Skip to content

Ladd pulls win over Budd in split decision

Roberts Creek fighter now 1-2 in PFL
Budd (right) throws a punch during the Madison Square Garden bout in New York, New York, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Julia “The Jewel” Budd may have had the edge in experience but it wasn’t enough to pull off a win against Professional Fighters League (PFL) newcomer Aspen Ladd on Friday night.

Ladd, 27, took the wIn in a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) in her PFL debut at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre in New York, making her “the face of the PFL’s new women’s featherweight division,” according to a PFL news release after the Nov. 25 bout. 

The showcase matchup was slotted between several PFL championship bouts in PFL 10: Championships, the league’s first pay-per-view event. 

The featherweight division starts in 2023.

Budd, 39, now stands with one win and two losses since joining the league last year, and has a 16-5 fighting record overall, including four featherweight world championships with Bellator. 

The Roberts Creek fighter went into the first round aggressively but was taken down by Ladd, who wasn’t able to capitalize on the momentum. The competitive match saw lots of back-and-forth in the second round, both trading knees and punches in an escalating finish, according to the release.

Urgency picked up in the third round with Budd appearing to take advantage of a fading Ladd, and with a minute left it was “anybody’s fight,” said the release. The fight ended with both fighters upright and “with 30 seconds left both fighters look ready to empty the tank as they trade heavy shots in the pocket until the final bell rings.”

Ladd (10-3) was released from her UFC bantamweight division contract earlier this year after missing weight on three occasions.

Six title fights took place on Friday, with each winner receiving a $1 million prize. In the night’s biggest upset, Larissa Pacheco took the lightweight world championship after defeating two-time judo Olympic gold-medalist Kayla Harrison in a unanimous decision.

 “The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier, the only other Canadian on the card, won his world lightweight championship bout against Scotland’s Stevie Ray in a second round knockout thanks to a right hook to Ray’s chin, according to PFL.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks