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.

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. Peggy Morgan (10)/Amanda Bell (10)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The featherweight division was silent in the month of September, and it appears that it will stay that way in the month of October.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)
  1. Ronda Rousey (1)
  2. Miesha Tate (2)
  3. Cat Zingano (3)
  4. Alexis Davis (4)
  5. Jessica Eye (5)
  6. Sarah Kaufman (6)
  7. Tonya Evinger (7)
  8. Amanda Nunes (8)
  9. Sara McMann (9)
  10. Liz Carmouche (10)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The month of September was mostly quiet, but a champion solidified her spot in the top 10. Tonya Evinger kept her Invicta bantamweight championship in the main event of Invicta FC 14 with a one-sided beating of Swedish challenger Pannie Kianzad. It was a catchweight bout instead of a title defense, as Kianzad failed to make weight. Next month, there is only one top-10 fighter in action. Jessica Eye looks to get back in the win column when she meets Julianna Pena at UFC 192.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)
  1. Barb Honchak (1)
  2. Vanessa Porto (2)
  3. Jennifer Maia (3)
  4. Roxanne Modafferi (4)
  5. Julia Berezikova (5)
  6. Brenda Gonzales (8)
  7. Aline Serio (7)
  8. Reina Cordoba (9)
  9. Emily Corso (NR)
  10. Kate Jackson (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Munah Holland (6), Silvana Gomez Juarez (10)

The flyweight division was pretty busy in the month of September, which led to big changes in the rankings. Munah Holland’s inactivity led to her departure from the rankings, as did Silvana Gomez Juarez’s loss to Poliana Botelho. In their places step Emily Corso and Kate Jackson, the latter of whom scored a win over Linn Wennergren overseas in the month of September. Roxanne Modafferi earned a big win at Invicta FC 14. She completely dominated Mariana Morais to jump back into title contention. Next month, top fighter Jennifer Maia looks to continue her success when she meets up with Priscila Souza in Brazil. A win in that fight should get her close to title contention in any organization she chooses outside of the UFC.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (1)
  2. Claudia Gadelha (2)
  3. Jessica Aguilar (3)
  4. Carla Esparza (4)
  5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (5)
  6. DeAnna Bennett (6)
  7. Livia Renata Souza (7)
  8. Joanne Calderwood (8)
  9. Rose Namajunas (9)
  10. Jessica Penne (10)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The strawweight rankings are identical last month, but that’s not due to lack of activity. There was a top-10 fighter in action, as DeAnna Bennett took a decision victory over Katja Kankaanpää at Invicta FC 14. Bennett failed to make weight, though, which hurt her stock a little bit. That’s why she remains in the sixth spot of the rankings. Next month, the only ranked fighter in action will be Rose Namajunas, who meets up with Angela Hill at UFC 192. She has a chance to move up the ladder and close in on the top five.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)
  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (1)
  2. Herica Tiburcio (2)
  3. Naho Sugiyama (3)
  4. Amber Brown (4)
  5. Jodie Esquibel (5)
  6. Jinh Yu Frey (9)
  7. Cassie Rodish (6)
  8. Janaisa Morandin (8)
  9. Satoko Shinashi (NR)
  10. Liz McCarthy (10)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Sadae Numata (7)

Sadae Numata dropped out of the rankings due to inactivity, but another fighter made a huge march up the rankings. Jinh Yu Frey earned another big win at Invicta FC 14 when she took Liz McCarthy to an entertaining three-round decision. Frey continues to move toward the title picture, which means she could be a fight or two away from a shot. With Numata’s departure, Japanese veteran Satoko Shinashi enters the rankings in the nine spot. She will fight in October when she takes on Hida Choi in Japan.

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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  • J.D.

    I don’t reckon women’s featherweight should have rankings, none of the top 10 seem to fight each other.

    Rankings by default?

    • Stephen Rivers

      Cyborg’s last fight…. Faith Van Duin
      Coenen’s last fight….. Arlene Blencowe
      Amanda Bell’s last fight….. Faith Van Duin
      Latoya Walker’s last fight….. Peggy Morgan

      they definitely fight each other. The rankings are worthwhile.

      • J.D.

        And in comparison to WBW?

        No wonder the UFC doesn’t push for WFW

        • Stephen Rivers

          I don’t really see your point if I’m honest, so apologies if I’m misunderstanding what you are trying to say.

          women’s bantamweight is obviously different because it’s a division the UFC promote. Most of the top ten (Evinger aside) are in the same company so will fight each other more often.

          But with every other division, and even with strawweight, there are top ten fighters who cannot fight each other because they aren’t in the same company. That doesn’t mean the rankings shouldn’t exist.

          • J.D.

            Just that the women’s top 10 featherweights seem to avoid each other an awful lot. The “number one” has only fought 2 other current top 10 fighters. Tonya Evinger, in comparison, has fought 3 out of the current top 10 bantamweights during her career.

            I don’t see many featherweights calling for fights within their own division, least of all the “number one”, she is only calling for fights with bantamweights. I would have thought setting up fights within the chosen division would be a priority.

            She’s also getting ready to fight at a catch-weigh of 140 and yet the only featherweight who has called her out for a fight recently is someone she’s beaten twice and who’s fights have been between 135 and 145.

            The only other people who have said they’ll fight her are bantamweights, one who’ll meet her at 140, the other at 135. Where’s all the featherweights who should be jumping at the chance to fight, even if it means they have to cut an additional 5lbs to do so?