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Kayla Harrison and Larissa Pacheco's resumes are ‘absolutely nothing compared to mine: Aspen Ladd

Aspen Ladd is eager to begin the next phase of her career after capturing her first victory in over three years. She sees Larissa Pacheco and Kayla Harrison as the top female players in the PFL as being far behind her already.

“I think Kayla has been the queen for a long time. But if you look at either one of their resumes, it’s absolutely nothing compared to the people that I have fought and have come in fighting. So, you have different levels of experience with different levels of opponents.”

One of the biggest upsets of the year happened on Friday when Pacheco defeated Harrison in the women's lightweight tourney finale. Harrison, a two-time Olympic champion in judo, had a distinguished career until suffering her first defeat as a professional in mixed martial arts.

The main criticism of Harrison and other PFL fighters has been the quality of their opponents. The addition of Ladd fuelled the line-up of the league season promotion, but for the time being, she fights in a different weight class because, following her release from the UFC due to yet another weight problem that forced the cancellation of her match at UFC Vegas 60, she climbed to featherweight.

The 27-year-old Ladd claimed that competing in a heavier weight class was a different experience.

“Elated,” she said. “I went through some serious health struggles, not just my knee the last couple of years, like, it was bad. Auto-immune stuff lost all my hair. This little shaved down [hair] is not because I wanted to – it was because I had nothing left. And just getting healthy again and feeling good and being unable to live and fight and do what I love and not feel like crap. It’s been years of a lot of difficult stuff, and it’s just a huge relief.”

Ladd felt she was the legitimate winner on Friday as she defeated former Bellator champion Julia Budd by a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). The fight took place at Hulu Theater in New York. Even though the contest was much tighter than she had preferred, even though she was concerned when the scorecards were announced.

“At the end of any fight like that, there’s always doubt,” she said. “I felt that I did enough, absolutely, but it’s still a frustration situation. She’s a very tough opponent, and you never know until they call out your name. So, of course, it was nerve-racking, but did I think I did enough? Yes.”


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