LAS VEGAS – Macy Chiasson wasn’t expecting to book a fight with Aspen Ladd at this point in her career, but now that it’s here, she’s ready to make a statement.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity,” Chiasson told MMA Junkie at a media day at the UFC Apex. “It’s been a long time coming, and I just feel like I’m in the right place at the right time.”
Chiasson (7-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Ladd (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) meet in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 27 event at the UFC Apex. The card airs in its entirety on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.
After earning back-to-back decision wins over Marion Reneau and Shanna Young, the 29-year-old Chiasson finds herself at No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie women’s bantamweight rankings. Meanwhile, Ladd is at No. 3 on that list but was pressing for the fight behind the scenes.
With Ladd fighting for the first time in 19 months – and the first time since undergoing major surgery on her knee – Chiasson admittedly wondered about the top contender’s motivations.
“Originally they had asked for the fight, and I was kind of like, ‘What?’” Chiasson said. “Like, ah, shouldn’t you be focused on a title fight right now, you know? So I was a little surprised by it, but I figured it’s because she’s been out for a while and they think they’re going to get like a decent or easy comeback fight – but I don’t know if that’s the case.”
Unsurprisingly, oddsmakers have Ladd installed as the favorite, and Chiasson is aware public sentiment is largely sitting in that direction, as well. But “The Ultimate Fighter 28” winner said she actually enjoys playing that role.
“Yeah, maybe I’ve got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder because I do despise when people think that, you know, ‘She’s an underdog,’ like, ‘This is this is going to be an easy fight for us,’ but I live off that sh-t,” Chiasson said. ‘I eat that sh-t up.
A former featherweight who will certainly enjoy a significant size advantage over her opponent – not to mention power on the feet, as well – Chiasson is a live underdog, to be sure. While she originally plotted a more steadied rise up the ranks, an impressive result could catapult her up the list.
The Louisiana native says she’s not thinking about anything past Saturday night but knows what’s at stake.
“I haven’t really thought about it too far ahead because I’m trying to be present right now,” Chiasson said. “But I mean, yeah, I think it’s going to put me in a big spot.”
To see the full interview with Chiasson, check out the video above.