While she’s missed the scale before and even had bouts canceled due to concerns about her health, the 27-year-old fighter has been desperately trying to get down to 135 pounds. But her body finally stopped it.
“It was especially nasty just because it should never have happened,” Ladd said of her recent weight loss on The MMA Hour. “I started really low and just stopped sweating.
“Ended up roasting for another six hours without breaking a sweat, and during that process, it’s like never again.”
According to Ladd, she wasn’t trying to cut extreme weight when fight week started. But despite her best efforts, her body shut down after she hit 138 pounds on the scale.
That catastrophic weight loss, combined with so many previous horrific experiences, made Ladd finally realize that the only way she could continue to fight was to move to a bigger and more natural division.
“The level of pain, and the things that I’ve gone through from doing these cuts — and even when you do everything right, you’re as lean as you can be, and you’re on a diet 10 months out of the year — it’s just my whole a life focused on staying small enough,” said Ladd.
“I don’t know for how many of the others [bantamweights] that’s true or fighters in general, but honestly it was just the last straw for me. I ended up living my whole life trying to stay small enough and then feeling this awful and then having to recover from that physically.”
Just days after her fight with McMann was scrapped, the UFC released Ladd from her contract with the promotion.
It was a questionable end to the relationship considering that Ladd was once touted as a future contender in the bantamweight division. But she said there was no way to move forward with the UFC because she was planning a move up to 145 pounds.
“Because I clearly can’t make that weight at 135, at least not consistently without dying,” Ladd said. “I had to make the move up, and they don’t have a chance at 145. They have the weight class, but honestly, if you’re a 145er in the UFC, I would recommend, if you can go down, do it. , and if not, watch your choices. It was time to look at mine.
“It was like both parties knew this was the last straw. Because if you’re given just this single, and I just can’t do it – after this last cut, I’m not trying again. When you’re told , that it’s not there, well, then we have to figure something else out.”
Ladd said she approached the UFC about competing at 145 pounds on a more regular basis, but the organization was not interested in building the featherweight division beyond the title currently held by. amanda nunes.
“The 145th thing has always been on the table, or we’ve brought it up, like, ‘Hey, I want to do this,’ but it’s just not where their focus is,” Ladd said. “Over the years, they really made a push for it, but now, it’s dying out. You try to go where the opportunity is. It was almost 135 [pounds] or nothing.”
Despite the fact that she couldn’t commit to a healthier weight class, Ladd holds no ill will toward the UFC for her release. Even though he is no longer her boss, she praises UFC president Dana White.
“I have nothing but gratitude for my time that I was there,” Ladd said of the UFC. “Some people with the organization are wonderful, and there are a couple who aren’t, but that’s the same for anything, anywhere. Nothing but gratitude.
“As far as Dana goes, I have nothing but respect for the guy. I think he gets a lot of crap in the media, and it’s really not justified, especially in the last two years where the world has shut down and we’ve still had the chance to fight.”
It didn’t take long for Ladd to find a new fighting home. She received several offers and had conversations with Bellator MMA, among others. But in the end, she decided to sign a deal with the PFL as the promotion plans to launch a featherweight division in 2023. That will finally give her the opportunity to compete on a more regular basis.
“[It’s been] roller coaster of emotions,” Ladd said. “Initially it’s what’s going to happen now, but since that initial split from the UFC-type thing, nothing but positivity has happened. Nothing but good things.
“Now, I’m just on top of the world. I couldn’t be happier with how things are going.”