Ronda Rousey (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: September 2015

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. Robert Rovel (9)
  10. Amanda Bell (10)/Peggy Morgan (11)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The featherweight rankings stood pat in the month of August, despite the fact there were a few top-10 ladies in action. Toward the beginning of the month, 10th-ranked Peggy Morgan jumped back into the win column by beating Jessy Miele, a woman on the fringe of the rankings. The victory further shows how featherweight is the best division for Morgan, especially after her tough run at 135 pounds. Perennial No. 2 fighter Marloes Coenen continued to show her dominance in the Bellator cage, this time besting Australian boxer Arlene Blencowe. The fight made the Bellator main card after it was originally slated for the prelims. September looks to be a quiet month for the featherweights.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)
  1. Ronda Rousey (1)
  2. Miesha Tate (2)
  3. Cat Zingano (3)
  4. Alexis Davis (5)
  5. Jessica Eye (6)
  6. Sarah Kaufman (7)
  7. Amanda Nunes (13)
  8. Tonya Evinger (9)
  9. Sara McMann (4)
  10. Liz Carmouche (8)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Lauren Murphy (10)

August saw some big shake-ups in the bantamweight division. Ronda Rousey, the baddest woman on the planet, kicked off the month by defending her belt successfully against Bethe Correia. It took just 34 seconds for Rousey to plant a huge shot to the temple of Correia, sending the Brazilian crashing into a face plant of unconsciousness. The biggest news of the month outside of Rousey’s win was the major shuffling in the rankings, as Amanda Nunes made a six-spot jump to the No. 7 slot after completely decimating Sara McMann. The win has people buzzing about Nunes, and it will undoubtedly put her in the catbird seat for a potential title shot against the aforementioned Rousey. In September, eighth-ranked Tonya Evinger looks to defend her Invicta belt for the first time when she takes on surging contender Pannie Kianzad. It’s a bout between two women who should be in the UFC, and they could eventually land in the Octagon if they stay the course.


Flyweight Division (125 pounds)
  1. Barb Honchak (1)
  2. Vanessa Porto (2)
  3. Jennifer Maia (3)
  4. Roxanne Modafferi (4)
  5. Julia Berezikova (6)
  6. Munah Holland (7)
  7. Aline Serio (8)
  8. Brenda Gonzales (9)
  9. Reina Cordoba (10)
  10. Silvana Gomez Juarez (11)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Zoila Frausto (5)

Other than Zoila Frausto dropping out of the rankings due to inactivity, the flyweight division was calm in August. Takayo Hashi, who was a fringe top-10er, moved up to bantamweight for a bout in Japan, but she was defeated by Ji Yeon Kim, effectively taking her out of the hunt. It’s a devastating loss that may drive Hashi back to 125 pounds. In September, fourth-ranked Roxanne Modafferi will look to jump back into the win column when she takes on young, hungry Brazilian Mariana Morais. Also, Silvana Gomez Juarez looks to defend her XFCi belt against Poliana Botelho to prove that she truly belongs among the best at 125 pounds. Those two fights should be more than enough to quench the thirst for flyweight action in September.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (1)
  2. Claudia Gadelha (4)
  3. Jessica Aguilar (2)
  4. Carla Esparza (3)
  5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (5)
  6. DeAnna Bennett (7)
  7. Livia Renata Souza (8)
  8. Joanne Calderwood (9)
  9. Rose Namajunas (10)
  10. Jessica Penne  (11)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Maryna Moroz (6)

The strawweight division had some big developments in the month of August, turning the rankings completely inside out, mostly at the top. At UFC 190, Claudia Gadelha showed why she’s the top contender when she dominated former World Series of Fighting champion Jessica Aguilar. The Brazilian earned top contender status, as she looks to avenge her only loss to UFC champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Maryna Moroz, who shocked the world by tapping out Joanne Calderwood earlier this year, was bumped from the rankings after a disappointing performance against Valerie Letourneau. Moroz went from potential title challenger to out of the running in one dismal, 15-minute loss. Looking ahead, DeAnna Bennett will continue her run up the strawweight ladder when she meets Katja Kankaanpää in the co-main event of Invicta FC 14. An impressive win for Bennett could potentially earn her a future date with divisional queen Livia Renata Souza, who looks to keep the division in a stranglehold.

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

The atomweight rankings remain the same as last month, as none of the top-10 fighters were in action. Expect to see a couple compete in September, though. At Invicta FC 14, Jinh Yu Frey and Liz McCarthy will battle it out to see who moves up the ranks and who gets pushed down the ladder. It is an interesting match-up that could have heavy implications in the division, which is currently ruled by Invicta champ Ayaka Hamasaki. Needless to say, the rankings may look a bit difference when September is all said and done.