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Aspen Ladd says she’s agreed to fight Miesha Tate for bantamweight return: ‘It’s on her’

Aspen Ladd plans to return to the bantamweight division, and it appears she may get the fight she wants.

Ladd will look to hit the refresh button after a tumultuous 2021 where after recovering from a torn ACL and MCL, two bouts with Macy Chiasson were cancelled on fight week, including a weight miss by 1.8 pounds ahead of a scheduled October booking. She would go on to face Norma Dumont in a short-notice featherweight bout at UFC Vegas 40 and drop a unanimous decision.

During the fight, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate made comments about the cornering of Ladd’s head coach and partner Jim West, calling some of the tough love “abuse” on social media. Because of that, Ladd hopes her return to the 135-pound division will have her standing across the octagon from Tate.

“I already have an inkling of when I’ll be back,” Ladd told MMA Fighting. “For her I’d wait a little bit longer. We’ll see what she decides to do in the next week or so.”

Asked if she had been offered the fight with Tate, the 26-year-old confirmed she had and didn’t hesitate to accept. Of course, no fight is official until pen hits paper, and according to Ladd, the proverbial ball is in Tate’s court.

“It’s on her,” she said of Tate. “I’ve agreed to fight her in the past and I’ve agreed to fight her now. I want that fight. It depends on whether she’s choosing to take it, or if she’s gonna choose not to fight, or choose an easier out. We’ll see.

“If she chooses not to [fight me], you’ll see me back regardless. I hope she doesn’t.

“Hey, look at her, she essentially set up the fight already,” Ladd added. “If you’re gonna do that, if you’re gonna talk trash, if you’re gonna say things that you have, and now she’s talking about fighting other people calling her out. Of course they are. Everybody wants to fight you.

“But when you say very particular things about somebody and then you don’t feel like backing them up, I don’t know what that makes you, but it’s definitely not a fighter.”

The loss to Dumont was Ladd’s first octagon appearance in nearly two years. In her previous bout, Ladd stopped Yana Kunitskaya via third-round TKO in December 2019 to bounce back from her first professional loss to Germaine de Randmie five months prior.

Ladd said the loss to Dumont, along with a “bizarre” 2021 has led her to make a lot of changes. Those include some of her coaches – aside from West – and a renewed focus on strength and conditioning.

All in all, she’s planning on getting back — in her eyes — to her old self in 2022 as a competitor. And while she’s not much of a trash talker, she was asked if she would consider a fight with Tate to be categorized as personal.

“Very much so,” Ladd said. “I wanted to fight her in the past simply because she’s a legend coming back. Now I want to fight her because she said some things she really shouldn’t have.”