Report – Irene Aldana books UFC 273 return against Aspen Ladd on April 9.

Irene Aldana
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

A potential bantamweight title-eliminator is on deck for UFC 273 on April 9. – with the #3 ranked contender, Irene Aldana, slated to meet with #4 ranked challenger, Aspen Ladd in a pivotal 135lbs showdown. At the time of publication, the promotion is currently targeting a Barclays Center return for the event in Brooklyn, New York.

Improving to 13-6 as a professional in her last outing, Mexican striker, Aldana managed to rebound to the winner’s circle with an impressive opening round ground strikes wins over former Invicta FC titleholder and one-time UFC featherweight title chaser, Yana Kunitskaya in July at UFC 264. Aldana had tipped the scales at 139.5lbs for the bout, however, resulting in a catchweight contest.

Returning to the Octagon for the first time since a catastrophic knee injury last year, California native, Ladd dropped a unanimous judging defeat to Norma Dumont in October at UFC Vegas 40. Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPNDeportes was first to report the clash between Aldana, and Ladd. 

Aldana, 33, a 10-fight alum of the UFC, began her tenure with the promotion with a pair of decision losses to both Leslie Smith, and one-time flyweight title challenger, Katlyn Chookagian.

Following those starting defeats, Aldana, a product of Lobo Gym, embarked on a three-fight winning spree against Talita Bernardo, Lucie Pudilova, and Bethe Correira, before dropping another close decision loss to Raquel Pennington. 

Rebounding since, Aldana bested both Vanessa Melo, and in spectacular fashion, handed Ketlen Vieira her first promotional loss in the form of a thunderous first round knockout at UFC 244. Before he win over Kunitskaya, Aldana headlined in Abu Dhabi, UAE back in October of last year – suffering a judging loss to former division champion, Holly Holm. 

9-2 as a professional, Folsom native, Ladd last scored a victory over common-opposition, Kunitskaya at UFC Fight Night D.C. in December 2019. 

Before he win over the Russian striker, Ladd dropped a high-profile first round knockout loss to inaugural UFC featherweight champion, Germaine de Randamie in the main event of UFC Fight Night Sacramento in July 2019. The loss snapped a perfect eight-fight run for Ladd, which included UFC wins over Sijara Eubanks, Tonya Evinger, and Lina Lansberg.


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