An American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company, Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC is the largest MMA promoter in the world. It features the top-ranked fighters in the world and conducts events across the world. MMA has been opened up for women only a few years ago.
However, already, several women employed by have made their mark in the sport. Here’s our list of ten best women fighters in the world.
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10 Jessica Aguilar
An American MMA artist, Jessica Aguilar is Mexican by birth and is a celebrated UFC member. She made her debut in 2006 at the Absolute Fighting Championships 15. She took a voluntary leave from the World Series of Fighting while she was the reigning WSOF Women’s Strawweight Champion.
She is ranked as number 3 in the Strawweight division of UFC and number 4 by Fight Matrix and MMARising list. She is popularly known as JAG. She competed in 24 matches out of which she has 19 wins to her credit.
9 Carla Esparza
An American professional MMA artist, Carla Esparza competes in the Strawweight division of the UFC. A fighter with a Mexican, Ecuadorian and Irish descent, she is famous for her grappling abilities and was the first UFC Strawweight Champion and the first Invicta FC Strawweight Champion.
She was considered to be the best Strawweight fighter in the world when she held the titles. She won the 16-women tournament televised in the reality series The Ultimate Fighter and also competed in Bellator MMA’s first women’s tournament. Her fighting style is appreciated and she is considered to be one of the prettiest fighters in UFC’s kitty.
8 Claudia Gadelha
Claudia Gadelha is a Brazilian MMA artist. She fights in the Women’s Strawweight division of the UFC. She is the youngest BJJ black belt in Nova Unjao’s history where she trained before joining UFC. She was the number 1 Strawweight MMA fighter as per UFC rankings in 2015. She made her debut in 2008 in the Force Fighting Championship. She has competed in 15 games out of which 13 she has won.
In 2016, Gadelha was announced as a coach opposite former opponent Joanna Jerdzerjczyk for The Ultimate Fighter 23 by the UFC authorities. A rematch took place in the final which she lost as per unanimous decision.
7 Cat Zingano
An American MMA artist, Cat Zingano competes in the UFC. In fact, she was the first woman to win a UFC fight by technical knockout which happened in 2013. Often nicknamed as Alpha, Zingano is a muay-Thai fighter and her fighting style is offensive. She is currently ranked 5 in the pound-for-pound female MMA fighter category and number 3 in the 135-pound female fighter category as per the Unified Women’s MMA rankings. She is also the number 3 contender in the women’s bantamweight rankings as per UFC. She has 9 wins out of 11 matches to her credit.
In 2010, Zingano married Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Mauricio Zongano. They have a son named Brayden. However, her husband committed suicide in 2014. Cat Zingano is the first mother to fight in a UFC match.
6 Holly Holm
Long legs and lethal kicks are what best describes Holly Holm. She is an American MMA artist who competes in the UFC Bantamweight Division. She is not just an MMA fighter, she is also a former professional boxer and kickboxer. She has won the boxing World Championship a number of times and won the Ring Magazine fighter of the year twice. She is a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion as well. She is the first person to have won championships in both boxing and MMA.
Her most notable win was in the UFC 193 event held in Melbourne where she defeated Ronda Rousey and very deservingly earned the bantamweight title. This has been the only loss Ronda Rousey has every suffered. The fight is considered to be one of the greatest fights of all times.
She is currently the number 4 bantamweight contender or the UFC, number 2 fighter by Sherdog, number 3 pound for pound female fighter by Sherdog and number 7 fighter rated by Fight Matrix. She has also appeared in the film Fight Valley, which extends her popularity beyond the ring.
5 Paige VanZant
Vanzant is an American MMA artist who competes in the women’s Strawweight of the UFC. She has been a part of the UFC Strawweight division when it was created in 2013. Fighting since 2012, she started her career with InvictaFC. Currently, she is ranked number 8 in the UFC Strawweight Division. Her killer smile is what has earned her million hearts.
She has various sponsorship deals in her kitty including the official outfitter of UFC. She has fought in 9 matches out of which she has won 7. She has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
4 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Jedrzejczyk is a Polish origin MMA artist who has won many championships making her the number 4 in our list. She competes in the women’s strawweight division of UFC and has been the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion, the third European to grab the title. She is currently the number 1 female strawweight fighter, number 1 pound for pound female MMA fighter and number 7 pound for pound fighter in the world.
She is also the only female to hold so many positions together. She has won the World Champion six times and the European Champion four times in Muay Thai. She is popularly known as JJ, Joanna Champion and Joanna Violence, awarded to her mostly because of her difficult to pronounce the last name. She is currently engaged to Przemyslaw Buta, a Polish native.
3 Miesha Tate
An American MMA artist, Miesha Tate competes at the UFC. She is a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion famous for her grappling ability. She began her MMA career in 2007 but got recognition in 2011 when she won the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship. She also has a silver medal in the FILA Grappling Championship to her credit. Her fighting style, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has earned her recognition across the world.
Tate is famous for not just her performance within the ring. She has modelled for various websites and publications including Fitness Girls and ESPN The Magazine. She also features as a playable character in the video game EA Sports UFC. Tate’s fight with Ronda Rousey has been named as a key factor in the creation of women’s division of the UFC by UFC president Dana White.
2 Justino Cristiane
Nicknamed as Cybord or Cris Cyborg, Cristiane Justino is an MMA artist currently signed up with UFC. She is a former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion and is the current Invicta FC World Champion. She has 16 wins in 18 matches. In 2015 she was signed into UFC. She made her debut at the UFC 198 against Leslie Smith at a catchweight of 140 pounds. She won the fight in the first round. She was married to MMA fighter Evangelista Cyborg Santos, but the couple split in 2011.
1 Ronda Rousey
Well, Ronda Rousey is definitely the number 1 woman UFC fighter. She is not just an MMA artist, she is also a judoka artist and an actress. In fact, she was the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in judo. She has won twelve consecutive MMA fights out of which 6 is in the UFC. Rousey is the world number 2 in the bantamweight fighter currently. She is also a very popular figure worldwide. In 2015, she has been voted as the Best Female Athlete Ever in an online ESPN poll survey. She is UFC highest paid fighter among both males and females.
Her popularity does not stop within the ring. Ronda Rousey has starred in high-profile Hollywood movies like The Expendables 3, Furious 7 and Entourage, where her appearance has been highly appreciated.
Best 10 women UFC Fighters in the World
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These powerful women have redefined the populous notion that women are less strong. They continue to inspire millions of women who want to take up martial arts as a profession.