Aspen Ladd Misses Weight, Fight Against Leslie Smith Cancelled for UFC in New Jersey

Aspen Ladd came in over the bantamweight limit and an agreement could not be reached for her opponent Leslie Smith to accept the contest.

UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City has lost another bout after women’s bantamweight fighter Aspen Ladd failed to make weight and her opponent Leslie Smith was unable to come to an agreement to accept the bout at a catch weight.

Ladd came in at 137.8 pounds — 1.8 pounds over the bantamweight limit for a non-title fight. Ladd then agreed to give a portion of her purse to Smith to accept the fight at a different contracted weight but she refused.

Ladd says she then offered to bump up the offer by adding another $5,000 to compensate Smith for accepting the fight, but again no agreement could be made. Ladd then apologized for missing weigh in the first place, which led to the chain reaction of events that led to her fight being cancelled.

At that point, the UFC was forced to pull the fight from the card.

Smith later explained in an interview with MMAJunkie that the UFC opted to pay her full show and win money — $62,000 — and then release her from her contract, which only had one fight left on the deal.

Smith is now considered a free agent able to sign with any mixed martial arts promotion as she said the UFC wasn’t interested in retaining her services.

In recent months, Smith has been very vocal about organizing a union effort for UFC athletes, which probably didn’t help matters much after she turned down the fight with Ladd after several concessions were made to allow the bout to move forward on Saturday night’s card.

It’s no secret the UFC doesn’t look kindly on fighters who refuse to accept a fight after an opponent misses weight despite the fact that contractually they are not obligated to compete after such an incident occurs.

UFC Fight Night from Atlantic City will now move forward with 11 total bouts on Saturday night.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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