Alesha Zappitella (Jeff Vulgamore/Combat Press)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: August 2020

With the growing popularity of women’s MMA, it is important to recognize these women with a rankings system of their own. Between the UFC’s inclusion of a bantamweight division, its addition of the strawweight and flyweight divisions, Bellator’s increasing attention to the women’s side of the sport, 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. Felicia Spencer (4)
  5. Megan Anderson (5)
  6. Arlene Blencowe (6)
  7. Pam Sorenson (7)
  8. Jessy Miele (8)
  9. Talita Nogueira (9)
  10. Kaitlin Young (10)

No. 10 featherweight Kaitlin Young used a sound game plan to defeat Latoya Walker at Invicta FC 41. Young maintains her spot in the rankings with victory.


Bantamweight Division (57.3-61.8 kilograms)
  1. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Germaine de Randamie (2)
  3. Holly Holm (3)
  4. Raquel Pennington (4)
  5. Aspen Ladd (5)
  6. Irene Aldana (6)
  7. Ketlen Vieira (7)
  8. Cat Zingano (8)
  9. Julianna Peña (9)
  10. Yana Kunitskaya (10)

No ranked bantamweights competed in July, but No. 10 Yana Kunitskaya is on deck for an August bout. She will take on Julija Stoliarenko, who steps in on short notice at UFC Fight Night 174.

Flyweight Division (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Valentina Shevchenko (1)
  2. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (2)
  3. Cynthia Calvillo (4)
  4. Liz Carmouche (3)
  5. Jessica Eye (5)
  6. Katlyn Chookagian (6)
  7. Jennifer Maia (7)
  8. Vanessa Porto (8)
  9. Lauren Murphy (9)
  10. Joanne Calderwood (10)

There were no ranked flyweights in action in July, but August kicks off with a showdown between No. 7 Jennifer Maia and No. 10 Joanne Calderwood.

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

A major shakeup takes place at the top of the strawweight rankings, where Rose Namajunas moves up after avenging a previous loss to Jessica Andrade. Namajunas was able to eke out a split decision over her Brazilian counterpart at UFC 251. Meanwhile, Carla Esparza keeps her spot in the rankings after defeating Marina Rodriguez at UFC on ESPN 14. In August, Michelle Waterson will take on Angela Hill, while Alexa Grasso meets Ji Yeon Kim. These fights could help to break the tie for the 10th spot in our poll.

Atomweight Division (Under 50.1 kilograms)
  1. Seo Hee Ham (1)
  2. Ayaka Hamasaki (2)
  3. Ashley Cummins (4)
  4. Alesha Zappitella (8)
  5. Kanna Asakura (7)
  6. Jessica Delboni (5)
  7. Rena Kubota (6)
  8. Lindsey VanZandt (9)
  9. Mina Kurobe (-)
  10. Kelly D’Angelo (10)
  • Dropped from the rankings: Minna Grusander (3)

Due to inactivity, Minna Grusander has been removed from the atomweight rankings. Japan’s Mina Kurobe, who is set to fight Megumi Sugimoto under the Shooto banner in early August, enters the rankings as a result of this shuffle. Alesha Zappitella also makes a big move after scoring a July win over Lindsey VanZandt at Invicta FC 40. August is a busy month for the atomweights. In addition to Kurobe, Ayaka Hamasaki will be in action against Tomo Maesawa, while Kanna Asakura meets Mizuki Furuse.