Ex-UFC fighter Aspen Ladd inks deal with PFL as a featherweight

Aspen Ladd has a new home.

Just one week after parting ways with the UFC, Ladd (9-3) has signed with PFL to compete at women’s featherweight, promotion officials announced Tuesday.

“I want to thank the Professional Fighters League for giving me the opportunity to continue my career in the PFL SmartCage,” Ladd said in a statement. “I am excited about the PFL’s sport season format where you win and advance based on talent and merit. I look forward to testing myself against the best women’s featherweights in the world.”

Ladd was released by the UFC after a history of failing to make the non-title bantamweight limit of 136 pounds, which led to numerous fight cancellations. The 27-year-old was booked against Sara McMann at UFC Fight Night 210, but the bout was scrapped after Ladd came in at 138, two pounds over the bantamweight limit. Ladd’s weight cut was stopped by commission officials, and she was subsequently released by the promotion.

Ladd made her featherweight debut against Norma Dumont in the UFC Fight Night 195 main event last October, but lost the fight by unanimous decision. During her almost five-year UFC tenure, Ladd scored finishes of Lina Lansberg, Tonya Evinger and Yana Kunitskaya. She had three fights called off due to weight-related issues during that stretch.

It is expected that the promotion will launch a women’s featherweight season in 2023, in which Ladd will participate. Thus far the company has hosted only women’s lightweight seasons, the current of which concludes with Kayla Harrison vs. Larissa Pacheco 3 at the 2022 PFL Championships event on Nov. 25 in New York.