De Randamie, Ladd make weight for main event
- Jan-Jaap Abbink
The UFC Sacramento women's bantamweight main event is locked in.
Germaine de Randamie and Aspen Ladd successfully made weight Friday morning. De Randamie, the former UFC women's featherweight champion, hit the bantamweight limit of 136 pounds, and Ladd made 135 pounds on the mark. The two fighters will compete in the UFC Sacramento headliner Saturday night at Golden 1 Center in a bout vital to their division.
De Randamie (8-3) has won four in a row and is heading toward title contention with a victory. The Netherlands native beat Holly Holm to win the UFC featherweight title in 2017, but was subsequently stripped of the belt when she refused to defend it against Cris Cyborg due to Cyborg's history with performance-enhancing drugs. De Randamie, 35, has just one loss going back to 2012, against current bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. In a return to bantamweight last November, "GDR" defeated Raquel Pennington by unanimous decision at UFC Denver.
Ladd (8-0) is one of the UFC's top prospects in any division. The Folsom, California, native, who is fighting this weekend close to home, has won all three of her UFC fights, two by finish. Ladd, 24, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Sijara Eubanks at UFC Rochester in May, a bout that earned her a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.
After missing weight and pulling out of fights due to weight issues in the past, Ladd needed a curtained hoop to weigh in without clothes. She was visibly shivering on the scale, leading to several scary seconds, but did make weight. The doctors checked her out afterwards and cleared her to fight.
The UFC Sacramento co-main event is also official. UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber, who is returning from a 2½-year sabbatical, weighed in at 135.5 pounds. His opponent, Ricky Simon, was 134.5 pounds.
Faber (34-10) said he'd hang up the gloves after a win over Brad Pickett in December 2016, but never formally retired, keeping himself in the USADA drug-testing program this whole time. The 40-year-old Sacramento native, a pioneer for lighter-weight fighters, will be competing in his hometown where he is extremely popular. Simon (15-1), a 26-year-old prospect, has won eight straight.
The rest of the fighters on the UFC Sacramento card also successfully made weight.