Julia Budd (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: August 2018

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 (61.9-66.3 kilograms)
  1. Cris “Cyborg” Justino (1)
  2. Julia Budd (2)
  3. Germaine de Randamie (3)
  4. Holly Holm (4)
  5. Megan Anderson (5)
  6. Felicia Spencer (8)
  7. Talita Nogueira (7)
  8. Ediane Gomes (-)
  9. Arlene Blencowe (9)
  10. Cindy Dandois (10)
  • Dropped from the rankings: Charmaine Tweet (6)

The best featherweight outside the UFC continues to cement herself as a top pound-for-pound fighter in women’s MMA. Bellator featherweight champion Julia Budd defended her crown in dominant fashion, as the Canadian mauler took out formerly undefeated Talita Nogueira with a TKO finish at Bellator 202. Felicia Spencer continues her march up the rankings by moving into the sixth spot after besting veteran Helena Kolesnyk at Invicta FC 30. Meanwhile, inactivity has forces Charmaine Tweet out of the rankings. With Tweet absent from the polls, Ediane Gomes benefits. The Brazilian jumps into the top 10 and immediately claims the No. 8 spot in the rankings.

Bantamweight Division (57.3-61.8 kilograms)
  1. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Holly Holm (2)
  3. Ketlen Vieira (5)
  4. Raquel Pennington (4)
  5. Sarah Kaufman (6)
  6. Cat Zingano (7)
  7. Tonya Evinger (8)
  8. Marion Reneau (9)
  9. Yana Kunitskaya (10)
  10. Sara McMann (-)
  • Dropped from the rankings: Julianna Peña (3)

It was a relatively quiet month for the bantamweights, but two members of the top 10 did square off. Cat Zingano scored a much-needed win to keep her top-10 status when she took out fellow ranked fighter Marion Reneau at UFC Fight Night 133. Julianna Peña’s inactivity — she’s expecting a child — renders her ineligible for the rankings.


Flyweight Division (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Valentina Shevchenko (2)
  2. Liz Carmouche (-)
  3. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (6)
  4. Nicco Montaño (5)
  5. Jennifer Maia (1)
  6. Katlyn Chookagian (-)
  7. Vanessa Porto (4)
  8. Agnieszka Niedźwiedź (3)
  9. Alexis Davis (10)
  10. Roxanne Modafferi (7)
  • Dropped from the rankings: Rin Nakai (8), Sijara Eubanks (9)

The flyweight rankings are about as unstable a set of rankings as you can get. Rin Nakai and Sijara Eubanks fall out of the top 10, while the rest of the fighters scramble to new positions. Formerly top-ranked Jennifer Maia fell in her UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 133. She drops four spots courtesy of Liz Carmouche, who makes her first appearance in the flyweight rankings at No. 2 after her decision nod over Maia. Katlyn Chookagian also makes her first appearance in the flyweight poll after besting Alexis Davis to score the biggest win of her career. Roxanne Modafferi avenged a loss from earlier in her career. Modafferi took out Barb Honchak, just barely keeping the “Happy Warrior” inside the chaotic flyweight top 10.

Strawweight Division (50.1-52.7 kilograms)
  1. Rose Namajunas (1)
  2. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (2)
  3. Jessica Andrade (3)
  4. Claudia Gadelha (4)
  5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (5)
  6. Carla Esparza (7)
  7. Tecia Torres (6)
  8. Michelle Waterson (8)
  9. Tatiana Suarez (9)
  10. Felice Herrig (10)

It was mostly a quiet month for the strawweights, but the former queen of the division got back in the win column in a big way. Joanna Jędrzejczyk, the longtime champion, scored a decision victory over Tecia Torres in an exciting fight. Jędrzejczyk continues to chase Rose Namajunas, the woman who unseated her from the throne at 115 pounds.

Atomweight Division (less than 50 kilograms)
  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (1)
  2. Seo Hee Ham (2)
  3. Jinh Yu Frey (3)
  4. Herica Tiburcio (4)
  5. Mina Kurobe (5)
  6. Naho Sugiyama (6)
  7. Minna Grusander (-)
  8. Kanna Asakura (8)
  9. Ashley Cummins (7)
  10. Amber Brown (9)
  • Dropped from the rankings: Rena Kubota (10)

Invicta has a new champion, and the atomweight rankings have taken a different shape as a result. Jinh Yu Frey finally busted through to the next level when she scored the strap in a tough fight with Minna Grusander. Even though she lost, Grusander boosted her stock based on her performance and makes her debut in the rankings in the ninth spot. Rena Kubota drops out of the rankings, despite going 1-1 for the month. Though she did beat Elaine Leal at strawweight, she ended the month by falling to fellow-ranked atomweight Kanna Asakura.