Vanessa Porto vs. Pearl Gonzalez

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: March 2019

Riley Kontek Staff Writer

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. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Cris “Cyborg” Justino (2)
  3. Julia Budd (3)
  4. Holly Holm (4)
  5. Megan Anderson (5)
  6. Felicia Spencer (6)
  7. Talita Nogueira (7)
  8. Olga Rubin (9)
  9. Arlene Blencowe (8)
  10. Amanda Bell (-)

Dropped out of the rankings: Cindy Dandois (10)


Olga Rubin continued her ascent up the featherweight ladder in February, when she took out Iony Razafiarison at Bellator 217. In theory, Rubin could be the next challenger to Julia Budd’s belt. As for Razafiarison? The usual bantamweight fought twice in the month. In addition to the late-notice loss to Rubin, she knocks Cindy Dandois out of the rankings with a late-notice win over the UFC veteran at European Beatdown 5. In Dandois’ place steps Amanda Bell, who scored a big knockout win over Amber Leibrock at Bellator 215.

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

February was a quiet month for the top bantamweights in the world. March will feature the ninth-ranked Marion Reneau against Russia’s Yana Kunitskaya at UFC on ESPN+ 4. Reneau would inch her closer to the top five if she can pick up the win.

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

Liz Carmouche continued to establish herself as a top flyweight with a win over Lucie Pudilová in hostile territory at UFC on ESPN+ 3. Meanwhile, Vanessa Porto finally scored Invicta FC gold when she defeated Pearl Gonzalez in the main event of Invicta FC 34. It was a four-round decision that came after an inadvertent eye poke brought a premature halt to the contest. In March, ninth-ranked Alexis Davis will be in action at UFC on ESPN+ 6, where she takes on seventh-ranked Jennifer Maia.

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

The strawweights had a quiet month in February, but things are about to pick up. Two top-10 fighters square off when Karolina Kowalkiewicz meets Michelle Waterson at UFC on ESPN 2. The winner will inch closer to a title shot. Elsewhere, Tecia Torres will seek to advance her own title aspirations when she takes on top Chinese fighter Weili Zhang at UFC 235.

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

The atomweight top 10 were inactive in February, but one lady will step up in March. Kanna Asakura looks to continue her rise in the division when she takes on fellow countrywoman Tomo Maesawa at Deep Jewels 23.