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Ladd vs Kunitskaya to Main Event UFC on ESPN 7 pending CSAC clearance

UFC Bantamweight Aspen Ladd will require additional medical scrutiny ahead of an agreed bout with Yana Kunitskaya on Dec 7 in Washington D.C. 

The controversy stems from her gaining 18% of her body weight after a questionable weight cut prior to her recent early stoppage loss to Germain De Randemie in Sacramento. At official weigh-ins a severely dehydrated Ladd was seen wincing in significant pain as she struggled to stand on the scale.

Ladd was initially added to the list of medically suspended by California State Athletic Commision (CSAC) for 45 days, which also includes 30 days of mandatory ‘no contact’ following her knockout loss. With medical protocol adhered to for her knockout, CSAC set its on reviewing her medical data and evaluating her weight cut program. 

CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster has overseen a 10 point plan to reduce dangerous weight cutting practices in California and operates a program gathering fighter’s medical data from weigh-ins to actual fight night. The data of most relevance is the percentage of body weight regained between weighs-ins and competition. Foster offers that “the average cut is below 10%, and for the moment the target is to get every fighter to that point or somewhere around that point. I’m more focused on the guys doing 15% cuts.” While CSAC remains flexible with fighters slightly over or near 10%, Ladd was well beyond their limits at 18%.

CSAC has placed a note on her Association of Boxing Commission (ABC) record indicating her suspension until satisfying the 10 point program and proving she he is safely fighting in the appropriate weight class. The note would cause enforcement through the Washing D.C. commision, but Foster assures that the note would be removed and the fight with Kunitskaya will go ahead as scheduled if Ladd “provides extensive medical documentation from a licensed physician certifying the weight class is appropriate and verified by CSAC physicians.”

Ladd’s early stoppage loss in Sacramento was as controversial as the weight cut preceding it, but she sustained no damage and therefore has been afforded a quick turn around once her suspension is lifted. 

According to her manager Dave Hirschbein, she wasn’t ever officially suspended and it was always conditional upon her providing medical documentation of a revised weight cut program crafted by the UFC Performance Institute (PI). He also has stressed that UFC executive Vice President Hunter Campbell had signed off on the PI’s plan and that it would all satisfy CSAC.

UFC on ESPN 7 on December 7 in Washington D.C is already shaping up to be a decent card with an announced bout between Cynthia Calvillo and Claudia Gadehlia and if her weight issues are behind her, Aspen Ladd vs Yana Kunitskaya as the main event. Check back for future bout announcements as the card continues to come together.


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