Leah McCourt (R) (Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: June 2021

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 (4)
  4. Kayla Harrison (5)
  5. Megan Anderson (6)
  6. Cat Zingano (7)
  7. Norma Dumont (-)
  8. Felicia Spencer (3)
  9. Arlene Blencowe (8)
  10. Leah McCourt (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Janay Harding (9), Jessy Miele (10)


Cris “Cyborg” Justino keeps her No. 2 spots after a May defense of her Bellator title against Leslie Smith at Bellator 259. Kayla Harrison ventured back to the lightweight division to compete in the 2021 Professional Fighters League season. The Olympic medalist judoka battered Mariana Morais, but the fight doesn’t factor into Harrison’s standing here. Norma Dumont storms into the rankings at seventh after scoring a late-notice upset win over Felicia Spencer under the UFC banner. Leah McCourt is the other new addition to the top 10. McCourt bested Janay Harding at Bellator 259. As a result, Harding departs the rankings along with Jessy Miele.

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 (10)

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

Flyweight Division (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Valentina Shevchenko (1)
  2. Liz Carmouche (2)
  3. Jessica Andrade (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)

Katlyn Chookagian holds firm at fourth after her May victory over Viviane Araujo at UFC 262. Chookagian took the nod on the judges’ scorecards.

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

Carla Esparza stopped Yan Xiaonan in the second round of their fight to possibly earn a UFC title shot. “The Cookie Monster” climbs two spots in the rankings to fourth with the victory. Meanwhile, Marina Rodriguez, another recent Esparza victim, solidified her hold on the seventh spot with a decision nod over No. 8 Michelle Waterson.

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. Mina Kurobe (9)
  10. Kelly D’Angelo (10)

Alesha Zappitella stays put at third following a successful defense of her Invicta title in a close bout with Jessica Delboni at Invicta’s first show on AXS TV.

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.