Nicco Montaño (

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: September 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. Holly Holm (4)
  4. Megan Anderson (5)
  5. Felicia Spencer (6)
  6. Talita Nogueira (7)
  7. Ediane Gomes (8)
  8. Arlene Blencowe (9)
  9. Cindy Dandois (10)
  10. Amber Leibrock (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Germaine de Randamie (3)

The month of September saw no action from the top-10 featherweights. However, Amber Leibrock enters the rankings due to Germaine de Randamie’s inactivity, which pushes the former UFC champion out of the top 10. In September, Leibrock will look to further march up the rankings, but in her way stands eighth-ranked Arlene Blencowe.


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

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the month, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Flyweight Division (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Valentina Shevchenko (1)
  2. Liz Carmouche (2)
  3. Ilima Macfarlane (3)
  4. Nicco Montaño (4)
  5. Jennifer Maia (5)
  6. Katlyn Chookagian (6)
  7. Aga Niedźwiedź (8)
  8. Vanessa Porto (7)
  9. Alexis Davis (9)
  10. Roxanne Modafferi (10)

August was a slow month for the flyweights, but the most important fight the division has seen in a long time takes place in September. In her first UFC title defense, Nicco Montaño will look to not only be champion, but queen of the rankings when she takes on Valentina Shevchenko in the co-headliner of UFC 228. All eyes will be on the contest.

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. Tecia Torres (6)
  7. Carla Esparza (7)
  8. Michelle Waterson (8)
  9. Tatiana Suarez (9)
  10. Felice Herrig (10)

It was a quiet month for the strawweights, too. UFC 228 will play host to four of these women, though. Third-ranked Jessica Andrade looks to score a UFC title shot when she takes on fifth-ranked Karolina Kowalkiewicz, while No. 7 Carla Esparza seeks to take out undefeated top prospect Tatiana Suarez, the ninth-ranked fighter.

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. Minna Grusander (7)
  7. Ashley Cummins (9)
  8. Kanna Asakura (8)
  9. Amber Brown (10)
  10. Rena Kubota (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Naho Sugiyama (6)

Rena Kubota returns to the rankings now that Naho Sugiyama’s retirement has rendered her inactive for the required span to force her off the list. Otherwise, there was no action to speak of in August for these ladies. In September, top-ranked Ayaka Hamasaki will fight fifth-ranked Mina Kurobe in a huge bout that will take place in Japan.