Aspen Ladd: Once She’s Locked In at Invicta FC 18, She Can’t Wait to Get Out


Urban Sprawl Fitness, headquarters to the Northern California fight team: MMAGOLD in El Dorado Hills, is open from 5 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays. More often than not, if the doors to the gym are unlocked, Aspen Ladd (3-0), a phenom contracted by Invicta Fighting Championships (IFC), can be found in one of its corners trying to wear out the equipment. As a blooming star in women’s MMA, Ladd divulged, as a special guest on MMA Destruction (link here)—a podcast delivering many of the sport’s gold nuggets into earbuds around the world, her drive to deposit endless rounds in the gym as a means of withdrawing from cage fights with the win as quickly and efficiently as possible. Leading into IFC 18, this Friday—July 29—on UFC Fight Pass, Ladd invited listeners, with tones as sweet as songbirds, into her mindset when the bell rings: pounce on Jessica Hoy (1-0), the warm body out of Las Vegas, Nevada  in front of her; feast on her unblemished record; and bury the bones of Hoy’s carcass before the commissioned fifteen minutes evaporate.

Currently, at the age of twenty-two and managing a cut down to 135 pounds, Ladd joined MMAGOLD as a skinny fourteen-year-old, at which time requiring a pair of dense dumbbells to bring the scale’s reading to the bantamweight 12821510_1783400071884001_2989105799505322713_nlimit. While discussing the importance MMAGOLD has played in her career with the hosts of MMA Destruction, Don Mcguire and Dustin Hill, she suggested her tools for success were present, but it was the team’s coaching staff, most notably Jim West, MMAGOLD’s head coach, who helped organize her martial toolbox,

“They [the coaches at MMAGOLD] have completely taken what I was when I came in and molded me into the person I am today. I had the drive; I had the desire. I’m always going to be grateful, and I’ve found my home here. I couldn’t be happier.”

Over the years, the guidance from Ladd’s strength and conditioning coach, Doug Casebier, has bulked up the former flyweight’s body Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 7.05.12 PMarmor and endurance, creating an unstoppable force with a fervor for championship titles as a bantamweight. While bouncing around in her corner and masking her kind demeanor with a cold, blank stare inside the Kansas City Scottish Rite Temple, Ladd will call upon her countless training sessions to get her out of the cage at IFC 18 following the formalities of IFC’s ring announcer, Joe Martinez,

“When I hear the door lock, it means: I want out, and the person across from me is in my way. That’s how I think of it.”

Once outside the cramped cage, Ladd, mirroring her bantamweight debut and finish of Kelly McGill at IFC 16, may indulge in another post-fight treat:

But she doesn’t anticipate a cakewalk because IFC’s matchmaker, Julie Kedzie, doesn’t pitch softballs to any of the ladies, who all crack like bats, under the IFC banner, and, as Ladd declared, she’s fully charged and ready to perform against Hoy, who last competed as a lightweight (155 lbs.),

“Everybody they give me at Invicta is going to be as tough as they come. I’m looking forward to this fight.”

Of course Ladd’s crystal ball arouses images of another dominant display, though—win or lose—expect to see Ladd Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 7.30.36 AMback on the practice mats on Monday morning in preparation for her next call. Whether Ladd grinds the will out of Hoy, as she’s done in each of her previous fights, or seizes her first clean knockout—implementing the lessons drilled into her DNA by her boxing coach, Mike Guy, Ladd’s buzz will continue to swell as her aggressive style furthers its evolution:

“If you’re going to watch me as an Invicta fan, you can always expect a good finish. I’m not going in: maybe I’ll win? I’m going in there to finish the fight; that is my only intent; that is my only desire. I’m going in there to win.”



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