Aspen Ladd Loved Energy of French Crowd at Bellator Paris

Paris, France — Aspen Ladd didn’t get the stoppage she was hoping for, but she did pick up a unanimous decision win over Ekaterina Shakalova at Bellator Paris on Friday.

“The game plan was to get a finish, but she’s a very good grappler. It’s not one-and-done when you get her down, or vice versa when she was shooting on me,” Ladd (12-5) said following the win, speaking with media outlets including Cageside Press at the Accor Arena on Friday. “It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t expect it to be.”

Ladd, who bounced back from a loss to Kayla Harrison in the fight, noted that she came close to submitting Shakalova, but her opponent was just a little too wet to pull it off.

“I did some things well, I did some things not so well. Takeaway is more pressure sooner. But I was calm and I implemented what we were going for. Almost hit a good sub, but between the sweat and the blood it makes it hard to finish things. It was a heck of a fight, had fun doing it and came out on top.”

UFC vet Ladd, who arrived in France early to get a chance to see the sights and adjust to the time difference, was fighting out of the U.S. for just the second time at Bellator Paris. It’s an experience she enjoyed, and feels more people should strive for. And luckily, this time around she accounted for the time difference. “The first time we didn’t, we came in at like a normal time and that was when I fought in Poland, and the time difference messed me up. So this time we came out, I’ve been here nine days ow. So enough time to get acclimated.”

What she found in Paris defied expectations. “Being here, I think people have predispositions or believes of other places before they go. I think everyone needs to travel and see other people. Everybody I met in Paris, whether they speak English or don’t speak English, like we all spent time talking to each other and trying to communicate, and everybody’s very, very nice. It’s been amazing. That kind of community I don’t really see where I’m from, especially not in such a big city type of place. So I loved it, and the Paris crowd, loved the energy.”

Watch the full Bellator Parris post-fight media scrum with Aspen Ladd above.