Two years ago, UFC bantamweight Aspen Ladd frightened onlookers during her pre-fight weigh-in when she walked onto the scales visibly shaking from an extreme weight cut even by UFC standards. The weight cut was so bad she was eventually suspended from fighting.
Unfortunately, history has repeated itself.
Ladd, still competing at bantamweight and scheduled to face Macy Chiasson on Saturday, showed up for her weigh-in looking visibly unhealthy and shaking on the scale, to the point that it took several minutes to properly register her weight. She struggled to lift her arms when asked. Even after a clearly brutal weight cut and removing her clothes, she missed the 135-pound target weight.
UFC officials told ESPN's Marc Raimondi that the bout was called off less than an hour later.
Here's video of Ladd on the scale with a privacy screen, but be warned it's an uncomfortable watch:
Aspen Ladd weighs 137. #UFCVegas38pic.twitter.com/FCOQCMTTjN
— Helen Yee (@HelenYeeSports) October 1, 2021
That scene doesn't look much different from the one in 2019, when Ladd was preparing to fight Germaine de Randamie. Ladd at least made weight that time, but would eventually lose by TKO after 16 seconds. What's more, it also happened in 2018.
The post-fight weight math in 2019 was brutal. Ladd weighed in at the requisite 135 pounds for her weight class, but then showed up for the fight at 159 pounds. Which means she gained 24 pounds in the span of 36 hours, an 18 percent increase in her body weight.
Following that episode, the California State Athletic Commission suspended Ladd's license to fight at bantamweight and lifted it more than a month later after she showed "real weight loss." It's unclear what happened in the time since.
This go-around triggered the usual worries on social media:
Aspen Ladd should not fight tomorrow. That was extremely troubling. Common sense has to prevail here. What in the world.
Just wait for the video.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 1, 2021
Yeah, they shouldn't let her fight, this was hard to watch. https://t.co/l7kqctPxsA
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 1, 2021
Another Aspen Ladd weigh-in. Another Twitter timeline shocked and appalled that she's terrible at weight-cutting.
— RJ Clifford (@RJcliffordMMA) October 1, 2021
Ladd's issues are an extreme example of an issue pervasive across combat sports, but especially in the UFC. Certain fighters will dangerously dehydrate themselves leading up to their weigh-in, make weight, then regain as much weight back as they can over the next day. A fewhave collapsedin the process.
Some have tried to address the problem. The ONE Championship promotion did it in 2017 by weighing fighters multiple times during the week leading up to their bout and testing their urine for signs of dehydration.
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