With the growing popularity of women’s MMA, it is important to recognize these women with a rankings system similar to the men.

Between the UFC’s inclusion of a bantamweight division, its upcoming addition of a strawweight division and the all-female promotion of Invicta FC, more and more women are being exposed to casual and hardcore fans alike.

Every month, The MMA Corner compiles the staff’s individual rankings from featherweight to atomweight to create The MMA Corner Women’s MMA Rankings.

Last month’s rankings are indicated by the number in parentheses next to the fighter’s name. Some women were taken out of the rankings due to an 18-month or longer period of inactivity.

Featherweight Division (145 pounds)
  1. Cris “Cyborg” Justino (1)
    Marina Shafir (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

    Shafir (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

  2. Marloes Coenen (2)
  3. Ediane Gomes (3)
  4. Julia Budd (4)
  5. Tamikka Brents (6)
  6. Veronica Rothenhausler (5)
  7. Ashlee Evans-Smith (7)
  8. Pannie Kianzad (8)
  9. Fiona Muxlow (9)
  10. Faith van Duin (10)
  11. Kate da Silva (12)
  12. Talita Nogueira (11)
  13. Charmaine Tweet (13)
  14. Elina Nilsson (14)
  15. Latoya Walker (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

Another month, another quiet 30 days for the women’s featherweight division. That is, at least for the ranked fighters. Ronda Rousey teammate Marina Shafir made her long-awaited pro debut in April, quickly tapping out Chandra Engel. It has pundits pondering how high her ceiling can be and if she is Rousey 2.0. Next month, eighth-ranked Pannie Kianzad takes on Annalisa Bucci, a fighter on the fringe of the top 15. A win for Kianzad could push the highly touted Swede toward the top five. Maria Hougaard Djursaa, another fighter on the outskirts of the top 15, will be in action. Coincidentally, her fight also comes against Bucci. If Bucci can pull off both wins, she will no doubt push herself into the top 15. The featherweight class will lose another fighter when Kate da Silva drops to the bantamweight division to take a pair of fights in Australia. This is no doubt a push for her to punch her ticket to the UFC, which doesn’t have a featherweight division.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)
  1. Ronda Rousey (1)
    Kaufman (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

    Kaufman (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

  2. Cat Zingano (2)
  3. Alexis Davis (3)
  4. Sara McMann (4)
  5. Miesha Tate (5)
  6. Jessica Eye (6)
  7. Sarah Kaufman (7)
  8. Liz Carmouche (8)
  9. Lauren Murphy (9)
  10. Amanda Nunes (10)
  11. Shayna Baszler (11)
  12. Rin Nakai (12)
  13. Holly Holm (14)
  14. Jessica Andrade (15)
  15. Germaine de Randamie (13)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The women’s bantamweight division continues to be the most active division in women’s MMA, especially when it comes to women in the top 15. For starters, Holly Holm continued her run of knockout wins and her undefeated streak when she utterly dominated Juliana Werner, who moved up from flyweight. It was yet another highlight-reel finish for Holm, who downed the Brazilian with a violent head kick. Sarah Kaufman thwarted off revenge from late replacement Leslie Smith, who looked to avenge a decision loss from Invicta FC 5. This time, Kaufman made sure the fight wasn’t that close, using superior striking to outbox Smith. Also in UFC action, Miesha Tate finally got that elusive first win with the company when she took a close decision over Liz Carmouche. Tate started off slow, but eventually took the upper hand on Carmouche before taking a close judges’ call. Next month, Japanese star Rin Nakai makes her return to the squared circle against tough journeywoman Sarah D’Alelio. It is a bout that will see whether Nakai can continue her undefeated record or if she takes her first loss.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)
  1. Barb Honchak (1)
    Serio (Gleidson Venga/Sherdog)

    Serio (Gleidson Venga/Sherdog)

  2. Vanessa Porto (2)
  3. Jennifer Maia (4)
  4. Nina Ansaroff (5)
  5. Zoila Gurgel (6)
  6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (7)
  7. Brenda Gonzales (8)
  8. Munah Holland (9)
  9. Julia Berezikova (10)
  10. Tina Lahdemaki (12)
  11. Alexa Grasso (13)
  12. DeAnna Bennett (15)
  13. Aline Serio (14)
  14. Pearl Gonzalez (NR)
  15. Ericka Almeida (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Leslie Smith (3), Juliana Werner (11)

The flyweight division is vastly underrated. This is especially true since two of its top competitors left the division last month and the top 15 was replenished by talented females Pearl Gonzalez and Ericka Almeida. Aline Serio kept the division busy again this month, taking yet another fight. Serio kept to her winning ways, edging out Paula Baack on the scorecards in Brazil. Next month, a pair of ranked flyweights are set to make their respective returns. Jennifer Maia will take on the aforementioned Serio in Brazil in a bout that will definitely shake up the rankings. Meanwhile, in Poland, Joanna Jedrzejczyk meets Spanish veteran Karla Benitez in a highly anticipated bout. Fourth-ranked Nina Ansaroff and formerly ranked Michelle Ould tried out for The Ultimate Fighter 20, which is set to feature a cast of strawweights. That means Ansaroff and Ould could be leaving the flyweight division in the near future.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Jessica Aguilar (1)
    Gadelha (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

    Gadelha (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

  2. Carla Esparza (2)
  3. Claudia Gadelha (3)
  4. Joanne Calderwood (4)
  5. Ayaka Hamasaki (5)
  6. Tecia Torres (6)
  7. Mizuki Inoue (7)
  8. Katja Kankaanpaa (8)
  9. Felice Herrig (9)
  10. Bec Rawlings (10)
  11. Stephanie Eggink (11)
  12. Kalindra Faria (13)
  13. Rose Namajunas (12)
  14. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14)
  15. Emi Fujino (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The strawweight division continues to pick up steam due to the attention received by the TUF 20 tryouts. Keeping the division busy on her own was Kalindra Faria. The Brazilian has maintained an insanely busy schedule for 2014, and she added to it with a dominant performance against Sanja Sucevic. It was incredibly impressive and should get her a look by the UFC when the promotion starts signing more female strawweights. Other than that, most of the top 15 is already included on TUF 20 and cannot compete until the show is done filming, which is why activity is down in the weight class. Next month, eighth-ranked Katja Kankaanpaa will return to action in Finland to take on unheralded Alyona Rassohyna. Also, No. 14-ranked Pole Karolina Kowalkiewicz throws down for the prestigious KSW organization when she takes on Invicta vet Jasminka Cive.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)
  1. Michelle Waterson (1)
    Ham (Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog)

    Ham (Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog)

  2. Jessica Penne (2)
  3. Seo Hee Ham (3)
  4. Naho Sugiyama (4)
  5. Simona Soukupova (5)
  6. Lacey Schuckman (6)
  7. Alex Chambers (7)
  8. Cassie Rodish (8)
  9. Jodie Esquibel (9)
  10. Stephanie Frausto (10)
  11. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (11)
  12. Amber Brown (12)
  13. Amy Davis (13)
  14. Diana Rael (14)
  15. Sadae Numata (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: n/a

The atomweight division continues to maintain a low profile, but one of its top fighters made sure to keep things interesting this month. Seo Hee Ham continued her winning ways at 105 pounds when she took a win over talented prospect Shino VanHoose. It is a win that will continue to raise the stock of the Korean, who has been on a tear as of late. Next month, none of the top 15 are scheduled to fight. The Ultimate Fighter 20 will impact this division as well. Second-ranked Jessica Penne and No. 14-ranked Diana Rael tried out for the show, with Penne especially getting a lot of attention from the media. There is a possibility she could make the show and move up to 115 pounds, which would further help Ham secure the No. 2 spot in the rankings.

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.