Amanda Nunes (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa, LLC)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: April 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. Janay Harding (10)
  10. Jessy Miele (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Pam Sorenson (9)


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Amanda Nunes solidified herself as the best female fighter in the world at UFC 259, where she easily defeated Megan Anderson to defend her UFC women’s featherweight title. Pam Sorenson hasn’t fought in over 18 months and therefore departs the rankings. This allows Janay Harding to slide up one spot into ninth and opens the door for Jessy Miele to enter at No. 10. April will be a busy month for the division, as third-ranked Julia Budd fights Dayana Silva and No. 7 Cat Zingano squares off with Olivia Parker. Both fights take place under the Bellator banner.

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. Yana Kunitskaya (7)
  8. Ketlen Vieira (8)
  9. Julianna Peña (9)
  10. Macy Chiasson (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Marion Reneau (10)

Marion Reneau was soundly defeated by Macy Chiasson at UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Holland. Chiasson replaces Reneau in the top 10.

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 (8)
  9. Joanne Calderwood (9)
  10. Lauren Murphy (10)

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

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)

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

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)

Second-ranked Ayaka Hamasaki was able to narrowly defeat Kanna Asakura at Rizin.27. Both fighters stay put in the 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.