Aspen Ladd expects Sijara Eubanks rematch to be 'completely new fight' at UFC Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Aspen Ladd is throwing her first fight with Sijara Eubanks out the window going into Saturday’s rematch at UFC on ESPN+ 10.

Ladd (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) defeated Eubanks (4-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) by unanimous decision under the Invicta FC banner in January 2017. Both fighters have gone through a lot since then, and outside of some small familiarities, Ladd said there’s not much she’s holding on to more than two years later.

“It’s going to be a completely new fight,” Ladd told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Thursday during media day. “I’m sure there’s tendencies we both still have. It’s been two years, and we have a lot of experiences between then and now and a lot of time to train. She’s gotten a lot better and so have I. It will be a completely different fight.”

Ladd originally wasn’t expecting to run it back with Eubanks at this point in time. Ladd was scheduled to fight Holly Holm at UFC 235 in March, but the fight fell apart just weeks out when the ex-UFC champ hit a stall in contract negotiations. Ladd was removed from the card and forced to wait more than two months for a new fight.

“I was very excited about the fight (with Holm) and the challenge of it,” Ladd said. “She’s a great fighter and a very seasoned opponent, but when she fell out, sure I was disappointed for a time. But I had to get over it quickly. There was nothing I could do about it. Just find out who’s next.”

Ladd said the upside of her situation is that she carried training camp right through from UFC 235 to UFC on ESPN+ 10. She’s stuck to a strict diet essentially since Christmas and, because of that, said her weight cut is “probably the easiest one I’ve had so far.”

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The matchup with Eubanks did come a little out of left field, though. After their Invicta FC clash, Ladd moved to the UFC, where she’s won two fights. Eubanks, meanwhile, joined the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” which was made to create the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion.

Eubanks made it to the finals of the tournament but was hospitalized after a bad weight cut. She attempted to remain at 125 pounds but missed weight in her most recent UFC appearance, forcing her up a division and making the rematch with Ladd possible.

Going from fighting a former champ in Holm to an unranked opponent in Eubanks, who Ladd has already beaten, took some adjustment. However, Ladd is not worried about how the difference impacts the trajectory of her career and is simply happy to continue gaining experience.

“I’m not here chasing a belt,” Ladd said. “I just started. There’s a lot of tough women in the 135 division. I’m just here to fight, build my name and have fun doing it.”

UFC on ESPN+ 10 takes place at Blue Cross Arena. The entire card streams on ESPN+.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 10, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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