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Aspen Ladd misses weight, won’t fight Leslie Smith at UFC Atlantic City

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Aspen Ladd at UFC Gdansk in Gdansk, Poland, on Oct. 21, 2017.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Aspen Ladd’s struggle with the scale has cost her a fight.

The 23-year-old bantamweight came in over the 135-pound limit at Friday’s early weigh-ins for her fight with Leslie Smith at UFC Atlantic City, which was scheduled to take place Saturday at Boardwalk Hall.

Officials later announced that the fight was off, following sources telling MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that Smith had declined to go on with the matchup.

Ladd also commented on the situation via Instagram:

According to Ladd, her team made the decision to not cut any more weight after consulting a physician.

“I apologize to my opponent Leslie Smith, the fans and the UFC,” Ladd wrote. “I missed weight by 1.8 lbs due to certain female circumstances. Regardless, it’s not an excuse, we consulted with the doctor and a decision was made not to continue cutting weight.

“We made every effort with the UFC to keep the fight alive, even offered Leslie an additional $5,000 on top of my 20-percent purse deduction. The UFC told me Leslie will not accept the fight.”

Ladd added that she would like to see the fight with Smith be rescheduled as soon as possible.

This was to be Ladd’s second fight in the UFC. She won her Octagon debut last October at UFC Gdansk, defeating Lina Lansberg via second-round TKO to improve to 6-0 as a professional.

Ladd has missed weight before, coming in at 138 pounds for a bout vs. Jessica Hoy at Invicta FC 18 on July 29, 2016. That fight went on as a catchweight affair that Ladd would win by second-round TKO.

UPDATE: Smith has issued her own statement, via Twitter:

According to Smith, she will be paid her win and show money. She also accused Ladd of intentionally planning to head into their fight with a weight advantage.

Ladd, according to her team, has hired famed MMA nutrionist George Lockhart to help her with future weight cuts.