Liz Carmouche (C) (Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Combat Press Women’s MMA Rankings: May 2023

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. Larissa Pacheco (4)
  5. Cat Zingano (7)
  6. Sara McMann (NR)
  7. Olena Kolesnyk (NR)
  8. Aspen Ladd (5)
  9. Julia Budd (6)
  10. Arlene Blencowe (9)

Dropped out of rankings: Macy Chiasson (8), Norma Dumont (10)

The month of April was a busy one for the featherweights. Larissa Pacheco bested Julia Budd in the 2023 PFL season, which pushed the latter down the rankings. Also on that PFL card, Olena Kolesnyk pushed her way into the rankings with a win over Aspen Ladd. Despite winning over Karol Rosa in April, Norma Dumont dropped out of the rankings, as Sara McMann entered the rankings with a big win over Arlene Blencowe. As of now, no top-10 fighters are scheduled to compete in May.

Bantamweight (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Julianna Pena (2)
  3. Holly Holm (3)
  4. Raquel Pennington (4)
  5. Ketlen Vieira (5)
  6. Irene Aldana (6)
  7. Miesha Tate (7)
  8. Yana Santos (8)
  9. Pannie Kianzad (9)
  10. Macy Chiasson (10)

No top-10 fighters competed in the month of April. Looking into May, Raquel Pennington will sqaure off in a UFC main event against Irene Aldana.

Flyweight (52.8-57.2 kilograms)
  1. Alexa Grasso (1)
  2. Valentina Shevchenko (2)
  3. Liz Carmouche (3)
  4. Tatiana Suarez (4)
  5. Erin Blanchfield (5)
  6. Manon Fiorot (6)
  7. Katlyn Chookagian (7)
  8. Juliana Velasquez (8)
  9. Jessica Andrade (9)
  10. Jennifer Maia (10)

April saw Bellator champion Liz Carmouche keep her flyweight title, as she bested DeAnna Bennett in a rematch from earlier in their careers. As of now, no top-10 fighters are scheduled to compete in May.

Strawweight (50.1-52.7 kilograms)
  1. Weili Zhang (1)
  2. Carla Esparza (2)
  3. Rose Namajunas (3)
  4. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (4)
  5. Amanda Lemos (5)
  6. Marina Rodriguez (6)
  7. Xiaonan Yan (7)
  8. Mackenzie Dern (8)
  9. Tecia Torres (9)
  10. Luana Pinheiro (NR)

Dropped out of the rankings: Michelle Waterson (10)

Luana Pinheiro makes her debut in the top-10, as she knocked former top-10 fighter Michelle Waterson out of the rankings with a win over the latter in April. Looking into May, Marina Rodriguez will fight Virna Jandiroba. Also, Xiaonan Yan squares off with Jessica Andrade. Lastly, Mackenzie Dern goes up against Angela Hill.

Atomweight (Under 50.1 kilograms)
  1. Jillian DeCoursey (1)
  2. Jessica Delboni (2)
  3. Seika Izawa (3)
  4. Alesha Zappitella (4)
  5. Si Woo Park (5)
  6. Ashley Cummins (6)
  7. Ayaka Hamasaki (7)
  8. Lindsey vanZandt (8)
  9. Saori Oshima (9)
  10. Rena Kubota (10)

The month of April was quiet for the atomweights, though Rena Kubota did fight up in a one-off straweight bout, where she lost to Claire Lopez. Looking into May, the top dogs of the division will be in action. Top-ranked Jillian DeCoursey will square off with Rayane Amanda for the Invicta Atomweight Championship. On the same card, No. 2 Jessica Delboni will move up to strawweight to fight UFC vet Danielle Taylor. Third-ranked Seika Izawa will fight Suwanan Boonsorn as well.