Julianna Peña

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: February 2021

Riley Kontek Staff Writer

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 month.

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. Kayla Harrison (5)
  6. Megan Anderson (6)
  7. Cat Zingano (7)
  8. Arlene Blencowe (8)
  9. Pam Sorenson (9)
  10. Janay Harding (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the past month, so the rankings remain unchanged.


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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 (8)
  9. Julianna Peña (9)
  10. Marion Reneau (10)

At UFC 257, Julianna Peña solidified her spot in the top 10 with a submission win over former UFC title challenger Sara McMann. Peña holds steady at No. 9.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Jessica Eye (8), Vanessa Porto (10)

Joanne Calderwood makes her way back into the top 10. The Scottish fighter bested Jessica Eye on the scorecards at UFC 257. Eye drops out of the rankings, and the shuffle allows Lauren Murphy to leapfrog Vanessa Porto and re-enter the poll.

Strawweight Division (50.1-52.7 kilograms)
  1. Weili Zhang (1)
  2. Rose Namajunas (2)
  3. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (3)
  4. Xiaonan Yan (4)
  5. Claudia Gadelha (5)
  6. Carla Esparza (6)
  7. Marina Rodriguez (7)
  8. Michelle Waterson (8)
  9. Tecia Torres (9)
  10. Amanda Ribas (10)

Marina Rodriguez knocked out Amanda Ribas at UFC 257. Both fighters retain their positions inside the top 10, with Rodriguez holding firm at No. 7 and Ribas maintaining her grasp on the No. 10 spot.

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

Kelly D’Angelo moved up to 115 pounds to fight Loveth Young. D’Angelo lost the fight, but it doesn’t affect her standing in the atomweight rankings.


Editor’s Note: Fighters are eligible to be ranked if they have competed in the last 18 months. Fighters who announce their retirement will remain ranked for a period of six months following their final bout.