Amador County’s Aspen Ladd prepares for first fight in Bellator cage

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The Northern California fighter is proud to be among other women making their marks in MMA.

PIONEER, Calif. — Inside the octagon, she’s known to put the smackdown on an opponent. Outside the ring, she’s your ordinary loving “dog mom.” Northern California’s own Aspen Ladd is just a week away from her next fight, which just may be her toughest test to date.

Ladd has served her fair share of takedowns throughout her MMA career. The fighter who was born and raised in Pioneer, located in Amador County, is getting ready to step inside the Bellator cage for the first time in her career.

“There’s a certain level anxiety with any fight,” stated Ladd. “It’s new but it’s not. It’s new in that this is the organization. It’s kind of just like a new cool thing. We’re traveling. We’re fighting. It’s fantastic.”

As for how Ladd got into the sport, she wanted to learn martial arts around the age of 14.

“I wanted to learn how to defend myself,” Ladd said. “So we wandered into a gym and it was an MMA gym. I knew within the first week I wanted to compete. However, there was no career path for me at that point. There was no career path for women in the sport.”

Thanks to the emergence of UFC stars like Ronda Rousey, the path to MMA for other women, like Ladd, to make a career out of this.

“It’s more cool seeing the opportunities for others, especially the young kids coming up. This can be their life and a goal, not just something they’re doing for fun,” said Ladd.

Her next fight will be part of the Bellator Champions Series 2, and she understands the challenge that awaits, facing Ekaterina Shakalova,who has won seven straight fights.

“I’ve had a lot of very tough fights,” said Ladd. “I think this will be another tough fight. Every opponent I look at is as the next toughest. I’m more focused on myself and my skills versus if this is the toughest opponent.” 

Ladd’s fight will take place on Friday May 16 in Paris. Ladd will fight on the preliminary card in the Women’s Featherweight division.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.