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. Arlene Blencowe (7)
  8. Faith van Duin (8)
  9. Roberta Paim (9)
  10. Peggy Morgan/Amanda Bell (10)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The featherweight division had two ranked fights take place in November courtesy of Bellator. Third-ranked Julia Budd score a unanimous decision over Roberta Paim, who was making her Bellator and American debut. In the other fight, Arlene Blencowe score a split decision verdict over returning Bellator veteran Gabrielle Holloway. Despite the victories, none of the three women shifted in the rankings this month. As of this moment, none of the ranked featherweights are scheduled to compete in December. The big news in the division is that Cris “Cyborg” Justino will return in January at Invicta FC 15.

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

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that November marked the end of an era. Ronda Rousey is no longer the UFC champion. In the performance of a lifetime, Holly Holm completely dominated Rousey in their title fight, with Holm scoring a highlight-reel head kick for the finish against the formerly undefeated champion. This skyrocketed Holm to the top slot in the rankings, making her the best female bantamweight in the world. Following up after Holm’s performance will be difficult, but strikers Sarah Kaufman and Germaine de Randamie will try to do so in the prelim bout at Orlando’s UFC event. Things are very different in the UFC bantamweight division now.



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. Aline Serio (7)
  7. Emily Corso (9)
  8. Kate Jackson (10)
  9. Andrea Lee (NR)
  10. Katlyn Chookagian (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Brenda Gonzales (6), Reina Cordoba (8)

Things have changed a bit in the flyweight division. Two fighters dropped out of the rankings, which made way for young guns Andrea Lee and Katlyn Chookagian. Brenda Gonzales fought consecutive fights outside the division, so she drops from the flyweight rankings. She defeated Anita Rodriguez in what looks like an attempt for Gonzales to make a run at the UFC bantamweight division. Meanwhile, Reina Cordoba suffered a split decision defeat at the hands of Sabina Mazo, forcing her departure from the rankings. In December, the aforementioned Lee will fight for Legacy Fighting Championship against Ariel Beck. Also, Jennifer Maia will be in action against Dayana Silva, though it will be at bantamweight, which will likely pull her from the flyweight rankings.

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 (9)
  8. Rose Namajunas (7)
  9. Joanne Calderwood (8)
  10. Jessica Penne (10)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The strawweight division was relatively quiet in the month of November, but the division’s biggest star put on another strong performance in defending her UFC title. Joanna Jędrzejczyk retained her belt with a dominant unanimous decision over Valérie Létourneau. Létourneau showed off her trademark toughness, but it was not enough to allow her to outlast the Polish champ. In December, there are two big match-ups in the weight class. The first pits Rose Namajunas against Paige vanZant in the main event of UFC Fight Night 80. Also, the much-hyped Karolina Kowalkiewicz, in an attempt to follow her countrywoman Jędrzejczyk into stardom, will make her UFC debut against Randa Markos.

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 (6)
  7. Cassie Rodish (7)
  8. Janaisa Morandin (8)
  9. Satoko Shinashi (9)
  10. Liz McCarthy (10)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

Naho Sugiyama continues to pick up wins and solidify herself as one of the best atomweights. At Deep Jewels in Japan, she scored a victory over Mina Kurobe, a highly respected opponent. The atomweight division was quiet otherwise. Next month, Liz McCarthy looks to jump back into the win column when she takes on Kyra Batara in the Combate Americas promotion. McCarthy has had a tough strength of schedule, and she will get no breaks in this fight.