Julianna Pena has been forced out of a potential No. 1 contender’s fight against Aspen Ladd at the upcoming UFC on ESPN 8 from Columbus, Ohio.
Sources close to the situation confirmed to MMA Fighting that Pena suffered an injury that will keep her from competing on March 28. The news was first reported by MMAJunkie.
With Pena out, Ladd will not face a replacement opponent and instead will wait to hopefully book this fight at a later date.
After winning The Ultimate Fighter season 18, Pena went onto amass an impressive 5-1 record in the UFC with her only loss coming to current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. Pena took off more than two years following that fight after getting pregnant and giving birth to her first child.
She returned to action with a win over former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano last July. Unfortunately it appears Pena will have to wait until a later date to book her next fight in 2020 after falling out of the matchup with Ladd due to injury.
As for Ladd, she’s coming off a win over Yana Kunitskaya in her last outing as she moved her UFC record to 4-1 with three of those wins coming by TKO.
Ladd is expected to wait for Pena to get healthy in hopes of that fight being rebooked with the winner possibly earning a shot at reigning bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.