Aspen Ladd excited with switch from PFL to Bellator, still aims to become champion

The landscape in Aspen Ladd’s fighting career has changed drastically and abruptly in recent months. Yet, despite all the differences, her main goal remains: to become a champion wherever she’s fighting.

The former UFC contender was fighting under the PFL banner after leaving the UFC in late 2022. However, that all changed out of nowhere when PFL disbanded the women’s featherweight season for 2024, only hosting 125 pounds for women after purchasing rival promotion Bellator in late 2023.

Ladd (11-5) has yet to make her Bellator debut but does have a fight scheduled. She’s expected to meet Ekaterina Shakalova at the Bellator Championship Series event in Paris on May 17. Although things may seem new and uncertain, Ladd’s focus remains unchanged.

“I’m very curious to see what the belt situation is with what’s going on,” Ladd told MMA Junkie Radio. “I don’t know if it’s going to be a unified belt, or they’re going to keep one for Bellator, one for PFL. I don’t know.

“And yes, that is the ultimate goal (become world champion), but at the moment because it’s so up in the air, it’s like, ‘Meh.’ I just take every fight as they come, and that is the singular battle. We’ll see where this goes in a year and year and a half with what they’re going to do.”

Bellator Championship Series is mostly going to be held outside the U.S., at least for the near future. This excites Ladd because she will have the opportunity to travel the world, as she has only fought outside the U.S. once in her entire professional MMA career.

“Honestly, I’m very excited about it,” Ladd said about the switch from PFL to Bellator. It’s going to be the year of travel because after this fight, if you look at where all the fights are going to be this year, there’s a slim chance I’m fighting in the U.S. It’s the year of travel, and that’s pretty darn exciting.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie