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)
    Wawro (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

    Wawro (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

  2. Marloes Coenen (2)
  3. Ediane Gomes (3)
  4. Julia Budd (4)
  5. Veronica Rothenhausler (5)
  6. Pannie Kianzad (8)
  7. Fiona Muxlow (9)
  8. Faith van Duin (10)
  9. Andria Wawro (NR)
  10. Charmaine Tweet (13)
  11. Marina Shafir (11)
  12. Elina Nilsson (14)
  13. Latoya Walker (15)
  14. Talita Nogueira (12)
  15. Annalisa Bucci (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Ashlee Evans-Smith (7), Tamikka Brents (6)

The featherweight division saw some major shakeups in the month of June, as Ashlee Evans-Smith and Tamikka Brents fell out of the rankings. For Evans-Smith, it was a weight-class change down to 135 pounds, where she made her bantamweight debut with World Series of Fighting in victorious fashion, TKOing Marciea Allen in the third round. Meanwhile, Brents suffered a brutal knockout loss to pro newcomer Bobbi-Jo Dalziel to get herself effectively thrown out of the top 15. Andria Wawro jumped into the top 15 in a big way after beating Jessy Miele in June. She was always on the fringe, but she made the jump with the two exits from the division. The biggest fight in the coming months will be Cris “Cyborg” Justino vs. Ediane Gomes, which is expected to headline the upcoming Invicta FC 8 card when it premieres on UFC Fight Pass. That fight will feature Cyborg, the second biggest star in women’s MMA behind only Ronda Rousey.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)

  1. Ronda Rousey (1)
    Nakai (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

    Nakai (Taro Irei/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. Rin Nakai (12)
  12. Shayna Baszler (11)
  13. Holly Holm (13)
  14. Jessica Andrade (14)
  15. Germaine de Randamie (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

The bantamweight division was surprisingly quiet in June in terms of ranked fights. The biggest news out of the division was the signing of Rin Nakai to the UFC. She is set to premiere in the UFC’s next trip to Japan and will be welcomed to the division by former Strikeforce champion and UFC challenger Miesha Tate. Also, talks between the UFC and Holly Holm have been apparently heating up, leading many to think she will be signed sometime in the near future. However, Holm is still recovering from a broken arm she suffered against Julie Werner in her last outing. In July, Ronda Rousey will defend her UFC title and top ranking when she fights jiu-jitsu ace Alexis Davis. In other UFC action at 135 pounds, Alexis Dufresne will make her debut against TUF 18 vet Sarah Moras. Then, Leslie Smith will get a second chance with the company when she fights Jessamyn Duke.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)

  1. Barb Honchak (1)
    Albuquerque (Sherdog)

    Albuquerque (Sherdog)

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

A slight change in the 125-pound rankings comes courtesy of potential UFC signee DeAnna Bennett, who left for 135 pounds in pursuit of a UFC contract. She beat Colleen Schneider via submission in June in her move up to 135. As for the ladies at 125, there were a couple of women who scored victories in June. Joanna Jedrzejczyk notched a career-changing win over UFC veteran Rosi Sexton via brutal knockout. As a result, the Polish fighter has been signed by the UFC and will debut at 115 pounds in August against Julianna Lima. Elaine Albuquerque scored an upset win over veteran Carina Damm, a move that pushed her into the top 15 as a result of Bennett’s departure. Next month, two more ladies are set to leave the top 15. Tina Lahdemaki will drop to 115 pounds and make her UFC debut against Claudia Gadelha in the first-ever women’s strawweight bout. Also, Amy Montenegro will move to 115 to fight Amy Howard, opening up two slots for two hungry fighters to fill.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)

  1. Jessica Aguilar (1)
    Tiburcio (Gleidson Venga/Sherdog)

    Tiburcio (Gleidson Venga/Sherdog)

  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 (11)
  11. Stephanie Eggink (12)
  12. Kalindra Faria (10)
  13. Rose Namajunas (13)
  14. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14)
  15. Herica Tiburcio (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Emi Fujino (15)

Jessica Aguilar continues to show why she is the best 115-pound fighter in the world. The World Series of Fighting champ beat down Emi Fujino in a one-sided affair to retain her title. The loss sent Fujino down the rankings. Herica Tiburcio snagged the 15th spot as a result of Fujino’s departure. The Brazilian has been dominant as of late, but she has pondered a drop to 105 pounds in the near future. The Ultimate Fighter 20, which features women’s strawweights, starts filming in July, which finally gets these fighters active and will eventually crown the first-ever champion. Also, Claudia Gadelha fights Tina Lahdemaki in the first strawweight fight in UFC history.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)

  1. Michelle Waterson (1)
    Waterson (Esther Lin/Invicta FC)

    Waterson (Esther Lin/Invicta FC)

  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. Diana Rael (13)
  14. Amy Davis (14)
  15. Sadae Numata (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

The atomweight division continued its quiet ways in June. There was no activity this month and there is none in sight next month either. The big thing will be seeing how many atomweights will move up to 115 pounds with the UFC now including strawweights in the company. So far, Alex Chambers is a confirmed cast member of TUF 20 and girls like Jessica Penne and Diana Rael tried out and have a chance of making the cast. When Invicta finally returns, expect to see this division heat up. The same can be said in August, when Deep Jewels return.

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.