The undefeated Ladd (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) makes a point to not converse with the person she’s about to fight. But for Smith (10-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC), there was a pressing issue that just couldn’t wait.
As she did with every fighter on the UFC roster, Smith sent Ladd a direct message on Twitter, urging her to sign an authorization card that would go toward the 150 or so she needs to move forward with Project Spearhead, an effort to unionize fighters.
Ladd, 23, is just one bout into her UFC career, so she isn’t quite sure what to make of Smith’s passion project. What’s more, she still doesn’t want to talk to her opponents before fights.
“It’s just a little bit strange right now,” Ladd told MMAjunkie Radio. “So anything to do with the opponent, I don’t really pay attention to before the fight, no matter what it is.”
Ladd doesn’t really take a stand on the collective bargaining efforts of Smith and others. From the sound of it, she would rather decide for herself whether it’s necessary to gather together fighters to speak with one voice at the negotiating table with the UFC.
“I’m so new to the sport, I haven’t really delved too far into it just yet,” Ladd said. “We’ll see as the years go on and how my views change and progress, but right now, I’m content with what I’m doing.”
At the top of her list right now is climbing the ranks at 135 pounds. She is no longer capable of fighting in the flyweight division, where she first got her start as an MMA professional.
“I would be death bed if I tried to make it,” she said. “I’d have to lose probably about 20 pounds of muscle. It would just be a miserable affair.”
Better yet to make Smith’s life miserable over 15 minutes when they meet April 21 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The event’s main card airs live on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
After the fight, Smith might get a better chance to put the stakes of Ladd’s career into perspective. Maybe Ladd will understand better what Smith is fighting for and get behind it. On the other hand, maybe they’ll just go their separate ways – one up the UFC ladder and the other down.
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: When your opponent wants you to join MMA union – or Aspen Ladd's UFC Fight Night 128 buildup