Aspen Ladd
Aspen Ladd set to face Julia Budd in her promotional PFL debut. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images


  • Aspen Ladd signed with PFL earlier this month
  • She is set to make her PFL debut this coming November
  • Ladd will face Julia Budd in a women's featherweight bout

Last October 4, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) signed former UFC star Aspen Ladd, one of the most intriguing women's fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) today.

Ladd is widely considered a future world champion in the sport, but she faced weight-cutting issues during her time with the UFC that led to her release this past September.

The 27-year-old native of Folsom, California owns a 9-3 professional MMA record, with six of those wins coming by way of knockout and one via submission.

It didn't take long for Ladd to find a new home as she signed with PFL just days after she parted ways with the UFC.

With PFL, Ladd will be competing in the featherweight division, which should help eliminate her weight-cutting hurdles.

It was announced that Ladd was set to compete in the 2023 PFL season and be the cornerstone of the league's newest weight class for women.

Now, it looks like fans won't need to wait until next year to get a taste of what Ladd can do inside the PFL cage as it has been confirmed that she will be making her promotional debut this coming November 25th at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

"It feels like a fighter's dream to compete in Madison Square Garden, and I'm excited that I don't have to wait 'til next April basically, which is the start of next season," Ladd revealed in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.

"I've been waiting to find out if I was gonna be on [the card], and I got confirmation last week, and I was like 'yes!'"

Welcoming Ladd to PFL will be former Bellator women's featherweight titleholder Julia Budd.

Like Ladd, Budd was a high-profile signing for PFL late last season.

In her PFL debut, Budd defeated Kaitlin Young by way of unanimous decision.

Budd competed in this season's women's lightweight tournament, losing to Genah Fabian in her first elimination round.

An injury forced her out of her scheduled elimination-round duel against Kayla Harrison.

An encounter against Budd—a natural featherweight—would be the perfect debut for Ladd, who will get to introduce herself to the PFL audience and give them a preview of what to expect next season.

Moreover, a victory over a proven veteran like Budd would surely establish Ladd as a legitimate favorite for the women's featherweight crown and show that she can still indeed compete at the highest level of MMA.

Aside from that, putting together two of the league's best 145-pounders would also be a great way to introduce the newly-established bracket.

The 2022 PFL World Championships—which will air live exclusively on ESPN+ PPV—will likewise feature six world title contests, headlined by a women's lightweight championship clash between rivals Harrison and Larissa Pacheco.

Furthermore, the card will put on the spotlight on the maiden PFL appearance of another ex-UFC standout in Shane Burgos, who locks horns with Marlon Moraes.

Aspen Ladd
Aspen Ladd Ethan Miller/Getty Images