*UPDATE: The fight at UFC Vegas 60 between Ladd and McMann has been cancelled after Ladd weighed in at 138 pounds. She was two pounds over the limit and the fight was cancelled as a result. At this time, there is no word on whether or not the UFC will look to reschedule.
Sneaking in on the prelims of UFC Vegas 60 is a matchup between two top ten bantamweights who both have title aspirations. Aspen Ladd (9-3) returns tomorrow night as she looks to right the ship when she takes on former title challenger and Olympic Silver Medalist Sara McMann (13-6).
Just a few years ago, Ladd was considered arguably the best prospect in women’s MMA. She was a perfect 8-0 and the UFC booked her in a main event against former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie. Ladd was stopped in just 16 seconds.
Starting with that fight, it’s been a rough few years. Ladd has dealt with difficult weight cuts, injuries, and two additional losses to Norma Dumont and Raquel Pennington. Ladd is hoping to regain some of her original magic tomorrow, but it won’t be easy.
In January of 2021, Sara McMann took on Julianna Pena. Had she won that fight, it would’ve been two wins in a row for the former Olympic Silver Medalist and she might’ve earned herself a title shot. She started out extremely well in the first round taking Pena down.
However, she ultimately got tired and Pena took over on her way to winning by submission. Now, McMann did bounce back well getting a decision win over Karol Rosa back in March. McMann will look to make it two in a row tomorrow.
UFC Vegas 60 Prediction
Sara McMann will enter the octagon tomorrow night just one week shy of turning 42 years old. Ladd on the other hand is just 27 years old. There’s a huge age advantage for Ladd who should be gearing up to enter her prime. However, she’s shown no signs of that lately.
Ladd has more explosive attacks, she’s faster, she’s younger, and she has decent cardio. All that being said, I’m having a hard time buying her winning tomorrow. Ladd’s stock has fallen so much over her last couple of performance.
With Sara McMann, you know what you’re going to get. You’re going to get someone who is going to come forward and look to implement her wrestling. She’s going to make any fight tough and it can get frustrating for her opponents.
I think Ladd definitely has the higher ceiling especially at this stage in their careers, however, I don’t know if she can reach that ceiling. Until Ladd shows me that she can replicate the success she had earlier in her career, I find it difficult to pick her.
In this fight, I think there’s a clear path for Ladd to have success. However, I’m expecting Sara McMann to make it a grind at UFC Vegas 60. In a tough/grueling fight, I’m picking Sara McMann all day until Aspen Ladd proves me wrong.
Prediction: Sara McMann by Decision