Aspen Ladd (Jeff Vulgamore/Combat Press)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: November 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. Ediane Gomes (8)
  9. Cindy Dandois (9)
  10. Pam Sorenson (10)

The month of October was silent for the featherweight division, but expect some shifting to happen in November. Felicia Spencer is set to square off with Pam Sorenson for the vacant Invicta featherweight championship in the headlining bout at Invicta FC 32. Cindy Dandois will compete under the Bellator banner when she takes on surging prospect Olga Rubin in what could be an interesting affair.


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. Aspen Ladd (-)
  8. Marion Reneau (8)
  9. Tonya Evinger (7)
  10. Yana Kunitskaya (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Sara McMann (10)

The bottom half of the bantamweight rankings undergo a major reshuffling courtesy of UFC 229. Formerly unranked Aspen Ladd storms to the seventh spot with her dominant win over Tonya Evinger. Ladd’s inclusion pushes Sara McMann out of the top 10. Yana Kunitskaya holds onto her top-10 spot with a victory on the same card over Lina Länsberg. In November, Raquel Pennington looks to jump back into the win column against Germaine de Randamie, who is on the hunt to reclaim a top-10 spot for herself.

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 (6)
  7. Katlyn Chookagian (7)
  8. Vanessa Porto (8)
  9. Alexis Davis (9)
  10. Roxanne Modafferi (10)

October was a slow month for the flyweight division. The only top-10 fighter in action this month will be Roxanne Modafferi, who seeks to avenge her The Ultimate Fighter loss (which does not count on her pro record) to Sijara Eubanks when the two rematch at UFC 230.

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)

Despite the fact that two top-10 fighters fought each other in October, the rankings remain the same. Michelle Waterson outworked Felice Herrig at UFC 229 to stay just a spot ahead of the Illinois-based striker. There are no top-10 fighters scheduled to fight in November, but a lot of the women on the fringes of the rankings will be in action.

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

The rankings remain nearly identical this month for the atomweights since none of the ranked fighters competed. In November, Ashley Cummins continues her quest to inch up the rankings when she takes on the undefeated Jessica Delboni at Invicta FC 32.

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.