Aspen Ladd Says There’s “Not Currently Anybody” in UFC Who Can Beat Kayla Harrison

Former UFC, Invicta FC, and PFL fighter Aspen Ladd makes her Bellator MMA debut this Friday at Bellator Paris, where she’ll face Ekaterina Shakalova in a preliminary card bout.

These days, Ladd is competing as a featherweight, after struggling with the weight cut to 135lbs for years. Coincidentally, she’s coming off a loss at featherweight to Kayla Harrison, who recently debuted in the UFC, making the drop to bantamweight and defeating ex-champ Holly Holm.

On that front, Ladd believes that Harrison is “about to take the 35 division in the UFC,” she stated during Tuesday’s Bellator Paris media day, speaking with journalists including Cageside Press.

Later, she would add that “I thought Kayla Harrison did exactly what I thought she was going to do. Especially when I heard the match-up, her first one. Obviously people think ‘oh that’s a tough fight’ or ‘Holly will do the same thing she did to Ronda [Rousey].’ Uh-uh. She rag-dolled her, and I thought she was going to. Made it look easy. There’s not currently anybody in that division that’s going to be able to beat her, in my opinion.”

As for the takeaways from her own fight with Harrison, “there’s definitely some introspection going on as far as any fights go, but that one, it’s ‘don’t take that level fight on short notice, with one of the best in the world.’ But at the same time, I don’t regret it. It’s a learning experience one way or the other.”

When it comes to the fight with Shakalova at Bellator Paris this Friday, however, the mission for Aspen Ladd is simple. “My entire goal is to get in and get out as fast as I possibly can.”

Ladd believes she’s the toughest test to date for Ekaterina Shakalova, she told Cageside Press. “I most definitely do. So far she’s been a dominant grappler and that’s how she wins her fights, and that’s where I’m world class. So she is not going to have a good night, but I’m sure she’ll continue to do well after.”

Watch the full Bellator Paris media day appearance by Aspen Ladd above.