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 featherweight 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. Charmaine Tweet (4)
  5. Megan Anderson (10)
  6. Annalisa Bucci (5)
  7. Arlene Blencowe (6)
  8. Faith van Duin (7)
  9. Latoya Walker (8)
  10. Roberta Paim (9)

The featherweight division saw a great leap up the rankings by Megan Anderson in the month of July, who was the only top-10 fighter in action. At Invicta FC 18, Anderson continued her recent surge of brutality by making Peggy Morgan the third fighter in a row to fall via knockout to the Australian. Next month, no is current scheduled to be in action, so don’t expect any big shift in the rankings.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)
  1. Amanda Nunes (6)
  2. Miesha Tate (1)
  3. Valentina Shevchenko (9)
  4. Holly Holm (2)
  5. Ronda Rousey (3)
  6. Tonya Evinger (7)
  7. Julianna Pena (10)
  8. Cat Zingano (4)
  9. Alexis Davis (5)
  10. Sara McMann (8)

If there’s ever been a less stable time to be a champion in the UFC, that time is now. Since Ronda Rousey’s unbelievable loss to Holly Holm, the champion has not been able to defend the belt even once. At UFC 200, Miesha Tate lost the UFC bantamweight belt in her first title defense to Brazilian Amanda Nunes. Holm’s losing streak increased to two later in the month, as she lost in the UFC on Fox 20 main event in Chicago to Valentina Shevchenko. Also, Julianna Pena threw her name into the title conversation by besting former title challenger Cat Zingano, making the title picture even more skewered. Next month, things should calm down as none of the top 10 will be in action.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)
  1. Jennifer Maia (1)
  2. Vanessa Porto (2)
  3. Roxanne Modafferi (3)
  4. Julia Berezikova (4)
  5. DeAnna Bennett (5)
  6. Sarah D’Alelio (7)
  7. Kalindra Faria (8)
  8. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (NR)
  9. Rin Nakai (NR)
  10. Poliana Botelho (NR)

Dropped out of the rankings: Katlyn Chookagian (6), Andrea Lee (9), Emily Corso (10)

Like the bantamweight division, the flyweight division saw a number of shakeups in July. Emily Corso dropped out of the rankings due to inactivity, while Katlyn Chookagian left the rankings to fight in the bantamweight division. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz bested Christine Stanley at Invicta FC 18, proving that her time off due to pregnancy didn’t make her any less dangerous. Also, Rin Nakai took her first fight at 125 since being let go by the UFC when she beat Emiko Raika in Japan. Next month also looks to be a quiet one for the flyweights.

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. Rose Namajunas (6)
  7. Joanne Calderwood (7)
  8. Jessica Andrade (8)
  9. Michelle Waterson (9)
  10. Alexa Grasso (NR)

Dropped out of the rankings: Tecia Torres (10)

The strawweight division had plenty of action in July, but not a lot of changes in rankings. UFC champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk defended her belt with superior cardio over heated rival Claudia Gadelha. It has solidified her as the best 115-pound fighter in the world. Fellow Pole Karolina Kowalkiewicz may have punched her ticket to a title shot by beating Rose Namajunas in a barn burner, earning her Fight of the Night honors at UFC 201. Lastly, Alexa Grasso burst into the rankings by winning the Invicta FC 18 main event, winning dominantly over Jodie Esquibel. Overall, it was a big month that has shown that the 115-pound division is the best in women’s MMA.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)
  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (1)
  2. Naho Sugiyama (2)
  3. Amber Brown (3)
  4. Jinh Yu Frey (4)
  5. Herica Tiburcio (5)
  6. Janaisa Morandin (7)
  7. Satoko Shinashi (8)
  8. Tessa Simpson (NR)
  9. Julia Jones (9)
  10. Simona Soukupova/Mei Yamaguchi (NR/10)

Dropped out of the rankings: Jodie Esquibel (6)

It was a pretty quiet month for the atomweights, but there were some big changes. Jodie Esquibel’s departure from the division left a hole that needed to be filled. Tessa Simpson filled that hole by winning an important Invicta bout over Simona Soukupova, which was an exciting brawl and raised both women’s stock. Looking into next month, Mei Yamaguchi will move up to 115 pounds to take on Istela Nunes in One Championship. Also, Janaisa Morandin looks to continue her ascent up the ladder when she fights for the Aspera FC title against Silvia Gonzalez.


Editor’s Note: Fighters are eligible to be ranked if they have competed in the last 18 months. Any fighter that chooses to switch weight classes will be ranked in their previous weight class until they have competed twice in their new division.