Cat Zingano (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: October 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 weight classes from strawweight up to featherweight, 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. Cat Zingano (-)
  7. Arlene Blencowe (6)
  8. Pam Sorenson (7)
  9. Jessy Miele (8)
  10. Talita Nogueira (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Kaitlin Young (10)


Cat Zingano has emerged in the featherweight rankings after making her Bellator debut at 145 pounds. The UFC veteran defeated Gabrielle Holloway by way of a unanimous decision in their bout at Bellator 245. Zingano’s addition to the top 10 knocks Kaitlin Young out of the rankings. In October, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino defends her Bellator title against Arlene Blencowe.

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. Yana Kunitskaya (9)
  9. Julianna Peña (10)
  10. Marion Reneau (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Cat Zingano (8)

Zingano’s departure to the 145-pound division makes way for Marion Reneau to enter the bantamweight top 10. Ketlen Vieira maintains her hold on the No. 7 spot after the Brazilian outlasted Sijara Eubanks at UFC 253. In October, Germaine de Randamie looks to possibly score another shot at Amanda Nunes’ title when she takes on Julianna Peña. Holly Holm is set to meet Irene Aldana in early October.

Flyweight Division (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Valentina Shevchenko (1)
  2. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (2)
  3. Liz Carmouche (4)
  4. Cynthia Calvillo (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)

Liz Carmouche scored another big win for herself in September when she bested DeAnna Bennett at Bellator 246. Carmouche scoots up one spot to third in our poll with the victory. In October, Cynthia Calvillo squares off with Lauren Murphy in a bout that could vault the winner to an eventual title shot. Also, Katlyn Chookagian welcomes Jessica Andrade back to the flyweight division.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Alexa Grasso (t-10)

Michelle Waterson broke her rankings tie with Alexa Grasso with a September win over Angela Hill at UFC on ESPN+ 35. Grasso’s time outside the top 10 could be brief, however, since Jessica Andrade heads back to the flyweight division in October in what could be a permanent move.

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

In September, Alesha Zappitella became the new Invicta FC atomweight champion after she choked out Ashley Cummins at Invicta FC 42. Zappitella overtakes Cummins in the rankings as well, moving to third as Cummins slips to fourth.