Tatiana Suarez (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: October 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.

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from the previous rankings.

Featherweight Division (61.9-66.3 kilograms)
  1. Cris “Cyborg” Justino (1)
  2. Julia Budd (2)
  3. Holly Holm (3)
  4. Megan Anderson (4)
  5. Felicia Spencer (5)
  6. Talita Nogueira (6)
  7. Arlene Blencowe (8)
  8. Ediane Gomes (7)
  9. Cindy Dandois (9)
  10. Pam Sorenson (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Amber Leibrock (10)


The featherweight rankings receive a minor shake up. Former No. 10-ranked Amber Leibrock suffered a TKO loss to Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 206. The loss sends Leibrock out of the top 10 and opens up a place for Pam Sorenson, who will fight for the vacant Invicta featherweight championship in November.

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)

The month of September was a silent one for the bantamweight division, but there are two fights in October that could reshuffle the deck. At UFC 229, Tonya Evinger takes on the very tough Aspen Ladd, who has been sniffing around the top 10 for a year now. On the same card, Yana Kunitskaya seeks to move up the ladder when she takes on unranked bantamweight Lina Länsberg.

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

Nicco Montaño was stripped of her UFC title. Valentina Shevchenko will fight for the belt against former strawweight queen Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231.

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

At UFC 228, Tatiana Suarez earned her biggest win to date over former UFC champ Carla Esparza. Suarez climbs up three spots in the rankings as a result. The top half of the top 10 stay in place despite a September fight between Jessica Andrade and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Andrade flattened Kowalkiewicz with a highlight-reel one-punch knockout in the UFC 228 bout. In October, Michelle Waterson and Felice Herrig continue to jockey for position when they throw down at UFC 229.

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 (6)
  7. Ashley Cummins (7)
  8. Kanna Asakura (8)
  9. Amber Brown (9)
  10. Rena Kubota (10)/Alesha Zappitella (-)

The best atomweight in the world kept her status in the month of September. Ayaka Hamasaki was able to submit Mina Kurobe at Rizin 13. Kurobe’s loss doesn’t cause her to lose any ground in the top 10, but it does have enough impact on our panel to allow an opening for Alesha Zappitella to crack the rankings in a tie with Rena Kubota for the No. 10 spot.

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. Fighters who announce their retirement will remain ranked for a period of six months following their final bout.