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

The featherweight division will get a whole lot more interesting now that Invicta FC 8 is on the horizon and potential moves to different divisions could rock the rankings. In particular, Ediane Gomes, who dropped out of the rankings from inactivity, and Cris Cyborg, the top 145-pounder, will be making the move to 135 pounds, which really leaves the featherweight division up for grabs. Also dropping out from inactivity is Veronica Rothenhausler, who will return to fight Charmaine Tweet in the first 155-pound fight for Invicta. Things are changing quickly. However, August will see three ranked fighters look to keep moving up the ladder. Ronda Rousey running buddy Marina Shafir makes her sophomore pro appearance when she takes on Invicta vet Amanda Bell. Faith van Duin will fight Arlene Blencowe for the Storm Damage championship in Australia, which could make van Duin the most sought-after commodity from Oceania. Finally, Latoya Walker will fight Brittany Elkin in a follow-up to her shocking victory over Gabrielle Holloway in her last fight.

Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)
  1. Ronda Rousey (1)
  2. Cat Zingano (2)
  3. Sara McMann (4)
  4. Alexis Davis (3)
  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 (11)
  12. Holly Holm (13)
  13. Jessica Andrade (14)
  14. Germaine de Randamie (15)
  15. Miriam Nakamoto (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Shayna Baszler (12)

One of the famed “Four Horsewomen” solidified her status as the best woman in MMA in July, while one of her amigos, Shayna Baszler, dropped out of the rankings from inactivity. Ronda Rousey kept her top-ranked status in the UFC 175 co-main event, where she needed just 16 seconds to finish Alexis Davis with a barrage of punches from the head-and-arm position on the ground. Even though Baszler has dropped from the rankings, she has a chance to re-enter them when she fights Bethe Correia at the end of the month. It’s a fight that Baszler takes personally, as one of her teammates, Jessamyn Duke, fell to Correia in the Brazilian’s last fight. Lauren Murphy is set to make her UFC debut, but she gets no easy first fight when she takes on Sara McMann. It looks like August could be a crucial month for the bantamweight division.

Flyweight Division (125 pounds)
  1. Barb Honchak (1)
  2. Vanessa Porto (2)
  3. Jennifer Maia (3)
  4. Nina Ansaroff (5)
  5. Zoila Gurgel (6)
  6. Brenda Gonzales (7)
  7. Munah Holland (9)
  8. Julia Berezikova (8)
  9. Alexa Grasso (11)
  10. Pearl Gonzalez (13)
  11. Aline Serio (12)
  12. Elaine Albuquerque (15)
  13. Delaney Owen (NR)
  14. Reyna Cordoba (NR)
  15. Viviane Pereira/Debora Ferreira (NR/NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (4), Tina Lahdemaki (10), Amy Montenegro (14)

The flyweight division has a lot of new faces this month, as ladies have shifted to other weight classes, therefore impacting the depth of the division. Tina Lahdemaki and Joanna Jedrzejczyk dropped to 115 pounds and made their UFC debuts, with Lahdemaki taking a loss and Jedrzejczyk earning an impressive win. Amy Montenegro not only changed weight classes, but also lost. Entering the rankings are some solid prospects in the form of Delaney Owen, Reyna Cordoba, Viviane Pereira and Debora Ferreira. All of them look to have bright futures in the sport, especially Owen, who will compete under the Invicta FC banner in September. Three Brazilians in the top 15 will compete in August. Jennifer Maia and Elaine Albuquerque square off in a No.3 vs. No.12 battle which could potentially cause a big shake-up in the rankings. Meanwhile, Pereira will fight Gina Naja in Brazil and look to break her tie with Ferreira in the No. 15 spot. The flyweight division will only become more interesting in the coming months.

Strawweight Division (115 pounds)
  1. Jessica Aguilar (1)
  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. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (NR)
  11. Bec Rawlings (10)
  12. Kalindra Faria (12)
  13. Rose Namajunas (13)
  14. Stephanie Eggink (11)
  15. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Herica Tiburcio (15)

Now that The Ultimate Fighter 20 is filming and set to premiere in September, things are really rolling for the strawweight division. Joanna Jedrzejczyk made her 115-pound debut in style, thoroughly dismantling Juliana Lima in their respective UFC debuts. Claudia Gadelha made a successful UFC debut in the first-ever women’s strawweight bout, beating Tina Lahdemaki to solidify her third-ranked status. August will see a pair of Japanese fighters look to improve their standings in the rankings, though they will fight in different weight classes. Mizuki Inoue will rematch Emi Tomimatsu, who she tapped out this year already despite taking an odd DQ loss due to missing weight. Ayaka Hamasaki will move to 105 pounds and fight Naho Sugiyama in an attempt to become one of the top 105-pounders in the world.

Atomweight Division (105 pounds)
  1. Michelle Waterson (1)
  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. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (11)
  11. Amber Brown (12)
  12. Diana Rael (13)
  13. Amy Davis (14)
  14. Sadae Numata (15)
  15. Yasuko Tamada (NR)
  • Dropped out of the rankings: Stephanie Frausto (10)

It was all quiet on the western front for the atomweight division, though Stephanie Frausto dropped from the rankings due to inactivity. In her place comes Japanese fighter Yasuko Tamada, who is set to headline the next Invicta card opposite Michelle Waterson for the 105-pound title. Once Invicta holds its upcoming event, the rankings will be incredibly different. Until then, we have a big fight between Naho Sugiyama and incoming atomweight Ayaka Hamasaki. That is a massive fight with huge implications in the division and could really move things around in the top five, let alone the top 15.

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.