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We have a pivotal fight in the Women’s Bantamweight division, as Aspen Ladd takes on Raquel “Rocky” Pennington. After storming through the UFC early on, Ladd is in the toughest stretch of her young career. 1-2 in the last three, with a recent main event defeat, Ladd is going to need to right the ship to maintain her status as a contender. Meanwhile, Pennington comes into this bout on a three-fight win streak. Making the walk for the third time in less than seven months, Pennington is poised to get a second crack at the title sooner than later.

After going back-and-forth with this prediction, I’m ultimately picking Ladd to win. While her most recent performance may sour, I’d like to chalk it up to a bad day at the office. An excellent wrestler, with evolving striking, Ladd has the abilities to be a special talent at Bantamweight. However, mentally she will need to be at her best, as Pennington is a seasoned veteran whom has contended for the belt. Having won three straight and four of the last five, it seems that Pennington may once again be inching towards a title shot. A boxer with excellent durability, Pennington has shown she can win in both a brawl or a grind. Considering I believe this will be a grind, I don’t doubt Pennington’s ability to win. I just believe that Ladd’s wrestling is the x-factor that should be able to aid her to a close decision victory.

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