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 addition of a strawweight division, its recent announcement of a flyweight 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. Julia Budd (2)
  3. Germaine de Randamie (3)
  4. Megan Anderson (4)
  5. Charmaine Tweet (5)
  6. Latoya Walker (6)
  7. Talita Nogueira (NR)
  8. Felicia Spencer (7)
  9. Ediane Gomes (9)
  10. Arlene Blencowe (NR)

Dropped out of the rankings: Gabrielle Holloway (8), Amanda Bell (10)

There were some major developments in the featherweight division in the month of August. Two formerly ranked fighters fought their way back into the top 10. Talita Nogueira returned from a long layoff in her Bellator debut, where she quickly choked out previously ranked Amanda Bell in the first round. Also on the Bellator 182 card, Arlene Blencowe worked her way back to the 10th spot by besting Sinead Kavanagh in a wildly fun affair.

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

While the month of August was quiet for the bantamweight division, we are looking into September with great anticipation. The top bantamweights in the world will square off in the UFC 215 co-main event, where Amanda Nunes defends her UFC title against Valentina Shevchenko in an anticipated rematch. Also on the card, seventh-ranked Sara McMann looks to creep closer to a potential title shot against undefeated Brazilian Ketlen Vieira.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)
  1. Jennifer Maia (1)
  2. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (2)
  3. Vanessa Porto (3)
  4. Roxanne Modafferi (4)
  5. Rin Nakai (5)
  6. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (6)
  7. DeAnna Bennett (7)
  8. Sarah D’Alelio (8)
  9. Andrea Lee (9)
  10. Kalindra Faria (10)

No top-10 flyweights were in action in the month of August, and it appears none will be fighting in September. That said, top-10 flyweights Roxanne Modafferi and DeAnna Bennett are currently competing on The Ultimate Fighter 26.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (1)
  2. Claudia Gadelha (2)
  3. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (3)
  4. Jessica Andrade (4)
  5. Rose Namajunas (5)
  6. Michelle Waterson (6)
  7. Tecia Torres (8)
  8. Carla Esparza (9)
  9. Cynthia Calvillo (10)
  10. Angela Hill (-)

Dropped out of the rankings: Randa Markos (7)

The month of August was largely quiet, but Randa Markos dropped from the top 10 after dropping a close decision to Alexa Grasso. The loss opened the door for former Invicta titleholder Angela Hill to enter the top 10. In September, Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade will square off in an ultra-important bout that will shape the strawweight division for months to come.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)
  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (1)
  2. Jinh Yu Frey (2)
  3. Herica Tiburcio (3)
  4. Seo Hee Ham (4)
  5. Janaisa Morandin (5)
  6. Julia Jones (6)
  7. Tessa Simpson (7)
  8. Mina Kurobe (8)
  9. Naho Sugiyama (9)
  10. Ashley Cummins (10)

The atomweights were largely inactive in August, and it appears to look that way again in September. Ranked atomweight Janaisa Morandin moved up to strawweight in August to fight Livia Renata Souza. She lost, but it must be remembered she moved up a weight class and did so on late notice.


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.

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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