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 (3)
  4. Bobbi-Jo Dalziel (4)
  5. Michelle Young (5)
  6. Tierra Arnold (6)
  7. Ida Ruiten (7)
  8. Jennifer Johnston (8)
  9. Lisa McCallam (9)
  10. Charlene Donahue (10)
  11. Katharina Albinus (11)
  12. Jessica Halverson (12)
  13. Anna Barone (13)
  14. Jessica Hoy (14)
  15. Jessica Eve Richter (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The lightweight division’s lack of activity continued in June, and July will continue the trend. Charmaine Tweet, the top lightweight in the world, is looking to return at Invicta FC 14, potentially for the vacant title. She has a number of people who could challenge her, most notably Jozette Cotton. The lack of bodies in the division makes it tough to stay active in this weight class unless, oddly, a fighter is willing to travel up to Alaska, where there seems to be a good number of fighters competing in the division.

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 (8)
  9. Roberta Rovel (9)
  10. Amanda Bell (10)
  11. Peggy Morgan (11)
  12. Jessy Miele (13)
  13. Maria Hougaard Djursaa (12)
  14. Daria Ibragimova (14)
  15. Andria Wawro (14)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Marina Shafir (15)

The featherweight division is better than most people give it credit for. Just take a look at some of the names in the rankings. In terms of fights in June, only one top-15 fighter was in action. Jessy Miele earned a stoppage via strikes against Janice Meyer. The win allows her to move up a spot in the rankings to No. 12. There is a gigantic fight coming up in July. In the main event of Invicta FC 13 during the UFC’s International Fight Week, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino looks to continue her utter dominance and defend her belt against New Zealander Faith Van Duin. Another win by Cyborg would continue to push talks of a potential showdown with Ronda Rousey.



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

No top-15 bantamweights were in competition in the month of June. That’s probably because they were saving themselves up for July, a month in which five of the 15 ranked competitors will be in action. At UFC on Fox 16 in Chicago, the co-main event features top 135-pounders Miesha Tate and Jessica Eye squaring off. This could be a top contender’s bout sets the next match-up for the winner of the upcoming title bout between UFC champ Ronda Rousey and challenger Bethe Correia. On the main card of UFC Fight Night 71 in San Diego, uber-prospect Holly Holm, who looked underwhelming in her debut with the company, has a chance to make a better second impression when she takes on unheralded Marion Reneau. Reneau, though she has dominated both her bouts in the UFC thus far, is considered the underdog. In the co-main event of Invicta FC 13, Tonya Evinger and Irene Aldana will compete for the vacant bantamweight championship. Both ladies have looked very strong during their time with Invicta.

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 (8)
  9. Brenda Gonzales (9)
  10. Reina Cordoba (10)
  11. Silvana Gomez Juarez (11)
  12. Emily Corso (12)
  13. Takayo Hashi (13)
  14. Mariana Morais (14)
  15. Tara LaRosa (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The flyweight division had a slow month in June and it will continue on into July. The only ranked fighter to utilize time in the cage in June was Jennifer Maia, who solidified her No. 3 ranking. In Brazil, Maia knocked out Stephanie Bragaryac in an impressive display of power. Maia continues to sit in the No. 3 spot while hoping to get a shot at Barb Honchak in the future for the Invicta title. Meanwhile, we await Honchak’s return to the cage, which is likely to take place at Invicta FC 14.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (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. Katja Kankaanpaa (14)
  14. Tecia Torres (15)
  15. Alexa Grasso (13)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The strawweight division saw some of its best compete in June, which made for an exciting month of bouts. The most important contest took place in Germany, where UFC champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk defended her title against former Invicta atomweight champion Jessica Penne. It was a lopsided bout where Jędrzejczyk completely outclassed Penne, thrashing her on the feet before referee Marc Goddard had finally seen enough and stopped the bout. Then, in Mexico, Tecia Torres claimed victory in a critically panned bout over Angela Hill to take another step closer to the title picture. In July, the UFC heads to Scotland, where ninth-ranked Joanne Calderwood will attempt to defend her home turf against Bec Rawlings. Calderwood will look to recover from a disastrous upset loss to Maryna Moroz which bumped Calderwood out of title contention.

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 (10)
  11. Catherine Costigan (11)
  12. Liz McCarthy (12)
  13. Satako Shinashi (13)
  14. Mei Yamaguchi (14)
  15. Simona Soukupova (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The atomweight division suffered from lack of activity in June, but July will be a super busy month for them. Six of the 15 ranked fighters will be in action in July. Top-ranked fighter and Invicta champion Herica Tiburcio will defend her title against Ayaka Hamasaki in an anticipated bout. It should be a barn-burner. On the same card, Irish prospect Catherine Costigan makes her debut with the company when she takes on top contender Amber Brown. The winner could find herself in a title bout against Tiburcio or Hamasaki. Second-ranked fighter Michelle Waterson will depart for the UFC strawweight division and fight Angela Magana. Satako Shinashi will fight Korean fighter Ji-Hye Park in an attempt to crack the top 10.

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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