Valentina Shevchenko (Mike Sloan/Sherdog)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: October 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 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 (61.9-66.3 kilograms)
  1. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Cris “Cyborg” Justino (2)
  3. Kayla Harrison (3)
  4. Julia Budd (4)
  5. Megan Anderson (5)
  6. Cat Zingano (6)
  7. Norma Dumont (7)
  8. Felicia Spencer (8)
  9. Arlene Blencowe (9)
  10. Leah McCourt (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the past month, so the rankings remain unchanged. Looking into October, Kayla Harrison will be competing for $1 million when she takes on Taylor Guardado. Also, Leah McCourt will be in action for Bellator against Jessica Borga.

Bantamweight (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. Miesha Tate (7)
  8. Yana Kunitskaya (8)
  9. Ketlen Vieira (9)
  10. Julianna Peña (10)

Raquel Pennington held her place in the rankings in September, as the former UFC title challenger defeated Pannie Kianzad. Looking into October, Holly Holm will compete at 145 pounds, when she takes on Norma Dumont. Also, Aspen Ladd will meet Macy Chiasson in an attempt to move up the 135-pound rankings.

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

Valentina Shevchenko continued her reign of dominance, as she defended her UFC title against Lauren Murphy at UFC 266. On that same card, Jessica Andrade defeated Cynthia Calvillo in impressive fashion. As of right now, no top-10 fighters are scheduled to fight in October.

Strawweight (50.1-52.7 kilograms)
  1. Rose Namajunas (1)
  2. Zhang Weili (2)
  3. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (3)
  4. Carla Esparza (4)
  5. Yan Xiaonan (5)
  6. Claudia Gadelha (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. Looking into October, Marina Rodriguez will headline a UFC Fight Night when she takes on Mackenzie Dern. Also, Amanda Ribas will fight Virna Jandiroba.

Atomweight (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)

Seo Hee Ham moved up to 115 pounds in September as part of a ONE tournament and bested Denice Zamboanga. Also, Ayaka Hamasaki was victorious over Emi Fujino, keeping her as the solid #2 at atomweight. Ham will make a quick turnaround in October when she takes on Nong Stamp in the semifinals of the ONE tournament.

Editor’s Note: Fighters are eligible to be ranked if they have competed in the last 18 months. Any fighter that chooses to switch weight classes will be ranked in their previous weight class until they have competed twice in their new division. Fighters who announce their retirement will remain ranked for a period of six months following their final bout.