25 Best Female MMA Fighters of All Time

In a sport dominated by men, women have slowly but surely turned critics into fans with gritty performances, jaw-dropping knockouts, and highlight-reel moments.

Female MMA fighters Shevchenko and Eye in the Octagon

Today we’ll be discussing high-skilled modern female MMA fighters as well as some old-school ones who dominated their sport for decades and deserve recognition.

List of the Greatest Female MMA Fighters

25. Seo Hee Ham

함서희 Seo Hee Ham Highlight 2020

Years Active: 2017-Present
Origin Country South Korea
Win/Loss Ratio 26-8
Height 5’2 (157cm)
Weight 114 lbs (52 kg)

Seo Hee Ham is a legendary South Korean MMA fighter who currently competes in ONE Championship. She is widely regarded as the greatest South Korean female fighter of all time, and her record speaks for itself.

“Hamderlei Silva” started her MMA and kickboxing career simultaneously, but she had a greater interest in mixed martial arts and focused on it more, competing thirty-four times in various promotions, including the UFC.

Although she couldn’t find a lot of success in the US-based promotion, as she lost three out of her four bouts in the UFC, she managed to find a lot of success in every other promotion she competed in.

The South Korean powerhouse is a former Jewels, Road FC, and RIZIN atomweight champion, with her most notable victories coming against Japanese legend Mei Yamaguchi, rising sensation Itsuki Hirata, and Ukrainian fireball Alyona Rassohyna.

24. Tara LaRosa

Tara LaRosa On Taking Down Anti-Trump Protestor In Portland

Years Active 2002-2015
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 22-5
Height 5’6 (168cm)
Weight 134 lbs (61 kg)

Tara LaRosa is one of the hidden gems of women’s MMA. She was making big moves in the sport long before Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, and Amanda Nunes’ arrival.

As a teenager, the American’s love for action movies inspired her to take up martial arts. She initially started with Judo but transitioned into MMA, training under the guardianship of the legendary Royce Gracie.

LaRosa made her professional MMA debut in April 2002, forcing Shelby Walker to tap to punches. Her initial winning run continued for two more fights until she suffered a tiny setback at the hands of Jennifer Howe.

From 2003 to 2009, La Rosa went on a fifteen-fight winning streak, defeating tough competition like Roxanne Modafferi, Hitomi Akano, Julie Kedzie, Shayna Baszler, and Alexis Davis.

La Rosa’s fight against Kedzie was one of the most significant ones of her professional career, as she captured the Ultimate Cage Wars bantamweight title in June 2006. In 2007, she added another belt to her trophy cabinet when she won the BoDogFight women’s bantamweight title by beating Kelly Kobold.

A couple of years later, LaRosa captured the Locked In The Cage flyweight championship, while in 2010, she won the DaMMAge Fight League women’s flyweight title.

23. Julianna Pena

War of the Venezuelan Vixen - Julianna Peña highlight

Years Active 2009-present
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 11-5
Height 5’7 (170 cm)
Weight 135 lbs (61 kg)

Julianna Pena’s rise as one of the top fighters in women’s MMA doesn’t sit well with many, particularly due to her outspoken personality. But don’t let Pena’s antics fool you into thinking that she’s all talk. She can walk the walk as well.

The American first trained in martial arts as a teenager when she enrolled in a cardio kickboxing class to lose weight. With the passage of time, her hobby turned into her passion, and she transitioned into mixed martial arts in 2009, making a successful professional debut by submitting Raylene Harvey in under three minutes at ExciteFight in May 2009.

In her next five fights, Pena won thrice and lost two times. In 2013, she won The Ultimate Fighter 18 bantamweight tournament to book her place in the UFC.

Knowing that it was an opportunity of a lifetime, Pena went off to a flying start in the promotion, winning her first three fights, most notably against Jessica Eye at UFC 192 and Cat Zingano at UFC 200.

In her next four fights, however, she won and lost twice, most notably beating Sara McMann at UFC 257 to earn her shot at the bantamweight title.

“The Venezuelan Vixen” faced Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title at UFC 269 in December 2021. Pena was a massive underdog, and nobody expected her to win, but her sturdy chin and unmatched resilience allowed her to brush aside Nunes’ early onslaught and then turn the tables on the Brazilian by submitting her in the second round to pull off the biggest upset in UFC history as of 2021.

In their rematch at UFC 277, however, Nunes dominated Pena for five rounds to reclaim her belt.

22. Sarah Kaufman

Sarah Kaufman vs Miesha Tate

Years Active 2006-2021
Origin Country Canada
Win/Loss Ratio 22-5 (1 draw)
Height 5’5 (165 cm)
Weight 135 lbs (61 kg)

One of the pioneers of the sport, Sarah Kaufman, found MMA when a gym opened next to her dance school. Initially, she joined the martial arts training facility for an aerobics kickboxing class, but she instantly fell in love with the sport and took it up professionally.

Following a couple of years of training, Kaufmann made her MMA debut in 2006, knocking out Liz Posener in the third round at North American Challenge 23. At 5-0 as a professional, Kaufman beat Ginele Marquez to win the HCF bantamweight title in October 2007.

Kaufman successfully defended her title once and scored another win against Sarah Schneider before signing with Strikeforce in 2009. The Canadian’s dominant run in MMA continued in Strikeforce as well, as she beat Miesha Tate and Shayna Baszler in her first two promotional bouts before defeating Takayo Hashi to win the inaugural women’s bantamweight title in February 2010.

A few months later, Kaufman defeated Roxanne Modafferi to bag a successful title defense before losing her belt to Marloes Coenen. She also lost to Ronda Rousey in August 2012.

In 2013, Kaufman signed with the UFC, but her run in the promotion wasn’t very successful. She fought four times in the UFC, with one win, one no-contest, and two losses.

Eventually, Kaufman parted ways with the UFC in 2015 and competed six more times, winning five fights, with her most notable victory coming in her bantamweight title fight against Katharina Lehner at Invicta FC 29 in May 2018.

Kaufman retired from the sport in 2022.

21. Angela Lee

The BEST Of Angela Lee In ONE 👑🔥🤯

Years Active 2015-present
Origin Country Canada
Win/Loss Ratio 11-3
Height 5’4 (163 cm)
Weight 124 lbs (56 kg)

Angela “Unstoppable” Lee is a Canadian-American MMA fighter who is regarded as one of the greatest fighters in modern Asian MMA history. At only 26 years old, Lee has a dozen title victories to her name and is a nightmare matchup for anyone who can’t hold her own on the mat.

Hailing from a family of champion MMA fighters, Lee started her MMA career as an amateur, winning all three fights in the first round and bagging the Destiny MMA women’s strawweight championship in November 2014.

After a fairly successful amateur career, Lee started her professional journey at ONE: Warrior’s Quest in 2015, when she defeated Aya Saber by submission in under two minutes.

Following a successful debut, Lee continued his dominance in ONE by submitting four more opponents to face veteran Mei Yamaguchi for the vacant atomweight world title, which she won after five rounds of battle at ONE: Ascent to Power in May 2016.

Since then, Lee has defended her title five times, most notably against Mei Yamaguchi and Stamp Fairtex. At atomweight, Lee boasts an undefeated 10-0 record, but she hasn’t been very successful in her move up to the 125-pound strawweight division.

Lee has competed three times at strawweight with three losses, two at the hands of reigning champion Xiong Jing Nan.

20. Cat Zingano

"Alpha" Cat Zingano Highlights (2018) HD ||| I'M A SOLDIER

Years Active 2008-present
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 14-4
Height 5’6 (168 cm)
Weight 145 lbs (66 kg)

Cat Zingano may not have a UFC title to boast about like her peers, but the American MMA fighter is the epitome of strength, courage, and perseverance. Predominantly a grappler, who started her combat sports journey with wrestling at 12 years old, Zingano transitioned into MMA in 2007, competing in four exhibition bouts with three wins and a loss.

Zingano’s success in exhibition MMA earned her the Ring Of Fire women’s bantamweight title shot in her professional debut in June 2008, when she submitted Karina Taylor in half-a-round to make a triumphant start to her career.

In her third professional fight, Zingano beat Barb Honchak to win the Fight To Win bantamweight title in January 2010. A few months later, the American added another belt to her trophy cabinet at Ring Of Fire 38, where she dispatched Ivana Coleman in under two minutes to secure the ROF flyweight championship.

From 2008 to 2014, Zingano ripped through every challenge, including Amanda Nunes, to pile up an impressive 9-0 record in MMA, but her hype train was derailed by Ronda Rousey at UFC 184, where “Rowdy” submitted her with an armbar in only 14 seconds.

Following her loss to Rousey, Zingano lost three times in her next four fights and parted ways with the UFC. She is currently signed with Bellator, where she holds an impressive 4-0 record.

19. Jessica Andrade

Top Finishes: Jessica Andrade

Years Active 2011-present
Origin Country Brazil
Win/Loss Ratio 24-11
Height 5’2 (157 cm)
Weight 125 lbs (57 kg)

Jessica Andrade is the hardest-hitting strawweight on the planet. The Brazilian powerhouse is often compared to Wanderlei Silva because of their similar styles and Andrade’s ruthlessness.

“Bate Estaca” or ‘Piledriver’ started her professional MMA career in 2011, stopping Weidy Borges in the second round in Brazil before finishing her second opponent in the first round only a couple of months later. In her next nine fights, Andrade won seven times with two losses, and at 9-2 as a professional, she signed with the UFC.

In her early days in the world’s top MMA promotion, Andrade used to compete in the bantamweight division, where she won four times and lost three times in her seven fights. Her move down to strawweight, however, worked wonders as her smaller foes found it tough to deal with her power and explosiveness.

Andrade made a blistering start to her strawweight career, winning three consecutive fights in a dominant fashion and securing a title shot against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 211.

Although she lost, Andrade bounced back with four huge wins, most notably knocking out Rose Namajunas with a powerful slam to win the strawweight title.

The Brazilian’s reign didn’t last long, however, as she was knocked out by Zhang Weili in only forty-two seconds at UFC Shenzhen in 2019. Since then, Andrade is 4-4 in the Octagon. Despite the many losses on her record, Andrade is a scary little monster who can shut your lights out with one haymaker.

18. Yuka Tsuji

Years Active 2001-2012
Origin Country Japan
Win/Loss Ratio 24-3
Height 5’1 (156 cm)
Weight 115 lbs (52 kg)

Known as the Vale Tudo Queen, Japan’s Yuka Tsuji was one of the most prolific female fighters in the 2000s. A highly-decorated freestyle wrestler, Tsuji made her MMA debut in December 2001, defeating Ikuma Hoshino by third-round submission.

Tsuji spent most of her career fighting in the now-defunct Smackgirl promotion, winning multiple titles. She first tasted glory in her seventh MMA fight in December 2002, when she defeated Mari Koneko by a decision to become the Smackgirl Japan Cup middleweight tournament winner.

In her ninth professional fight, Tsuji suffered her first professional career loss, but she bounced back by going on a fourteen-fight unbeaten run from 2003 to 2009, winning the Smackgirl lightweight title and defending it a record five times, most notably against Seo Hee Ham.

In April 2005, Tsuji won the Valkyrie featherweight championship by defeating Kate Martinez at Valkyrie 02. She lost the belt to Mei Yamaguchi and retired from the sport three fights later, winning twice and losing one time.

17. Carla Esparza

Carla Esparza | Career Retrospective

Years Active 2010-present
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 19-7
Height 5’1 (155 cm)
Weight 115 lbs (52 kg)

Carla Esparza is one of the more underrated women’s MMA fighters of all time. The inaugural UFC strawweight champion has beaten some of the best fighters in the sport, with two title wins to her name.

A women’s wrestling All-American, “The Cookie Monster” started her MMA career in 2010, dispatching Cassie Trost in under a minute at Respect In The Cage 3. In her second and third fights, Esparza finished her opponents in the second round.

In her fourth fight, she fought Japanese legend Megumi Fujii in the flyweight tournament quarter-final, where she lost by submission in the second round. From 2010 to 2014, Esparza had her most successful run in MMA, securing seven victories in eight fights and most notably submitting Rose Namajunas in the third round to win the inaugural strawweight title and The Ultimate Fighter season 20 women’s strawweight tournament in December 2014.

During the next four years, Esparza had a tough time inside the Octagon, losing four out of seven fights, but from 2019 onwards, she went on another impressive run of five victories against rising contenders like Alexa Grasso, Marina Rodriguez, and Yan Xiaonan.

Thanks to five wins in a row, Esparza challenged Rose Namajunas for the strawweight title at UFC 274, where she won the fight after five-round of little action. Esparza lost the belt in her title defense against Zhang Weili at UFC 281.

16. Xiong Jing Nan

The HARDEST-HITTING Women in MMA? Xiong Jing Nan Is RUTHLESS 👊🔥

Years Active 2014-present
Origin Country China
Win/Loss Ratio 18-2
Height 5’5 (165 cm)
Weight 123 lbs (56 kg)

Xiong Jing Nan is a Chinese mixed martial artist who is regarded as the greatest women’s champion in ONE Championship history. Inspired by Chinese martial arts movies from a young age, Xiong started her martial arts journey at eighteen years old, when she represented China as a member of the Shandong women’s boxing team.

In her MMA debut in 2014, Xiong made an instant impact by submitting Inna Hutsal in under a minute at Kunlun Fight 9. The Chinese star’s winning ways continued for four more fights before her hype train was momentarily derailed by Colleen Schneider at Kunlun Fight 26 in June 2015.

Xiong bounced back with four consecutive wins and signed with ONE Championship, where she continued her winning ways, stopping April Osenio in the first round at ONE: Warriors of the World in December 2017.

Just over a month later, Xiong returned to the ONE Circle to fight for the inaugural strawweight title at ONE: Kings of Courage, where she dispatched Tiffany Teo in the fourth round to win the belt. Since then, Xiong has successfully defended her title seven times, most notably against Ayaka Miura, one of the greatest BJJ fighters Michelle Nicolini, and Angela Lee. Xiong Jing Nan is easily one of the best female MMA fighters of all time.

15. Julia Budd

Highlights | Julia Budd

Years Active 2010-present
Origin Country Canada
Win/Loss Ratio 17-6
Height 5’8 (173 cm)
Weight 145 lbs (66 kg)

Regarded as one of the greatest Canadian MMA fighters of all time, Julia Budd has fought the who’s who of MMA, including Ronda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, and Cris Cyborg.

Budd started her MMA career in 2010, stopping Shana Nelson in the second round. In her next three fights, she faced three future champions, Amanda Nunes, Germaine de Randamie, and Ronda Rousey. The Canadian lost to Nunes and Rousey but managed to beat de Randamie.

Going 2-2 in your first four MMA fights is never ideal, but the tough competition that Budd fought early on in her career transformed her into the champion fighter that she’s today. Following her loss to Rousey, Budd went on an eleven-fight winning run, most notably defeating Marloes Coenen to win the inaugural Bellator featherweight title at Bellator 174.

Budd defended her title three times against Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 189, Talita Nogueira at Bellator 202, and Olgan Robin at Bellator 224 before losing her title to Cris Cyborg at Bellator 238. In 2021, Budd parted ways with Bellator after a legendary career in the promotion to sign with the PFL, where she has two wins and three losses in five fights.

14. Kayla Harrison

Kayla Harrison All Career finishes| HIGHLIGHTS

Years Active 2018-present
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 15-1
Height 5’8 (173 cm)
Weight 155 lbs (70 kg)

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison is one of the most successful female combat sports athletes of all time. The Judoka won the Olympic gold medal in 2012 and 2016, and in 2018, she transitioned into MMA, where she continued her winning ways.

Harrison made her MMA debut in the PFL in June 2018, winning three times in the year, with a couple of first-round finishes. In the 2019 season, Harrison went on to win it all, winning four times, most notably against Larissa Pacheco by a decision to win the lightweight tournament.

In 2020, Harrison had a one-off featherweight fight in Invicta since the PFL season was canceled. The Judoka submitted Courtney King in the second round to improve to 8-0 as a professional.

In 2021, Harrison once again dominated everyone she faced in the lightweight tournament. She defeated Mariana Morais, Cindy Dandois, and Genah Fabian, all in the first round, before facing Taylor Guardado in the season finale in August 2021. Harrison won by first-round TKO to become a two-time PFL lightweight tournament winner.

Given her success in the previous editions of the PFL, Harrison was expected to run through everyone in the PFL season 2022 as well, and while she did secure three dominant victories, her winning run in MMA came to an end against Larissa Pacheco in the final in November 2022.

13. Megumi Fujii

Is Megumi Fujii The GOAT?

Years Active 2004-2013
Origin Country Japan
Win/Loss Ratio 26-3
Height 5’3 (160 cm)
Weight 106 lbs (58 kg)

Megumi Fujii is one of the greatest Japanese female MMA fighters of all time, point blank. A Judo and Sambo specialist, Fujii has a decorated resume in submission grappling and mixed martial arts, and some even call her the Fedor Emelianenko of the strawweight division.

Fujii started her MMA journey in 2003, and for seven years, she remained undefeated with an uber-impressive record of twenty-two victories and zero losses.

From 2003 to 2010, Fujii competed in various top MMA promotions, including SHOOTO and Bellator, where she defeated notable names like Seo Ham Hee, Carla Esparza, Sarah Schneider, and Lisa Ellis. In her twenty-six career fights, Fujii won nineteen by submission, and she was widely regarded as the greatest female fighter of all time in her heyday.

Fujii suffered her first career loss in her twenty-third fight against Zoila Gurgel by a controversial split decision at Bellator 34. In her next six fights, Fujii won four times and lost twice before riding into the sunset in 2013.

12. Marloes Coenen

Marloes Coenen: The Last Goodbye

Years Active 2000-2017
Origin Country Netherlands
Win/Loss Ratio 23-8
Height 5’9 (175 cm)
Weight 145 lbs (66 kg)

Dutch MMA fighter Marloes Coenen is considered one of the greatest female fighters of all time and a pioneer of women’s MMA.

Coenen took up MMA when the sport was heavily dominated by men, but her desire to stand out and be remembered paved the way for an illustrious career that saw her fight some of the best fighters of her time and win the Strikeforce bantamweight title.

Coenen made her MMA debut in 2000 in Japan, where she submitted Yuki Kondo in the first round. Her dominance in Japan continued for seven more fights as she finished all but one opponent. The Dutch suffered her first career loss at the hands of Erin Toughill but bounced back with a series of impressive victories.

For nearly a decade, Coenen continued to take out fighters but failed to win any titles. In late 2010, however, she made her dream of becoming a champion come true when she faced Sarah Kaufman at Strikeforce: San Jose. “Rumina” defeated Kaufman by third-round submission to win the Strikeforce bantamweight title.

Coenen’s title reign didn’t last very long, however. She defended her title once, against Liz Carmouche, before losing to Miesha Tate.

The Dutch fought for the Invicta FC and Bellator featherweight titles in 2013 and 2017, respectively but failed to win both.

11. Miesha Tate

Every Miesha Tate Finish So Far!

Years Active 2007-present
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 19-9
Height 5’6 (168 cm)
Weight 125 lbs (57 kg)

One of the pioneers of women’s MMA, Miesha Tate, has produced some of the most memorable moments in the game. The wrestling ace made her MMA debut in 2007, beating Jan Finney by a decision in the BoDogFight bantamweight tournament quarter-final. She was eliminated after losing in the semi-final, however.

Following her first career loss, Tate bounced back with five consecutive victories, most notably beating Lizbeth Carreiro to win the Freestyle Cage Fighting bantamweight title in April 2009. She then signed with Strikeforce and won the bantamweight tournament before winning the title by defeating Marloes Coenen by fourth-round submission in July 2011.

Tate lost the belt in her first title defense before joining the UFC after the UFC acquired Strikeforce. In her first two UFC fights, Tate lost to Cat Zingano and Ronda Rousey before producing a five-fight winning run, the final win of which was her title victory against Holly Holm at UFC 196. In her first title defense, Tate lost to Amanda Nunes by first-round stoppage.

Since then, she has lost three out of her four fights.

10. Holly Holm

Holly Holm Top 5 Knockouts

Years Active 2011-present
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 15-6
Height 5’8 (173 cm)
Weight 145 lbs (66 kg)

Holly Holm is an American MMA fighter who rose to unimaginable heights of fame when she pulled off the biggest upset in women’s MMA history at UFC 193, where she knocked out Ronda Rousey to win the bantamweight title.

The kickboxer-turned-pro MMA fighter has had a successful career in both forms of combat. She made her MMA debut in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2013 that she focused her energies on cage fighting. In her first seven career fights, Holm secured as many victories with six finishes, most notably knocking out Julianna Werner in the fifth round to win the bantamweight title at Legacy Fighting Championship in April 2014.

In 2015, Holm signed with the UFC and faced Raquel Pennington at UFC 184, where she won by a split decision. In her second fight, Holm eased past Marion Reneau at a UFC Fight Night in July 2015 to earn a shot at Ronda Rousey’s bantamweight title. Back then, Rousey was a force to be reckoned with in the division and was collecting arms for fun, so Holm was a massive underdog.

Instead of folding under pressure, however, Holm rose to the occasion and lit ‘Rowdy” Ronda like a Christmas tree in the first round before knocking her out cold with a head kick followed by a few hammer fists early in the second round. Holm’s title run didn’t last long, as she lost to Meisha Tate in her first title defense in 2016.

Since then, “The Preacher’s Daughter” has had her ups and downs, losing to Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg while beating the likes of Bethe Correira, Irene Aldana, Megan Anderson, and Yana Santos.

9. Satoko Shinashi


Years Active 2001-present
Origin Country Japan
Win/Loss Ratio 39-4 (2 draws)
Height 4’10 (147 cm)
Weight 100 lbs (45 kg)

If you are an MMA fan in the modern era, there is a high chance that you may have never heard Satoko Shinashi’s name, but like Yuka Tsuji and Megumi Fujii, Satoko Shinashi is also one of the greatest female Japanese fighters of all time.

Shinashi’s MMA record is legendary on paper, but it’s even better when you take into consideration her longevity. The Japanese sensation has fought forty-five times in MMA, with thirty-nine wins, four losses, and two draws. Moreover, she has twenty-seven submission wins to her name, which is simply insane.

From 2001 to 2006, Shinashi fought twenty-two times, with twenty wins and two draws, with her most notable victory coming against Naoko Omuro at SmackGirl Lightweight Anniversary in November 2005, when she won the inaugural flyweight title by securing a decision victory.

She also won the Deep women’s flyweight title a few years later and is one of the most decorated Japanese MMA fighters of all time.

8. Zhang Weili

Rise of Zhang Weili

Years Active 2013-present
Origin Country China
Win/Loss Ratio 23-3
Height 5’4 (163 cm)
Weight 115 lbs (52 kg)

China’s Zhang Weili has been a martial artist for as long as she can remember. Inspired by old-school Kung Fu films, Zhang started training at a young age. At 12 years old, the Chinese sensation went to a specialized martial arts school where she learned Sanda and a Chinese wrestling style called Shuai Jiao.

At 20 years old, Zhang made her professional MMA debut, losing to Meng Bo by a decision. From 2014 to 2020, however, Zhang went on a twenty-fight unbeaten run, which included title wins in three different promotions, Kunlun Fight, Top FC, and the UFC.

Zhang’s first title victory came against Maira Mazar at Kunlun Fight 53 in September 2016, when she submitted her opponent in the first round. She successfully defended her title twice. In 2018, Zhang signed with the UFC and defeated Danielle Taylor by a comfortable decision at UFC 227. In her next two fights, Zhang beat Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres to earn a strawweight title shot against Jessica Andrade at UFC Shenzhen in 2019.

“Magnum” needed only forty-two seconds to knock the Brazilian out and win the belt in front of her people. She successfully defended her title once, against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248, where the two fighters produced the greatest fight in women’s MMA history. Both Zhang and Joanna traded bombs from start to finish and received a standing ovation by the end of their fight.

Zhang lost her title to Rose Namajunas at UFC 261 and lost in their immediate rematch at UFC 268 as well, but she bounced back with a huge knockout win against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275 before submitting Carla Esparza to become a two-time strawweight champion at UFC 281.

7. Rose Namajunas

Top Finishes: Rose Namajunas

Years Active 2013-present
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 11-5
Height 5’5 (165 cm)
Weight 115 lbs (52 kg)

Two-time UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is an American mixed martial artist who is regarded as one of the greatest strawweight fighters of all time. Namajunas started Taekwondo at five years old, and with years of Taekwondo, Karate, and BJJ experience under her belt, she made her amateur MMA debut in 2010, winning four times out of four.

Following a successful career in amateur MMA, Namajunas made her professional debut in 2013, submitting Emily Kagan in the third round at Invicta FC 4. Her second professional fight was even more impressive as she submitted Kathina Catron in only twelve seconds at Invicta FC 5.

In her third and fourth fights, Namajunas suffered heart-breaking losses, more notably against Carla Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title in December 2014.

Namajunas won four out of her next five fights to earn her shot against the self-proclaimed bogeywoman of the division, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Despite being a heavy underdog, Namajunas pulled off a huge upset, knocking out Jedrzejczyk in the first round. She defended her title in an immediate rematch against Jedrzejczyk before losing her belt to Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 in 2019.

Namajunas beat Andrade in a non-title rematch and knocked out Zhang Weili to become a two-time champion at UFC 261 and defended it in their rematch at UFC 268 before losing to Carla Esparza at UFC 274.

6. Ronda Rousey

EVERY Ronda Rousey Finish EVER!!

Years Active 2011-2016
Origin Country United States of America
Win/Loss Ratio 12-2
Height 5’6 (168 cm)
Weight 135 lbs (61 kg)

Ronda Rousey is an American professional wrestler, former Judoka, and MMA fighter who is widely regarded as the one who paved the way for women in the UFC. After becoming the first American to win a medal in women’s Judo at the Olympics, Rousey transitioned to MMA, securing three victories in her amateur career before turning pro.

Rousey’s dominance in the cage continued as a professional, as she secured four consecutive first-round finishes, all by an armbar, to challenge Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce bantamweight title. Rousey won the fight by first-round submission and defended her title once, against Sarah Kaufman, before being promoted to UFC bantamweight champion after the UFC acquired Strikeforce in 2013.

Prior to Rousey’s rise as one of the biggest stars in MMA, UFC president Dana White had said that he’d never allow women to compete in his organization, yet it happened, thanks to the Judoka, who bagged six consecutive titles defenses in the UFC, against Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate, Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano and Bethe Correira, and rose to heights of stardom.

Rousey’s time at the top of the food chain came to an end when she lost to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in 2015 and then to Amanda Nunes in 2016.

5. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

3 Minutes of Joanna Jedrzejczyk's Most Badass Moments in the UFC (BMF Contender?)

Years Active 2012-2022
Origin Country Poland
Win/Loss Ratio 16-5
Height 5’6 (168 cm)
Weight 125 lbs (57 kg)

The queen of violence, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, is a Polish mixed martial artist and kickboxer who is widely regarded as the greatest strawweight of all time. The bogeywoman of the 115-pound weight class started her MMA journey in 2012, and after racking up six wins in only two years, she signed with the UFC and defeated Julianna Lima by a comfortable decision in her debut to earn a title eliminator against Brazilian powerhouse, Claudia Gadelha.

Jedrzejczyk fought Gadelha at UFC Fight Night in December 2014, where she was declared the winner by a split decision after a three-round war. Four months later, the Pole battered champion Carla Esparza to win the strawweight title. From 2015-2017, Jedrzejczyk was a force to be reckoned with in the division as she brushed aside one contender after another, racking up five successful title defenses until she faced Rose Namajunas.

The Lithuanian-American stopped Jedrzejczyk in the first round to put an end to one of the most dominant championship runs in women’s MMA history.

Unfortunately, Jedrzejczyk couldn’t recover from her loss to Namajunas and lost four out of her next six fights. She retired in 2022 but still holds numerous divisional records, including most title bouts and most wins in title fights in UFC strawweight history.

4. Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko | UFC Greatest Hits

Years Active 2003-present
Origin Country Kyrgyzstan
Win/Loss Ratio 23-4
Height 5’5 (165 cm)
Weight 125 lbs (57 kg)

Known as the real-life Black Widow, Valentina Shevchenko is a Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian Muay Thai and MMA fighter who has conquered multiple martial arts disciplines. Inspired by her mother, a Muay Thai world champion herself, Shevchenko started her professional MMA journey at only 15 years old.

In her early days in the sport, Shevchenko was more focused on Muay Thai and kickboxing and won more than half a dozen world championships before turning his focus to MMA.

From 2003 to 2006, Shevchenko competed and won seven times in MMA before taking a four-year break to focus on Muay Thai and kickboxing. Her return to the cage was unsuccessful as she lost to Liz Carmouche in 2010, but she bounced back with four victories and signed with the UFC in 2015.

In her UFC debut, Shevchenko beat Sarah Kaufman by a split decision, but she lost to Amanda Nunes in her very next fight in 2016. ‘The Bullet’ bounced back with a couple of huge wins against Holly Holm and Julianna Pena to earn her shot at the UFC bantamweight gold. At UFC 215, Shevchenko faced Nunes in a rematch but lost by a razor-close and somewhat controversial decision.

Shevchenko then moved down to flyweight in 2018 when he submitted Priscila Cachoeira in the second run to earn a title shot. Krygyzstani dominated Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win the vacant 125-pound title and defended it a record seven times, most notably against Jessica Eye, Jessica Andrade, Jennifer Maia, and Taila Santos. She lost her belt to Alexa Grasso at UFC 285.

3. Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg Top 5 Knockouts

Years Active 2015-present
Origin Country Brazil
Win/Loss Ratio 26-2
Height 5’8 (173 cm)
Weight 145 lbs (66 kg)

Brazilian mixed martial artist Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino is the hardest-hitting woman in the history of MMA, and twenty knockouts in twenty-eight fights are proof of her dominance in the cage.

Cyborg had a bad start to her MMA career. She lost her first fight by a kneebar submission in under two minutes, but she then went on a twenty-one-fight unbeaten run that spanned over thirteen years.

Cyborg won her first major MMA title in 2009 when she dispatched Gina Carano in the first round of their fight in Strikeforce. The Brazilian powerhouse defended her title two times before signing with Invicta FC, where she continued her winning ways by beating Marloes Coenen in their featherweight title fight at Invicta FC 6 in July 2013.

The Brazilian defended her title three times, against Charmaine Tweet, Faith van Duin, and Daria Ibragimova, before signing with the UFC.

Since the UFC didn’t have a featherweight division when Cyborg signed with the promotion, she had to compete in a couple of 140-pound catchweight bouts.

Cyborg eventually got her opportunity to fight for the vacant featherweight title at UFC 214 in 2017, when she beat veteran Tonya Evinger to win the title. The power puncher defended her belt twice before getting knocked out by Amanda Nunes in 2017.

Following her loss to Nunes, Cyborg parted ways with the UFC and signed with Bellator, where she beat Julia Budd to win the belt and now has four successful title defenses to her name.

2. Alexa Grasso

Spotlight | Alexa Grasso

Years Active 2016-Present
Origin Country Mexico
Win/Loss Ratio 16-3
Height 5’5 (165cm)
Weight 125 lbs (57 kg)

Alexa Grasso is gunning for the GOAT position, and she might get there soon. Currently ranked as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter and #1 in the flyweight category, she’s basically the Jon Jones of female UFC fighters.

She started from humble beginnings in Mexico and made her professional MMA debut in 2016. She had a ferocious fighting style and quickly gained attention for her boxing-style strike skills.

Everyone was impressed by her aggressive style of fighting and how she never gave up. The start of her career at Invicta FC in 2016 was marked by three straight wins.

After she signed with the UFC in 2017, she went on a winning streak of six games, beating tough opponents like Heather Jo Clark by unanimous decision.

She’s showcased her determination and technical skills in the Octagon numerous times and came back from a significant knee injury in 2018. After she recovered from her injury, she became the first-ranked in her category and is currently the best pound-for-pound fighter.

The most impressive stat is that she only lost to submission once, and her two other losses were by decision. We won’t be surprised if she surpasses Amanda Nunes in the future and becomes the GOAT of female MMA fighters.

1. Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes Top 5 Finishes

Years Active 2008-2023
Origin Country Brazil
Win/Loss Ratio 23-5
Height 5’8 (173cm)
Weight 134 lbs (61 kg)

Widely regarded as the greatest female MMA fighter of all time, Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes has conquered half a dozen women on this list. The Brazilian’s career is loaded with victories against some of the greatest fighters ever, most notably Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, and Holly Holm.

Nunes started her MMA journey in 2008, piling up a record of seven wins and three losses before signing with the UFC. In her first three UFC fights, Nunes bagged two wins and suffered a loss at the hands of Cat Zingano in 2015.

For the next six years, Nunes won twelve fights in a row, capturing the UFC bantamweight and featherweight titles and securing more than half a dozen title defenses combined before losing her bantamweight title to Julianna Pena in the biggest upset in the promotion’s history at UFC 269.

However, Nunes bounced back in their immediate rematch by dominating the “Venezuelan Vixen” for five rounds to reclaim her title, which she defended once against Irene Aldana at UFC 289, before riding into the sunset.

“The Lioness” holds almost every record in the UFC women’s divisions, including most wins in UFC women’s title fights and most bouts and wins in bantamweight title fights.

With everything Nunes has achieved in her illustrious career, her legacy as the GOAT will remain unrivaled for years to come.

Wrap Up:

Female MMA fighters cartoon-style graphic

That does it for this article. Let us know what you think of our rankings in the comments section below.

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