photo courtesy of Invicta
By Nick Portella
What’s up MMA fans. I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Invicta’s undefeated Bantamweight Aspen Ladd. She has a record of 5-0 and has been dominant in her performances. Let’s ask her some questions and get to know her a little bit better.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Aspen: “I’m honored to be a fighter and chase my dreams. I take my training very serious and approach each day as a new day to learn something new in the sport of mixed martial arts. I’m a student of fighting and I will always try my best to learn as much as possible”
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Aspen: “I started training Jiu Jitsu at the age of 14, I picked it up quickly and at that point a few years later, found my fight team, MMAGOLD”
Nick: What belts do you have and in what disciplines?
Aspen: “I’m a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu under my head Coach Jim West who is under Terry Maxwell. Our Jiu Jitsu lineage is top notch, I’m grateful for what I’ve been taught and the time that has been invested in me by my coaches Jim West and black belt Ryan Brown”
Nick: With an amateur fight record of 8-1 and 1 fight cancelled, what made you decide to go to the professional level?
Aspen: “Simply, there were no more fights for me. I fought 9 times from the time I turned 18 until the time I turned 19 and Invicta signed me”
Nick: How long have you been with MMA Gold Fight Team?
Aspen: “I have been with MMAGOLD Fight Team since the age of 16. MMAGOLD is a special team. We are family, they have my back, I’m loyal and I love my coaches, management and teammates”
Nick: I have watched all five of your professional fights. While you are very proficient in stand up or on the ground, do you prefer to keep the fight on your feet or take it to the ground?
Aspen: “I will go wherever the fight takes me. When I first started out, my ground was my strongest accolade, but in the past year or so, my standup feels pretty good. I wanted to showcase it in my last fight with Sijara. I’m stoked she traded with me. I want my competition to know I’m a complete Martial Artist”
Nick: What would you say your biggest strengths are, and what’s the thing you need to work on the most?
Aspen: “My biggest strengths are the mental aspect of this sport, it’s not just about training, but rather living the lifestyle of an MMA Fighter. I’m very disciplined, I have goals and I will achieve them”
Nick: What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
Aspen: “Well that I can’t tell you, but if you ever would like to spar or grapple, sign the waver and you can find out”.
Nick: People talk about the next generation of fighters, and I have heard your name in the mix. Do you feel that you represent that in some ways? Do you feel any pressure to represent that next generation?
Aspen: “I feel no pressure at all. I fight for me, my family and MMAGOLD. I want to compete and win for my coaches/management, they pour so much time into me, it’s the least I can do to repay them”
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Aspen: “Fortunately, I have a full time strength and conditioning coach, “Coach Doug”. The man is a GOD….he’s a scientist, he’s my friend, he’s a spiritual man, he leads by example. He oversees everything I put in my body. He looks after me, he’s kind of like a father figure. I never want to let him down”
Nick: Invicta is the big name in the game for all women’s MMA do you have any plans to try and get signed in the UFC or Bellator at some point in your career? If not why? If so which one and why?
Aspen: “Yes, I will be in the UFC, that is the end goal. Invicta has been a fantastic promotion for me to showcase my skills on a worldwide platform. I’m grateful for Shannon Knapp, Julie Kedzie, Kaitlin Young and Angie Lindland. I consider them an extension of my family, they are so good to me and all the amazing women within Invicta”
Nick: Most fighters get branded a nickname at some point in their career. Do you have one? If so who gave it to you and why?
Aspen: “I’ve said it once before, but I’ll say it again. My name is weird enough. I’m not looking for a nickname, but should the right one comes along, I may consider it. But until then, I’m Aspen Ladd, MMA Fighter”
Nick: You understand that marketing is important in this sport. While your performances in the cage definitely speak for themselves, do you have any plans to release another line of merchandise or expand on your current one?
Aspen: “I already have my own brand, MMAPINK. I fight with that logo every time I step in the cage. I partner with Breast Cancer to raise awareness”
Nick: Women’s MMA has come a long way in a short amount of time. What advice could you give up and coming fighters that are pursuing fighting as a career?
Aspen: “My advice to up and comers is to surround yourself with people who truly have your back. The sport is still new, so it’s critical you work with people that have your best interest. My people love me and I love them. Together we prosper in this sport. And make sure you have solid representation “management”, that’s such a critical component of this business”
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be, why?
Aspen: “I would fight my head Coach Jim West and submit him if I could, haha…..I have so much respect for Jim, the time he has invested in me is overwhelming. I can never repay him other than honor him with dominant wins”
Nick: What is next for you in the fight world? I know your fans are eager to know.
Aspen: “I will release that info in the coming months, but rest assure, it’s going to be big”
What a great interview. Aspen has the mentality of a champion and record to show she is going in the right direction. I am eager to see what is coming up for her in the next few months. I would suggest giving her a follow on Twitter @AspenLaddMMA to stay up to date on what she is up to. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella.