Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Jinh Yu Frey

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: October 2016

Riley Kontek Staff Writer

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 (5)
  6. Annalisa Bucci (6)
  7. Arlene Blencowe (7)
  8. Latoya Walker (9)
  9. Roberta Paim (10)
  10. Cindy Dandois (-)

Dropped out of the rankings: Faith Van Duin (8)

Two ranked fighters fought outside of their division in September — one in the UFC at 140 pounds and one at 135 pounds in Invicta. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino earned yet another win in dominant fashion when she knocked out Lina Lansberg in the main event of UFC Fight Night 95. At Invicta FC 19, Faith Van Duin dropped to bantamweight, but she was promptly decimated by Irene Aldana, thus ejecting her from the rankings. In October, Julia Budd will fight Arlene Blencowe in Bellator in what could be a title eliminator bout.


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

No ranked fighters competed in September, and none are scheduled right now for the month of October. Hopefully, we see the return of some of these great bantamweights in the near future.

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 (6)
  7. Kalindra Faria (7)
  8. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (8)
  9. Rin Nakai (9)
  10. Poliana Botelho (10)

The top-ranked flyweight remained at the top of the mountain. Jennifer Maia defended her Invicta flyweight championship in the main event of Invicta FC 19. Maia bested Roxanne Modafferi via split decision in a thriller. Kalindra Faria took a 135-pound title fight with Titan FC and won her rubber match with Carina Damm. Next month, none of these ranked fighters are scheduled to compete.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (1)
  2. Claudia Gadelha (2)
  3. Carla Esparza (4)
  4. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (5)
  5. Jessica Aguilar (3)
  6. Jessica Andrade (8)
  7. Rose Namajunas (6)
  8. Joanne Calderwood (7)
  9. Michelle Waterson (9)
  10. Alexa Grasso (10)

It was a slow month for the strawweights, but there was one major shake up. Jessica Andrade continued her campaign since dropping from 135 pounds when she finished Joanne Calderwood. In no time, Andrade could be in line for a title fight if she keeps decimating opponents.

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

The atomweights were the busiest of the weight classes in September. Ayaka Hamasaki kept her Invicta atomweight title when she retained against Jinh Yu Frey at Invicta FC 19. Due to the cut stoppage, they may square off again in their next bout. Meanwhile, Julia Jones bested Stephanie Skinner on the same card. Janaisa Morandin bested Paula Vieira in Brazil to keep her place in the rankings. Next month, none of the fighters are scheduled to compete.

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.