California suspends Ladd's bantamweight license

Aspen Ladd will need to do some work before fighting at bantamweight in her next bout.

The California State Athletic Commission has suspended Ladd's license to compete at bantamweight, pending documentation from physicians, CSAC executive officer Andy Foster confirmed Friday with ESPN.

Ladd looked ill weighing in on July 12 for UFC Sacramento and weighed 159 pounds the following day for the bout. That represents an increase of nearly 17 percent from the 136-pound bantamweight limit.

Ladd weighed in at 135 pounds and gained back 24 pounds heading into fight night. CSAC regulations say the commission can recommend -- or require -- a fighter to move up in weight class if he or she weighs more than 10 percent over the contracted weight on fight day.

Foster said Ladd is suspended in California and no other jurisdiction, though there is a note next to her name in the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports database. He expects other commissions to honor it.

MMAjunkie first reported the news of the suspension of Ladd's license.

Ladd's manager, Dave Hirschbein, declined comment to ESPN, citing advice from the team's attorney.

Ladd has been booked by the UFC to fight Yana Kunitskaya on Dec. 7 in Washington, D.C., in a bantamweight bout. Foster said Ladd will work with the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas to come up with a nutrition plan that will have to be approved by CSAC physicians.

The physicians will then monitor her weight leading up to the December fight, Foster said. Ladd trains at MMA Gold in Folsom, California, less than 30 miles from Sacramento, where the CSAC is based. Foster said he has been in touch with D.C.'s Combat Sports Commission about the situation.

In the UFC Sacramento main event, Ladd was knocked out by Germaine de Randamie in 16 seconds. Ladd was cleared by CSAC physicians to fight on weigh-in day, though she was visibly shaking on the scale. Dr. Gary Furness, a CSAC doctor, told ESPN at the time that Ladd's shivering was likely due to nerves.

"She did slightly overshoot her weight cut, but she was not dangerously dehydrated," Furness said. "She had moist mucous membranes, her vital signs were stable, and within a few minutes she was starting to orally hydrate and was back to normal."

Ladd, 24, has missed weight twice in her MMA career. In addition, she fell ill the day of her scheduled UFC debut in 2017 and was forced to withdraw from the bout against Jessica Eye. Ladd is 8-1 as a pro MMA fighter.

Ladd is not the only fighter coming out of UFC Sacramento to be suspended by the CSAC for weight issues. Sheymon Moraes, Mirsad Bektic and Darren Elkins are also suspended by the CSAC, pending clearance by doctors.

Moraes was 170.2 pounds on fight day for a featherweight bout, a number 16.6 percent over the 146-pound contracted limit. Bektic weighed 166.8 pounds for a featherweight fight, an 14.2 percent increase. Elkins, also a featherweight, weighed 167.4, a 14.7 percent increase.

Foster, who has been the most outspoken official in combat sports against extreme weight cutting in MMA, said he is working on a regulation that would pull fights off a card if the athlete is 15 percent or more above the contracted weight class on fight day.

If that regulation was in place for UFC Sacramento, at least two fights would have been pulled, including the main event of Ladd vs. de Randamie.