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 and the all-female promotion of Invicta FC, more and more women are being exposed to the casual and hardcore fans alike.

Every month, the MMA Corner’s Riley Kontek will compile 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.

Featherweight Division (145 pounds)

  1. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (1)

    No. 3 Gomes (center) will face Charmaine Tweet at Invicta FC 6 (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

  2. Marloes Coenen (2)
  3. Ediane Gomes (3)
  4. Julia Budd (4)
  5. Germaine de Randamie (5)
  6. Hiroko Yamanaka (6)
  7. Romy Ruyssen (7)
  8. Elaina Maxwell (8)
  9. Veronica Rothenhausler (9)
  10. Tamikka Brents (10)
  11. Gabrielle Holloway (11)
  12. Peggy Morgan (12)
  13. Fiona Muxlow (13)
  14. Pannie Kianzad (14)
  15. Ashley Sanchez (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

Another quiet month came and went for the featherweights, as none of the top-15 females performed. However, that will change dramatically in the month of July with Invicta FC 6 taking place. The biggest fight of the month comes between Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino and Marloes Coenen. That fight will not only decide who is the top 145er in the world, but will also determine the featherweight champion of Invicta. A bout between Ediane Gomes and Julia Budd was scrapped due to an neck injury suffered by Budd, so Gomes will now make her march toward the title with a bout against Budd’s countrywoman, Charmaine Tweet, on short notice. The young and talented Veronica Rothenhausler will put her undefeated record on the line when she takes on veteran Mollie Estes. Rothenhausler has wowed fans with her immense stopping power and quick knockouts. Dropping out of the rankings following this month will be Germaine de Randamie, who drops to the 135-pound division at UFC on Fox against Julie Kedzie. A huge shakeup is set to rock the featherweight division.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)

  1. Ronda Rousey (1)

    No. 4 Tate was the beneficiary of Zingano's knee injury and will be the next to challenge Rousey (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

  2. Cat Zingano (2)
  3. Sara McMann (3)
  4. Miesha Tate (4)
  5. Sarah Kaufman (5)
  6. Alexis Davis (6)
  7. Liz Carmouche (7)
  8. Shayna Baszler (8)
  9. Sarah D’Alelio (9)
  10. Leslie Smith (10)
  11. Amanda Nunes (11)
  12. Lauren Taylor (12)
  13. Rin Nakai (13)
  14. Hitomi Akano (14)
  15. Jessica Andrade (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

As with the featherweight division, the bantamweight division had a quiet month, but will have a big month in July. Sixth-ranked Alexis Davis grabbed a win last month, taking a lackluster decision over Rosi Sexton at UFC 161. It wasn’t her flashiest performance, but it nonetheless moved her closer to a title shot. Speaking of the UFC, Liz Carmouche will make her return at UFC on Fox when she takes on Jessica Andrade. Carmouche is a former title challenger, and Andrade is a late-replacement fighter that has jumped in the rankings due to her success in the regional promotions. Invicta FC 6 will bring a couple of bantamweight fights, including a high-profile bout between Sarah D’Alelio and Lauren Taylor. Both are talented on the ground, yet well-rounded, which should make for a great fight. Dropping out of the rankings after July is completed will be Leslie Smith, who moves to flyweight in an attempt to gain gold. The middle of the rankings are set to shake up big time this month.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)

  1. Barb Honchak (1)

    No. 4 Maia faces a stiff test at Invicta FC 6 (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

  2. Vanessa Porto (2)
  3. Jessica Eye (3)
  4. Jennifer Maia (5)
  5. Michelle Ould (6)
  6. Tara LaRosa (7)
  7. Tonya Evinger (8)
  8. Zoila Gurgel (9)
  9. Munah Holland (10)
  10. Marianna Kheyfets (12)
  11. Aisling Daly (11)
  12. Kalindra Faria (14)
  13. Brenda Gonzales (15)
  14. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (NR)
  15. Julia Berezikova (13)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Rosi Sexton (4)

The month of June brought some changes to the flyweight division, most notably Rosi Sexton’s departure from flyweight to bantamweight. At NAAFS, Jessica Eye returned from injury to out-hustle Carina Damm (who later failed a drug test) to a decision. Julia Berezikova dropped in the rankings due to her loss to Poland’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who makes her debut in the rankings. Kalindra Faria continued her march up the rankings, this time submitting Alessandra Silva in Brazil. Faria’s busy schedule continues this month, as she faces the aforementioned Damm in Brazil. Moving forward to July, Jennifer Maia will welcome Leslie Smith to the division, as both ladies make a case for a title shot against Barb Honchak. With the amount of emerging talent in the flyweight division, there is no doubt that we will continue to see the division bring exciting fights and challengers for the world title.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)

  1. Jessica Aguilar (1)

    No.8 Gadelha could vault up the rankings with a win over Hamasaki (Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog)

  2. Megumi Fujii (2)
  3. Carla Esparza (3)
  4. Ayaka Hamasaki (4)
  5. Joanne Calderwood (5)
  6. Katja Kankaanpaa (6)
  7. Felice Herrig (7)
  8. Claudia Gadelha (8)
  9. Bec Hyatt (9)
  10. Rose Namajunas (10)
  11. Tecia Torres (12)
  12. Mei Yamaguchi (11)
  13. Yuka Tsuji (13)
  14. Mizuki Inoue (14)
  15. Stephanie Eggink (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

The stawweights also had a bit of a quiet month, but things are set to get crazy in the division with Invicta FC 6. Ayaka Hamasaki and Claudia Gadelha will battle it out in an attempt to earn top contender status and a date with Carla Esparza on a future Invicta card. Gadelha’s original opponent was Joanne Calderwood, as Hamasaki was supposed to meet Esparza before a knee injury. Calderwood is now slated to meet Norma Rueda Center on short notice. It’s Calderwood’s third opponent announced for this event (Gadelha, Center and Sarah Schneider). Bec Hyatt will face Japanese prodigy Mizuki Inoue on the Invicta card as well, showcasing two of the hottest up-and-comers in the 115-pound division. Speaking of hot 115-pound prospects, two of the most potential-laden fighters in the division will square off when Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres meet. Both are not even at their peaks yet and have looked great in their bouts. It’s needless to say that the strawweight division is due for a big month in July.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)

  1. Michelle Waterson (1)

    No.6 Schuckman smothers her opponent (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

  2. Jessica Penne (2)
  3. Seo Hee Ham (3)
  4. Lisa Ellis (4)
  5. Simona Soukpova (5)
  6. Lacey Schuckman (6)
  7. Naho Sugiyama (7)
  8. Alex Chambers (8)
  9. Kikuyo Ishikawa (9)
  10. Cassie Rodish (10)
  11. Jodie Esquibel (11)
  12. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (12)
  13. Stephanie Frausto (13)
  14. Amy Davis (14)
  15. Sadae Numata (15)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

Atomweight may have been just as quiet as the featherweight division, as Lacey Schuckman was the only female in the rankings to throwdown. Schuckman notched a victory over Jody Lynn Reicher to solidify her sixth ranking. At Pancrase, Kikuyo Ishikawa will meet Amber Brown in an attempt to move closer to the top five. Invicta FC 6 only has one atomweight bout that hosts a top-15 fighter, as second-ranked Jessica Penne makes her journey back toward the title against Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc. Overall, the month will be quiet, but this may be the calm before the storm.

Top Photo: Alexis Davis (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

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.