With the growing popularity of women’s MMA, it is important to recognize these women with a rankings system similar to the men. Between the UFC’s inclusion of a bantamweight division, its recent addition of a strawweight division and the all-female promotion of Invicta FC, more and more women are being exposed to casual and hardcore fans alike. Every month, Combat Press compiles the staff’s individual rankings from lightweight to atomweight to create the Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings.

Lightweight Division (155 pounds)
  1. Charmaine Tweet (1)
  2. Jozette Cotton (2)
  3. Lissette Neri (4)
  4. Bobbi-Jo Dalziel (5)
  5. Michelle Young (6)
  6. Tierra Arnold (7)
  7. Ida Ruiten (8)
  8. Jennifer Johnston (9)
  9. Lisa McCallam (11)
  10. Charlene Donahue (12)
  11. Katharina Albinus (13)
  12. Jessica Halverson (14)
  13. Anna Barone (15)
  14. Jessica Hoy (NR)
  15. Jessica Eve Richer (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Veronica Rothenhausler (3), Elshaddai Cleffman (10)

Two ladies dropped out of this month’s lightweight rankings, as Veronica Rothenhausler retired from competition as a result of injuries and Elshaddai Cleffman fell out of the rankings due to inactivity. That opened up the door for Jessica Hoy and Jessica Eve Richer, who battled each other in May. Hoy came out on top, putting her ahead in the rankings. Otherwise, it was a quiet month for lightweights. It looks to be a dormant month in June as well, proving that this is the toughest division in which to not only rank but to catch a fight in general.

Featherweight Division (145 pounds)
  1. Cris “Cyborg” Justino (1)
  2. Marloes Coenen (2)
  3. Julia Budd (3)
  4. Latoya Walker (4)
  5. Talita Nogueira (5)
  6. Annalisa Bucci (6)
  7. Faith van Duin (7)
  8. Arlene Blencowe (10)
  9. Roberta Rovel (8)
  10. Amanda Bell (9)
  11. Peggy Morgan (11)
  12. Maria Hougaard Djursaa (13)
  13. Jessy Miele (12)
  14. Andria Wawro (15)/Daria Ibragimova (NR)
  15. Marina Shafir (14)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The featherweight division is heavily split between Invicta and Bellator, so match-ups are going to be a little more odd-ended than normal. That said, the rankings are beginning to clear up a bit. The only bout in May came in Bellator, where Arlene Blencowe continued her march up the rankings with a finish of Adrienna Jenkins. It was a big win against a scrappy veteran, and it continues a big career turnaround for the Aussie. The only ranked fighter set to scrap in June is Jessy Miele, who looks to break away from the bottom pack when she takes on Janice Meyer. Miele is a dark horse at 145 pounds, but she could crack the upper echelon of the rankings.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)
  1. Ronda Rousey (1)
  2. Cat Zingano (2)
  3. Miesha Tate (3)
  4. Sara McMann (4)
  5. Alexis Davis (5)
  6. Jessica Eye (6)
  7. Sarah Kaufman (7)
  8. Liz Carmouche (8)
  9. Lauren Murphy (9)
  10. Holly Holm (10)
  11. Amanda Nunes (11)
  12. Bethe Correia (12)
  13. Tonya Evinger (13)
  14. Marion Reneau (14)
  15. Germaine de Randamie (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The bantamweight division’s rankings remain the same as last month. That’s because none of the fighters were in action. However, some women started to jockey for position outside the top 15. Charlene Watt won a tournament in Australia that netted her three wins in one night. Taila Santos scored two wins down in Brazil, though the competition has been somewhat questionable. Next month, no top-15 fighters will be in competition, but Valentina Shevchenko will fight Carina Damm to throw her hat into the ring of top 135-pounders in the world.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)
  1. Barb Honchak (1)
  2. Vanessa Porto (2)
  3. Jennifer Maia (3)
  4. Roxanne Modafferi (4)
  5. Zoila Frausto (5)
  6. Julia Berezikova (6)
  7. Munah Holland (7)
  8. Aline Serio (9)
  9. Brenda Gonzales (10)
  10. Reina Cordoba (11)
  11. Silvana Gomez Juarez (12)
  12. Emily Corso (14)
  13. Takayo Hashi (13)
  14. Mariana Morais (15)
  15. Tara LaRosa (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Elaine Albuquerque (8)

The flyweight division, like most other divisions in May, did not have much going on for it. Elaine Albuquerque left the division for the 135-pound ranks. Her drop out opened up space for Tara LaRosa, who bested Katie Howard in her return to the division. Otherwise, it was a quiet month. In June, Jennifer Maia will be in action against Stephanie Bragaryac. With a win, Maia could supplant Vanessa Porto as the No. 2-ranked fighter in the division.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (1)
  2. Jessica Aguilar (2)
  3. Carla Esparza (3)
  4. Claudia Gadelha (4)
  5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (5)
  6. DeAnna Bennett (6)
  7. Maryna Moroz (7)
  8. Livia Renata Souza (8)
  9. Joanne Calderwood (9)
  10. Rose Namajunas (10)
  11. Jessica Penne (11)
  12. Randa Markos (12)
  13. Alexa Grasso (13)
  14. Katja Kankaanpää (14)
  15. Tecia Torres (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Mizuki Inoue (15)

The strawweight division had a calm month for the top 15. There were three UFC bouts featuring strawweights in May, but none of the fighters were ranked. Bec Rawlings defeated Lisa Ellis, Alex Chambers beat Kailin Curran and Juliana Lima was able to top Ericka Almeida. June heats up, as two ranked fighters compete for the UFC title. UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk fights in the headliner in Germany against challenger Jessica Penne. It will be a great scrap that one of the most charismatic UFC champs can use to solidify her spot atop the rankings. Also in June, Tecia Torres throws down with Angela Hill in Mexico in an attempt to run up the rankings.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)
  1. Herica Tiburcio (1)
  2. Michelle Waterson (2)
  3. Ayaka Hamasaki (3)
  4. Naho Sugiyama (4)
  5. Jodie Esquibel (5)
  6. Cassie Rodish (6)
  7. Amber Brown (7)
  8. Sadae Numata (8)
  9. Jinh Yu Frey (9)
  10. Janaisa Morandin (11)
  11. Catherine Costigan (12)
  12. Liz McCarthy (10)
  13. Satako Shinashi (13)
  14. Mei Yamaguchi (NR)
  15. Simona Soukupova (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Saori Ishioka (14), Mina Kurobe (15)

Things were shaken up at the bottom of the atomweight rankings in May due to the Deep Jewels tournament and other occurrences. Mei Yamaguchi won the Jewels tourney with two wins in one night, including a decision nod over Mina Kurobe. It was enough to push her into the top 15, while Kurobe dropped out. Simona Soukupova’s win over Iman Darabi put her back into the top 15. It’s a spot that she rightly deserves given her abilities. Nobody in the top 15 will be in action during June, but formerly ranked Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc comes out of retirement to take on Sharita Fane-Davis.

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. His work has also appeared on The MMA Corner. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.

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