Weili Zhang (R) and Tecia Torres (Mike Sloan/Sherdog)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: September 2019

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. Felicia Spencer (5)
  6. Megan Anderson (6)
  7. Arlene Blencowe (9)
  8. Talita Nogueira (7)
  9. Olga Rubin (8)
  10. Pam Sorenson (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Leslie Smith (10)


A new Invicta champion was crowned in August. Pam Sorenson joins the top 10 after she was able to score a decision win over longtime veteran Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 36. With the win, Sorenson clinched gold and shot her stock through the roof. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino didn’t fight in the month of August, but she did become a free agent. The former UFC champion inked a new contract to become part of Bellator’s roster.

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. Aspen Ladd (5)
  6. Raquel Pennington (6)
  7. Cat Zingano (7)
  8. Julianna Peña (8)
  9. Yana Kunitskaya (9)
  10. Lina Länsberg (10)

There were no top-10 bantamweights in action in August, but there was some big news. Former title challenger Cat Zingano has departed the UFC. In September, Lina Länsberg takes on the surging Macy Chiasson at UFC on ESPN+ 18.

Flyweight Division (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Valentina Shevchenko (1)
  2. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (2)
  3. Liz Carmouche (3)
  4. Jessica Eye (4)
  5. Katlyn Chookagian (5)
  6. Jennifer Maia (6)
  7. Vanessa Porto (7)
  8. Andrea Lee (9)
  9. Viviane Araujo (10)
  10. Roxanne Modafferi (8)

Valentina Shevchenko continued to cement herself as the best 125-pounder in the world. The UFC champ successfully staved off a challenge from Liz Carmouche at UFC on ESPN+ 14. In September, Andrea Lee, our No. 8-ranked flyweight, takes on Joanne Calderwood at UFC 242 in an attempt to crack the top-five.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Tecia Torres (10), Alexa Grasso (10)

The MMA world was shocked again, as the UFC strawweight title hot potato continued. AT UFC on ESPN+ 15, Weili Zhang quickly dispatched of Jessica Andrade to claim the crown. This wasn’t the only shuffling to happen within the 115-pound ranks. Earlier in the month at UFC on ESPN+ 14, Marina Rodriguez scored an impressive victory over Tecia Torres. Rodriguez jumps into the rankings at No. 9, therefore bumping Torres and Alexa Grasso out of the top 10. In September, Grasso gets a chance to claw her way back up the poll when she fights Carla Esparza at UFC on ESPN+ 17.

Atomweight Division (Under 50.1 kilograms)
  1. Ayaka Hamasaki (1)
  2. Seo Hee Ham (2)
  3. Jinh Yu Frey (3)
  4. Minna Grusander (4)
  5. Ashley Cummins (5)
  6. Kanna Asakura (-)
  7. Alesha Zappitella (6)
  8. Kelly D’Angelo (8)
  9. Jessica Delboni (-)
  10. Lindsey VanZandt (7)

Dropped from the rankings: Miyuu Yamamoto (10), Mina Kurobe (9)

The best atomweight in the world won yet again in August, as Ayaka Hamasaki submitted Suwanan Boonsorn at Rizin 18. The month also brought on plenty of shakeups within the division. Kanna Asakura re-emerges in the top-10 after edging Alesha Zappitella via split decision at the Rizin show. Meanwhile, Jessica Delboni lands at No. 9 after taking a split nod over the formidable Lindsey VanZandt at Invicta FC 36. The new additions to the top 10 force Miyuu Yamamoto and Mina Kurobe out of the rankings.

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.