A bantamweight meeting of top-five contender, Aspen Ladd, and former title challenger, Sara McMann, is targeted to take place at a UFC Fight Night event on June 27th. – with a location, and venue yet to be confirmed by the promotion.
California’s Ladd, recently rallied in her last outing against former Invicta FC bantamweight champion, Yana Kunitskaya, to take a third-round knockout. Maryland native, McMann managed to snap a two-fight skid in her most recent Octagon appearance, taking a unanimous decision win over Lina Länsberg. News of the expected matchup was initially reported by MMA Junkie writer, Mike Bohn.
Ladd, 25, who sits at #3 in the official bantamweight rankings, suffered her first professional defeat in July of last year, losing via knockout to inaugural featherweight titleholder, Germaine de Randamie. The Folsom born striker joined the Octagon ranks back in October of 2017, debuting with a knockout of the aforementioned, Länsberg. With a 9-1 record, Ladd has also bested former Invicta FC 135-pound champion, Tonya Evinger, TUF alumni, Sijara Eubanks (x2), and Amanda Cooper of note. The MMAGOLD trainee was removed from a pairing with Julianna Peña ahead of a March 28th. meeting, after ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ suffered an injury.
McMann, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling, as mentioned earlier, snapped a two-fight losing streak in her victory over Länsberg in January, but also made her first Octagon walk since 2018. The veteran grappler joined the UFC back in April of 2013 – earning a title shot against inaugural bantamweight best, ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey, via a stoppage of Sheila Gaff. McMann would lose her one and only title challenger to date, due to an early barrage at the fence.
McMann holds a 12-5 record, with notable wins coming against one-time Invicta FC bantamweight gold holder, Lauren Murphy, as well as Jessica Eye, Alexis Davis, and Gina Mazany. The 39-year-old had scheduled an Octagon return in July of last year but was forced from a pairing with the promotion’s first flyweight champion, Nicco Montaño due to injury.