Karolina Kowalkiewicz (Scott Hirano/Invicta FC)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: November 2017

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 (7)
  8. Arlene Blencowe (8)
  9. Felicia Spencer (9)
  10. Ediane Gomes (10)

No top-10 featherweights were in action in the month of October. It appears that will be the case for the month of November as well.

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. Cat Zingano (7)
  8. Liz Carmouche (8)
  9. Tonya Evinger (9)
  10. Sarah Kaufman (10)

None of the top-10 bantamweights were in action in October, nor are they scheduled to fight next month. However, one big piece of news emerged in October. Raquel Pennington was to be the next fighter to challenge Amanda Nunes for the UFC title, but an injury will prevent her from taking part in that fight. This leaves the champion in need of a challenger while Pennington travels the road to recovery.


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 Macfarlane (6)
  7. Andrea Lee (7)
  8. DeAnna Bennett (8)
  9. Sarah D’Alelio (9)
  10. Sabina Mazo (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Kalindra Faria (10 – tie)

A top-10 flyweight finds herself out of the rankings as a result of a loss in October. Kalindra Faria was upended in her UFC debut by Mara Romero Borella. With Faria’s departure from the top 10, Sabina Mazo claims the No. 10 spot all to herself. In November, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane looks to continue her quick ascent up the flyweight ladder when she fights for the vacant Bellator flyweight title. Her opponent will be Emily Ducote. The pair met previously during their Bellator tenures, and it was Macfarlane who emerged with the unanimous-decision victory.

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

Karolina Kowalkiewicz solidified herself as a top-five strawweight with a win over Jodie Esquibel in her home country of Poland. She now makes her march toward the title picture. Her fellow Polish star, UFC champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk, will defend her belt yet again in the month of November. Jędrzejczyk meets Rose Namajunas at UFC 217. Another win would solidify her as the most dominant fighter outside Cris Cyborg in women’s MMA.

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 quiet in October, and it looks to be the same way in the month of November.

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.