The Queens of the Cage: A Look at the 10 Most Dominant Female MMA Fighters

March 27, 2023
From: Spartacus
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Over the years, MMA has gained tremendous popularity, not just among men but also among women. Female fighters have been making a name for themselves in the sport and have become just as popular as their male counterparts. In fact, women’s MMA has been growing at a rapid pace, with more and more women joining the sport and competing at the highest levels. This has led to the creation of several women’s MMA promotions, such as Invicta FC and the UFC’s Women’s Division, which have helped to elevate the profile of female fighters and give them the recognition they deserve.

Female fighters have played a crucial role in the growth and development of MMA. They have shattered gender barriers and proven that women can be just as skilled and dominant in combat sports as men. Female fighters have also helped to expand the fan base of MMA, attracting new viewers who may not have been interested in the sport before.

Moreover, female fighters have been instrumental in inspiring and empowering other women to pursue careers in combat sports. They have become role models for young girls and women all around the world, demonstrating the strength, resilience, and determination needed to succeed in a male-dominated industry.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the top 10 female MMA fighters of all time.

Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who has amassed an impressive record of 22 wins and 5 losses in her professional career. She is a two-division champion in the UFC, holding titles in both the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Nunes has also defeated some of the most notable fighters in women’s MMA, including Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, and Holly Holm.

Nunes has established herself as one of the most dominant female fighters in the sport’s history. She has defended her bantamweight title five times and her featherweight title once, becoming the first female fighter to defend two UFC titles in different weight classes. Nunes has also finished her opponents in 17 of her 21 wins, demonstrating her ability to dominate her opponents in the cage.

Nunes’s success in the cage has helped to raise the profile of women’s MMA and has inspired many young women to pursue careers in combat sports. She is widely considered one of the greatest female fighters of all time and has become a role model for aspiring fighters around the world. Nunes’s impact on the sport of MMA goes beyond her achievements in the cage; she has also used her platform to advocate for LGBTQ rights and has been a vocal supporter of women’s MMA.

Ronda Rousey

 

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Ronda Rousey is a retired American mixed martial artist who is widely considered one of the most dominant female fighters in the sport’s history. She amassed a record of 12 wins and 2 losses in her professional career, with all of her victories coming by way of submission in the first round. Rousey was the first UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and held the title for three years from 2012 to 2015.

Rousey’s dominance in the bantamweight division was unmatched during her reign as champion. She defended her title six times, all by way of submission in the first round, before losing it to Holly Holm in a stunning upset. Rousey’s grappling skills and judo background made her a formidable opponent in the cage, and her ability to finish fights quickly cemented her place as one of the greatest female fighters of all time.

Rousey’s success in the cage helped to bring women’s MMA to the forefront of the sport and paved the way for future generations of female fighters. She was one of the first female fighters to sign with the UFC, and her star power and dominance in the cage helped to popularise the sport among mainstream audiences. Rousey’s impact on the sport of MMA goes beyond her achievements in the cage; she has also been a vocal advocate for body positivity and women’s empowerment.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a Polish mixed martial artist who has had a successful career in both kickboxing and MMA. She amassed a record of 16 wins and 5 losses in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Jessica Andrade and Claudia Gadelha. Jedrzejczyk held the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship for over two years, defending her title five times before losing it to Rose Namajunas.

Jedrzejczyk’s dominance in the strawweight division was evident during her reign as champion. She defended her title five times, setting a record for the most consecutive title defences in the division. Her striking skills, particularly her Muay Thai, were unparalleled in the division, and she was known for her precise and powerful striking.

Jedrzejczyk’s success in the cage helped to elevate the profile of women’s MMA, particularly in her home country of Poland. She was the first Polish fighter to win a UFC title, and her accomplishments inspired many young fighters to pursue careers in combat sports. Jedrzejczyk’s impact on the sport of MMA goes beyond her achievements in the cage; she has also been a vocal advocate for gender equality and has used her platform to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Cris Cyborg

 

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Cris Cyborg is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who has had a long and successful career in both MMA and Muay Thai. She amassed a record of 26 wins and 2 losses in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Gina Carano and Holly Holm. Cyborg held several featherweight titles in different organisations, including the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Championship and the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship.

Cyborg’s dominance in the featherweight division was evident throughout her career. She was known for her aggressive striking and powerful punches, which allowed her to finish many of her opponents in the early rounds. She went undefeated for over a decade, a testament to her dominance in the sport.

She was one of the first female fighters to compete in the UFC, and her dominance in the cage helped to legitimise the women’s featherweight division in the organisation. Cyborg’s impact on the sport of MMA goes beyond her achievements in the cage; she has also been a vocal advocate for anti-bullying campaigns and has used her platform to raise awareness about the dangers of cyberbullying.

Holly Holm

 

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Holly Holm is an American mixed martial artist who has had a successful career in both boxing and MMA. She amassed a record of 33 wins and 2 losses in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Ronda Rousey and Raquel Pennington. Holm held the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship for several months in 2015-2016.

Holm’s dominance in the bantamweight division was evident during her reign as champion. She became known for her precise and powerful striking, particularly her head kicks, which she used to finish several of her opponents. Her ability to mix in grappling and takedowns made her a well-rounded fighter and a difficult opponent for anyone in the division.

Holm’s victory over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 was one of the biggest upsets in MMA history and helped to elevate the profile of women’s MMA. She became an overnight sensation and a household name, helping to bring new fans to the sport. Holm’s success in MMA also inspired many young fighters, particularly women, to pursue careers in combat sports.

Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko is a Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian mixed martial artist who has had a highly successful career in combat sports. She has amassed a record of 23 wins and 4 losses in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Holly Holm and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Shevchenko held the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship for over two years, defending the title several times during her reign.

Shevchenko’s dominance in the flyweight division was evident throughout her championship reign. She is known for her technical striking, powerful kicks, and exceptional grappling skills, making her a well-rounded fighter and a difficult opponent for anyone in the division.

Shevchenko has been a pioneer for women’s MMA, particularly in the flyweight division. Her skill set and dominance in the cage have helped to elevate the profile of the women’s flyweight division in the UFC, and her performances have inspired many young fighters, particularly women, to pursue careers in combat sports. She has also been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and gender equality in combat sports.

Rose Namajunas

 

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Rose Namajunas is an American mixed martial artist who has had a highly successful career in the UFC. She has amassed a record of 12 wins and 5 losses in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade. Namajunas held the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship for a total of two reigns, defending the title once during each reign.

Namajunas’ dominance in the strawweight division was evident throughout her championship reign. She is known for her technical striking, footwork, and exceptional grappling skills, making her a well-rounded fighter and a difficult opponent for anyone in the division. Her submission victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 is considered one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.

Namajunas has been a role model for many young fighters, particularly women, around the world. She has been vocal about her struggles with mental health and has used her platform to raise awareness about the importance of mental wellness in combat sports. Her performances in the cage have also helped to elevate the profile of the women’s strawweight division in the UFC, and her victories over top-ranked opponents have solidified her status as one of the best fighters in the division.

Megumi Fujii

 

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Megumi Fujii is a retired Japanese mixed martial artist who had a highly successful career in various MMA organisations, including Shooto and Bellator. She amassed a record of 26 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Carla Esparza and Lisa Ward. Fujii is widely regarded as one of the greatest female fighters of all time.

Fujii’s dominance in the women’s strawweight and flyweight divisions was evident throughout her career. She is known for her exceptional grappling skills, particularly her world-class submission game, making her a formidable opponent for anyone in the division. She was often able to take her opponents down and control them on the ground, leading to a high number of submission victories throughout her career.

She was one of the pioneers of women’s MMA and helped to elevate the profile of the sport in Japan during the early 2000s. Her performances in the cage, particularly her grappling skills, inspired a new generation of fighters to pursue their dreams in the sport. She is widely regarded as a role model for young fighters around the world, particularly those who aspire to compete in the strawweight and flyweight divisions.

Gina Carano

Gina Carano is a retired American mixed martial artist who had a successful career in both MMA and Muay Thai. She amassed a record of 7 wins and 1 loss in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Rosi Sexton and Kaitlin Young. Carano also competed in Muay Thai, where she amassed a record of 12 wins and 1 loss.

Carano competed in the featherweight division during her MMA career, and while she did not hold a title in the division, she was considered one of the top fighters in the division at the time. She was known for her striking skills, particularly her knockout power, and was able to finish several of her opponents with strikes.

Carano’s impact on the sport of MMA goes beyond her accomplishments in the cage. She was one of the first female fighters to gain mainstream recognition and helped to elevate the profile of women’s MMA during the early days of the sport. Her fights were often featured on major networks such as CBS and helped to bring new fans to the sport. Carano’s success in both MMA and Muay Thai also helped to inspire a new generation of female fighters to pursue their dreams in combat sports.

Miesha Tate

Miesha Tate is a retired American mixed martial artist who had a highly successful career in both Strikeforce and the UFC. She amassed a record of 19 wins and 9 losses in her professional MMA career, including victories over notable fighters such as Holly Holm and Jessica Eye. Tate held the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship and the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship during her career.

Tate’s dominance in the bantamweight division was evident during her championship reign. She is known for her strong grappling skills, particularly her ground-and-pound and submission abilities. Her tenacity and resilience in the cage made her a difficult opponent for anyone in the division.

She was one of the pioneers of women’s MMA and played a crucial role in helping to legitimise the women’s bantamweight division in the UFC. Her rivalry with Ronda Rousey was one of the most significant storylines in MMA history and helped to elevate the profile of women’s MMA in the mainstream media. Tate’s outspoken advocacy for gender equality and women’s rights in combat sports has also made her a role model for many young fighters around the world.

Honourable Mentions

Sarah Kaufman

Sarah Kaufman is a retired Canadian mixed martial artist who had a successful career in various MMA organisations, including Strikeforce and UFC. She amassed a record of 22 wins and 5 losses in her professional MMA career and was known for her striking skills and wrestling ability.

Michelle Waterson

Michelle Waterson, also known as “The Karate Hottie,” is an American mixed martial artist who currently competes in the UFC. She has a record of 18 wins and 10 losses in her professional MMA career and is known for her well-rounded skills, including her striking and grappling ability.

Conclusion

The impact of these 10 female MMA fighters on the sport cannot be overstated. They have not only achieved great success in their own careers, but also helped to establish women’s MMA as a legitimate and respected part of the sport.

From Ronda Rousey’s early dominance and impact on the UFC, to Amanda Nunes’ current status as the greatest female MMA fighter of all time, each of these fighters has left their own unique mark on the sport.

Their legacy is not just in their individual accomplishments, but in the collective impact they have had on the sport as a whole. They have shown that women can be just as skilled, determined, and exciting to watch in the cage as their male counterparts.

Female MMA Fighters have paved the way for future generations of women in combat sports and have helped to break down the gender barriers that once existed in the sport. As the popularity of women’s MMA continues to grow, female fighters will undoubtedly play an even more significant role in shaping the future of the sport

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