Aspen Ladd to fight Julia Budd in PFL debut on Nov. 25

Aspen Ladd has her first PFL assignment.

The former UFC bantamweight announced Wednesday on The MMA Hour that she is scheduled to fight former Bellator champion Julia Budd in a featherweight bout at the PFL 2022 Championship event on Nov. 25 in New York. MMA Mania was first to report the news.

Ladd (9-3) signed with the league in October, with the expectation that she will compete in the newly formed featherweight division in the 2023 regular season. However, she is now set to make her PFL debut this year.

“I’m thrilled,” Ladd said. “It’s pretty much a fighter’s dream at Madison Square Garden and I’m excited that I don’t have to wait until next April basically to start this next season. So I’ve been waiting to find out if I was going to be on it and I got the confirmation last week, and I was like, ‘Yes!’”

The 27-year-old compiled a 4-3 record with the UFC, but struggled to make the bantamweight limit on multiple occasions and twice saw bouts canceled after she missed weight, including her most recent booking this past August against Sara McMann. Ladd has lost two straight fights and three of her past four.

Budd (16-4) is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Genah Fabian this past May in a lightweight bout that marked her first regular season PFL appearance. Fabian missed weight by over four pounds for the contest, which meant Budd was awarded an automatic three points in the standings. It would be Budd’s lone outing of the 2022 regular season as a July bout with eventual tournament champion Kayla Harrison fell through due to a Budd injury.