MMA fans and pundits reacted in shock and called for common sense to prevail after UFC bantamweight contender Aspen Ladd was seen shaking on the scales at the weigh-in ahead of a fight that was eventually canceled by officials.
Currently number 10 in the women’s pound-for-pound rankings and number three in her division, 9-1 Ladd was scheduled to take on 8-1 Macy Chiasson on a UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas headlined by Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker.
Attending the weigh-in, however, the 26-year-old had to strip down while attempting to make the 135-pound limit, and first came in at 141.5.
Covered by boarding to hide her modesty, the Folsom, California native was then described as “looking weak” and seen shaking and stumbling in disturbing footage when asked to lift her arms.
In an indicator of a brutal weight cut, she was evidently lucky not to pass out.
— Helen Yee (@HelenYeeSports) October 1, 2021
Aspen Ladd almost fainted when trying to stand on her feet and raise both hands on the scale. (She weighed in at 137). Commission is now checking her condition and if she’s able to fight tomorrow. #UFCVegas38 pic.twitter.com/ycHF3HkPeE
— Carlos Contreras Legaspi (@CCLegaspi) October 1, 2021
Bizarre scene right now at #UFCVegas38 weigh-ins. Aspen Ladd has been standing on the scale for 3-4 minutes, looking weak and even shaking at times as they are unable to register her weight.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 1, 2021
An MMA pundit said that Ladd was on the scales for “three-to-four” minutes in total and the best she could do in the end was 137lbs.
But voices such as Ariel Helwani called for the bout to be scrapped altogether.
“Aspen Ladd should not fight tomorrow. That was extremely troubling. Common sense has to prevail here. What in the world,” the Canadian wrote on Twitter, later adding: “Look at her shaking! This is insanity.”
“She might need the money, Ariel,” it was put forward, in another nod to the never-ending row over fighter pay.
“That may be true, and I hope it’s not the case, but she looked like a corpse up there,” Helwani answered.
“[It] just can’t be healthy to let someone in that shape compete in a fight less than 36 hours later.”
ABOVE: 12th July 2019
BELOW: Ten minutes ago
Aspen Ladd was allowed to fight after a scary moment on the scales in 2019 (lost via TKO in the first round) and just had another scary moment.
She should be pulled from the card tomorrow ASAP. #UFCVegas38
— AD Christian (MMA/Boxing News) (@ADchristiann) October 1, 2021
“They CANNOT let Aspen Ladd fight tomorrow after being in this bad of shape at weigh-ins. Dear lord,” said another onlooker.
Around an hour after the disturbing scenes played out, officials heeded those demands with the clash being shelved.
The fight between Aspen Ladd and Macy Chiasson is off, per UFC officials. #UFCVegas38
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) October 1, 2021
But those with good memories reminded us how this isn’t the first time that Ladd has struggled to make weight.
“Had to check the date on this tweet to make sure this was today and not footage of the last time we saw Ladd in a scary situation on the scale. This sh*t is hard to watch, especially when it starts to feel habitual,” said ex-The Athletic scribe Ben Fowlkes.
That “last time” occurred in 2019, when Ladd labored to make the limit and was then knocked out after just 16 seconds of the first round in her only loss in the UFC to Germaine de Randamie.
Later on Friday, Ladd herself took to Instagram to explain to fans, revealing that the unfortunate scenes on the scales had come from her starting her menstrual cycle just before her weight cut.
“Fight is off. Again. All my fault,” Ladd wrote.
“Straight up started my period 2 days back and made this cut absolutely miserable. Did the best I could, hit 137, the scale situation was a mess because the last thing I wanted was to bleed in front of the media.
“The fight wasn’t pulled, my opponent then decided she would rather not go through with it, as is her right. I’m going to get slammed regardless, so let it begin.”