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. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (1)
  2. Julia Budd (3)
  3. Marloes Coenen (2)
  4. Germaine de Randamie (NR)
  5. Megan Anderson (4)
  6. Charmaine Tweet (5)
  7. Arlene Blencowe (6)
  8. Latoya Walker (7)
  9. Roberta Paim (8)
  10. Holly Holm (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Daria Ibragimova (9), Jessy Miele (10)

The featherweight division had its first major main event in the UFC in February. The 145-pound division arrived in the world’s largest MMA promotion. Germaine de Randamie outlasted Holly Holm at UFC 208 for the inaugural UFC featherweight championship. De Randamie denied Holm her second UFC strap. Both ladies have entered the featherweight rankings for their effort, and we will see where they go in the UFC featherweight division down the road. In March, Julia Budd and Marloes Coenen will headline Bellator 174 for the inaugural Bellator featherweight championship.

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

The bantamweight division was not very active in February, and it doesn’t look very busy in March either. Sara McMann was set to take on Liz Carmouche in February, but an injury forced the latter out, leaving McMann to take on late-replacement opponent Gina Mazany. McMann won the fight via submission, leading to a jump up one spot in the rankings.

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

The flyweight division is actually getting more and more active and competitive, as it proves that it should have been the next women’s division the UFC. In February, Andrea Lee scored her second win in two months, submitting Heather Bassett to successfully defend her Legacy FC flyweight crown. In March, Invicta will play host to a bout between DeAnna Bennett and Jodie Esquibel, but the contest will be contested at strawweight. This development could draw Bennett out of the flyweight rankings.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (1)
  2. Claudia Gadelha (2)
  3. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (3)
  4. Jessica Andrade (6)
  5. Jessica Aguilar (5)
  6. Rose Namajunas (7)
  7. Michelle Waterson (8)
  8. Randa Markos (NR)
  9. Carla Esparza (4)
  10. Joanne Calderwood (10)/Tecia Torres (NR)
  • Dropped out of the ranks: Alexa Grasso (9)

The strawweight division was very busy in February. Alexa Grasso, who fell to Felice Herrig in the co-main event at UFC in Houston, drops out of the rankings. Meanwhile, Tecia Torres, who bested Bec Rawlings at the very same event, jumps into the fray. The biggest win of the month came from Jessica Andrade, who won a barn-burner over Angela Hill. The victory earns Andrade a shot at UFC champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Randa Markos scored a major upset when she upended Carla Esparza. The victory shoots Markos into the rankings and pushes Esparza down significantly.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)
  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (1)
  2. Jinh Yu Frey (2)
  3. Herica Tiburcio (4)
  4. Janaisa Morandin (5)
  5. Julia Jones (6)
  6. Mina Kurobe (NR)
  7. Tessa Simpson (7)
  8. Satoko Shinashi (8)
  9. Naho Sugiyama (3)
  10. Simona Soukupova (9)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Kyra Batara (10)

It was a relatively quiet February for the 105-pounders, and it will continue to be quiet in March. Third-ranked Naho Sugiyama took a major hit in the rankings when she lost to Mina Kurobe at Deep Jewels in Japan. In March, top atomweights Jinh Yu Frey and Janaisa Morandin will go to war in Invicta in what is likely a top contender’s bout.

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.