The times when MMA was exclusively meant for men are long gone. Nowadays, all of the big mixed martial arts organizations, UFC included, pay enough attention to the ladies in their rosters. Some might say it’s partly because of Ronda Rousey’s success in Strikeforce and UFC – the first female superstar in the world of MMA.
But who are the Top 10 absolute best in the history of female MMA? Let’s try to get them on this list.
In 2015 Holly Holm made headlines worldwide as she became the first woman in history to beat Ronda Rousey. Until then, Ronda was unbeaten, and nobody even thought she could lose – she was dominating the Octagon with ease. Everything changed in November 2015 when she knocked Ronda Rousey out with a fantastic head kick. This also won her the UFC bantamweight title.
In the beginning, we said that Ronda Rousey was the first female MMA superstar, but maybe this was not entirely true. Now a successful actress, Gina Carano was the face of female MMA for a short period until her retirement in 2009. Famous because of her looks as well, Carano was not a joke of a fighter, too – she was 7-0 before losing against Cris Cyborg in her final fight. That’s when she decided to quit the sport and focus on acting.
Miesha “Cupcake” Tate first made her name as the Strikeforce bantamweight champion before finally winning the UFC title in 2016 as well. Her rivalry with Ronda Rousey was intense, but she lost twice against “Rowdy” in the end. In November 2016, Tate announced her retirement, but in 2021 she surprisingly came back with a win against Marion Reneau. Now she has the reputation of one of the most famous female MMA fighters.
Her name could be impossible to write, but Joanna Jedrzejczyk was one hell of a fighter in her peak years. This Polish lady signed to UFC in 2014 and defeated Juliana Lima in her first fight. Jedrzejczyk beat Carla Esparza for the strawweight title in 2015 and defended the belt five times in a row – a spectacular achievement. She was never the same after his first loss against Rose Namajunas, although her fight with Zhang Weili in 2020 will remain in history.
The face of Chinese MMA, Zhang Weili, lost her first fight against Meng Bo in 2013. But what happened after this is just spectacular. Zhang won her next 21 contests and won the UFC strawweight title in the process. In four consecutive events, she secured wins against fighters like Jessica Aguilar, Tecia Torres, Jessica Andrade, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. We all thought she was invincible until she shockingly lost with a knockout against Rose Namajunas in Jacksonville.
Rose Namajunas is a fascinating case. She’s quiet and insanely calm, never even trying to trash talk her opponents. Some might say she doesn’t even like this game. But when “Thug” Rose enters the Octagon, she becomes a stone-cold killer. In her career so far, Namajunas won twice the UFC belt, and in 2021 she became the first woman in 21 fights to win against Zhang Weili. Her knockout against the Chinese is probably one of the best in history.
Current UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko is rocking with pride her 21-3 professional record. She only lost against two fighters actually – Liz Carmouche and twice against the one and only Amanda Nunes. Since her second loss against Nunes, Shevchenko won on seven consecutive occasions. She’s an incredibly versatile fighter with an impressive arsenal of tricks. And yeah – the best part about her is the beautiful dance she makes after each win.
An Olympic medalist in Judo, Ronda Rousey started her MMA career in 2011 and quickly moved to Strikeforce. Most probably, she didn’t even know that she’d become the face of female MMA. Rousey won both Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight titles before moving to 12-0 with a knockout against Bethe Correia in 2015. Sadly, she lost her last two fights against Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, eventually retiring from the sport.
A champion in four different MMA organizations, Cris Cyborg, will remain one of the most feared female fighters in history. Her fearsome physique and striking ability made her a terrifying opponent each time she entered the cage. She could have become the greatest of all time, but her quick loss from Amanda Nunes’ hands at UFC 232 denied her that honor.
And here she’s – the most outstanding female fighter of all time. You would never see a woman with a better striking ability than the Lioness. Heck, she’s better in this than most of the men at UFC as well. Nunes is on the top of the food chain in female MMA, winning twice against Valentina Shevchenko and conquering fighters like Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, and Cris Cyborg. The 33-years old Brazilian won her last 12 fights, which adds up to her legacy.
These are the female MMA fighters we really admire at The Dope Lists. Do you agree with us?
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