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 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. 1 "Cyborg" battered No. 2 Coenen (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

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

The featherweight division was set for a big month, but injuries derailed several top-15 fighters’ bouts. Tamikka Brents and Veronica Rothenhausler were two of those victims, as was Julia Budd. Injuries also prevented Ediane Gomes from competing, as multiple replacements bowed out, leaving her without an opponent. The top two fighters, Cristiane Cyborg and Marloes Coenen, fought, with Cyborg routing the Dutch grappler in a one-sided affair. Coenen showed heart and toughness, but Cyborg solidified her standing as the best in the game right now. Germaine de Randamie, a top-ranked 145er, dropped to 135 to compete with the UFC, explaining her absence this month. August will be a quiet month for the ladies at featherweight, but Pannie Kianzad will do battle opposite of Russian Milana Dudieva in an attempt to boost herself into the top 10.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)

  1. Ronda Rousey (1)

    No. 7 Carmouche (top) delivers punishment against No. 15 Andrade (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

  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. Lauren Taylor (12)
  10. Sarah D’Alelio (9)
  11. Germaine de Randamie (NR)
  12. Amanda Nunes (11)
  13. Rin Nakai (13)
  14. Hitomi Akano (14)
  15. Jessica Andrade (15)
  • Dropped out of rankings: Leslie Smith (10)

The bantamweight division continues to be the busiest weight classes of the bunch due to its inclusion in the UFC and the increasing number of participants in the division. Leslie Smith departed for the flyweight division, but Germaine de Randamie dropped into the weight class and joined the rankings with her dominating win over Julie Kedzie at UFC on Fox 8. Speaking of that card, Liz Carmouche held steady with a thrashing of Jessica Andrade, who proved to be a tough out. Lauren Taylor continues to climb up the rankings after scoring yet another win, this time over Sarah D’Alelio. Up this month are a couple of UFC bouts which will feature 12th-ranked Amanda Nunes and Sheila Gaff, as well as top-fivers Sara McMann and Sarah Kaufman. Expect big changes, especially with more women being added into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter series.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)

  1. Barb Honchak (1)

    No 4. Smith (R) will get her shot at No. 1 Honchak next (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

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

The flyweight division is quickly becoming a deep pool of talent, which will be great for the progression of women’s MMA. Leslie Smith made a successful drop to the division and earned a title shot against Barb Honchak with a decision win over Jennifer Maia. The dark horse of the bunch, Kalindra Faria, continued her busy schedule with yet another win. Should she decide that the big show is where she desires to take her game, she could take the United States by storm. Many of the top guns in this division have been dormant, but they are ready to bust out and get that top ranking. Bellator, take note: with Jessica Eye, Munah Holland and Michelle Ould in the organization, those top ladies need some top girls to fight and Bellator needs to continue building the division.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)

  1. Jessica Aguilar (1)

    No. 4 Gadelha locked up a title shot with a win over No. 6 Hamasaki (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

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

The strawweight division looks a lot different this month than last. Though the top three stay intact, Claudia Gadelha made a huge move with her knockout of Ayaka Hamasaki. Gadelha now has a date with Carla Esparza to contend for Esparza’s Invicta championship belt. Furthermore, fellow prospects Tecia Torres and Mizuki Inoue lived up to their potential, storming up the rankings with their respective wins over Rose Namajunas and Bec Hyatt. Continuing to be featured heavily by Invicta and several other promotions, the strawweights are proving their worth with fun finishes and fantastic fights.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)

  1. Michelle Waterson (1)

    No. 2 Penne bounced back from losing her title (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

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

The atomweight division seemingly has a rematch brewing for the atomweight championship in Invicta after Jessica Penne’s submission of Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc. However, officials put a halt to that, as they have other plans for Michelle Waterson at this point. Kikuyo Ishikawa’s stock took the biggest hit this month, as she drops out of the rankings after submitting to now 14th-ranked Amber Brown in Japan. It was considered a huge upset that has boosted Brown’s stock significantly. In August, Sadae Numata will step back in the ring when she takes on the surging Celine Haga, who recently took out Naho Sugiyama in their encounter. A win would definitely put her close to the top 10.

Top Photo: Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

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.

  • Cyborg one of the best ever can’t believe ufc let her go? This woman on tuf would be a great thing wee have seen how girls fight! Like straight pit bulls broken bones with out tapping out! The girls get it on. If the woman mma is made it this far it’s made it. If Ronda ever backs up what she said of cyborg,wee would all watch! But for the time being,maybe she’s skared!! I feel she learned from Gina!!! I also don’t hear her saying nothing anymore.I smell chicken….