs. Ladd that is in place. The women’s bantamweight bout sees Ladd looking to snap a two-fight skid, the first losing streak of her young career. Overall, she’s 1-3 in her last four fights, and has struggled with making weight at 135 pounds, which led to a featherweight fight against Norma Dumont last year.

When that didn’t go her way, Ladd returned to bantamweight against Raquel Pennington in April at UFC 273, losing her second consecutive decision.

McMann enters the fight off a win over Karol Rosa back in March. Now 41, it has been eight years since McMann challenged Ronda Rousey for bantamweight gold at UFC 170. The wrestling standout has struggled to compete with regularity, fighting just once per year from 2018 onward, and missing 2019 entirely. It looks like 2022 will at least snap that trend.

The UFC’s August 13, 2022 event does not yet have a location, venue, or broadcast plan announced. So far, a total of four fights have been reported for the card:

  • Istela Nunes vs. Yazmin Jauregui
  • Gerald Meerschaert vs. Bruno Silva
  • Devin Clark vs. Azamat Murzakanov
  • Sara McMann vs. Aspen Ladd