Amanda Nunes (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: December 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 (7)
  8. Olga Rubin (-)
  9. Cindy Dandois (9)
  10. Pam Sorenson (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Ediane Gomes (8)


Due to inactivity, Ediane Gomes drops from the rankings. Olga Rubin scored the biggest win of her career when she upended UFC veteran Cindy Dandois at Bellator 209 in Israel. Rubin jumps into the No. 8 spot. At Invicta FC 32, Felicia Spencer captured the promotion’s vacant featherweight championship when she impressively defeated Pam Sorenson. The victory solidifies Spencer as a top featherweight at a young age, but she remains in the fifth spot in the rankings. To close out 2018, two top 145-pounders will be in action at UFC 232. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino takes a superfight in the co-main event of the card opposite UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Former Invicta champ Megan Anderson will also fight on the card. The Aussie takes on Cat Zingano, a bantamweight moving up to the featherweight division.

Bantamweight Division (57.3-61.8 kilograms)
  1. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Germaine de Randamie (-)
  3. Holly Holm (2)
  4. Ketlen Vieira (3)
  5. Raquel Pennington (4)
  6. Sarah Kaufman (5)
  7. Cat Zingano (6)
  8. Aspen Ladd (7)
  9. Marion Reneau (8)
  10. Tonya Evinger (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Yana Kunitskaya (10)

After a long layoff from the bantamweight division which forced her to vacate her ranking, Germaine de Randamie moves back into the second spot with her return in November. She defeated fellow top-10 fighter Raquel Pennington at UFC Fight Night 139 to become a top contender for the belt currently held by Amanda Nunes.

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. Katlyn Chookagian (7)
  6. Jennifer Maia (5)
  7. Agnieszka Niedźwiedź (6)
  8. Alexis Davis (9)
  9. Vanessa Porto (8)
  10. Sijara Eubanks (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Roxanne Modafferi (10)

Sijara Eubanks pokes her head into the top 10 courtesy of a win over Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 230. She needs to prove more consistent when weigh-in time comes, but nevertheless, the brash flyweight has proven to be a tough fighter who is wiggling her way into the title picture. To close out 2018, a number of top fighters will be in action. Top-ranked Valentina Shevchenko will vie for the vacant UFC flyweight championship when she takes on former strawweight champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231. On the same card, Katlyn Chookagian and Jessica Eye will battle it out in hopes of securing the No. 1 contender spot within the company. Elsewhere, Bellator titleholder Ilima-Lei Macfarlane takes on a tough test in the form of UFC veteran Valérie Létourneau.

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

A quiet November for the strawweights will give way to a December in which just one ranked fighter will be in action at 115 pounds. Claudia Gadelha has a date with Nina Ansaroff at UFC 231. No. 2-ranked Joanna Jędrzejczyk ventures up to the flyweight division for a title fight against Valentina Shevchenko.

Atomweight Division (less than 50 kilograms)
  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (1)
  2. Seo Hee Ham (2)
  3. Jinh Yu Frey (3)
  4. Mina Kurobe (5)
  5. Minna Grusander (6)
  6. Ashley Cummins (8)
  7. Kanna Asakura (7)
  8. Amber Brown (9)
  9. Rena Kubota (tie -10)
  10. Alesha Zappitella (tie -10)

Dropped from the rankings: Herica Tiburcio (4)

Ashley Cummins, who scored a huge win over formerly undefeated prospect Jessica Delboni at Invicta FC 32, climbs two spots up in the rankings. Former Invicta champion Herica Tiburcio, formerly ranked fourth, drops from the rankings due to inactivity. The Brazilian’s departure also breaks the tie at 10th and allows Rena Kubota to slide up to No. 9. The atomweights have a busy final month of the year. Ayaka Hamasaki faces Kanna Asakura at the final Rizin card of the year. Seo Hee Ham, a UFC veteran, looks to continue her successful drop back to 105 pounds when she takes on Jung Eun Park under the the Road FC banner. Invicta champion Jinh Yu Frey is out to score a more decisive victory in an immediate rematch with Minna Grusander. Mina Kurobe fights Tomo Maesawa on the Deep Jewels 22 card. Finally, eighth-ranked Amber Brown wants to stop the ascent of Alesha Zappitella.

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.