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Aspen Ladd and Yana Kunitskaya are both doing well in their respective Ultimate Fighting Championship careers. Currently ranked fifth and seventh at bantamweight respectively, both could be as close as a win or two away from earning a title shot.
Expect these talented contenders to try to turn in impressive performances in their quests for the belt. And as they get ready for UFC on ESPN 7 in Washington, D.C., read about some of the numbers that got them to where they are.
Overall experienceIn 2009, Kunitskaya showcased her striking skills for the first time in pro MMA competition in Poland. The event was K-1 - World Grand Prix, and the Russian now fighting out of Jackson-Wink MMA won via TKO early in the first round. She would go on to fight in various promotions in Denmark, Lithuania and, of course, Russia. On Nov. 18, 2016, she fought for the first time in American soil, and it was for the Invicta FC bantamweight championship. She failed in her title bid but eventually did capture the Invicta championship. On March 3, 2018, she debuted in the UFC, where she competes presently. Her overall record is 12-4.
Ladd debuted professionally in 2015 in Invicta FC, piling up five victories without a single defeat. Since being signed by the UFC, she has put together an overall professional record of 8-1.
Active winning streakLadd is coming off the first loss of her pro career, having been knocked out by former UFC women’s featherweight champion and current No. 1 bantamweight Germaine de Randamie. Before that, she was on an eight-fight winning streak. Kunitskaya, on the other hand, is currently riding on a two-fight winning run, having decisioned Lina Lansberg and Marion Reneau in succession.
In the first round of her UFC Fight Night 118 bout with Lansberg,
Ladd was getting stifled in the clinch but made some adjustments in
the second round upon advice from her corner. The advice worked, as
Ladd eventually got to mount and finished her opponent at 2:33.
Kunitskaya also has a win over Lansberg, having dominated the Swedish bantamweight in all three rounds to earn a unanimous decision. According to Fightmetric, she was able to land 72 significant strikes as opposed to her opponent’s 43. This compared to Ladd, who trailed Lansberg in the significant strikes department 26-41. Kunitskaya also led in the wrestling department with five takedowns to Lansberg’s zero.