15 All-Time Greatest Female MMA Fighters

MMA Fighters

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a raw, hybrid full-contact cage sport that combines techniques from a variety of combat sports. Since the first official female MMA fight in the United States in 1997, a growing number of women have established their legacy and achieved incredible milestones.

However, it was the main event fight between Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano in 2009 that changed women’s MMA. Later, Ronda Rousey’s UFC dominance served as jet fuel, propelling women’s MMA into the mainstream.

15 All-Time Greatest Female MMA Fighters

Previously, listing the top 15 female MMA fighters would be pointless. However, thanks to the top MMA promotion franchise, it has now become a difficult task. Similarly, the rise of women in MMA has given birth to some legendary names in combat sports as a whole.

So, without further ado, let’s determine who is the best female MMA fighter to ever step into the octagon.

15. Angela Lee

  • Nickname: Unstoppable
  • Division: Strawweight
  • MMA Record: 10 wins/2 loss
  • Career: 2015-present

Angela Lee is a professional Canadian-American MMA fighter. She is arguably the most well-known female MMA fighter outside of the UFC. Her entire professional career has been spent fighting for the Singapore-based MMA promotion One Championship.

Similarly, Angela became the youngest fighter (19 years old) in MMA history to win a world title in 2015, defeating Mei Yamaguchi for the One Women Atomweight title. She lost her first fight in 2019 after going 9-0 in her professional MMA career.

Angela still holds the One Women Atomweight title, which she has successfully defended four times. She is currently ranked third in the female One Championship Women’s Strawweight division. Angela Lee was the most searched-for person in March 2022.

14. Julia Budd

  • Nickname: The Jewel
  • Division: Bantamweight/Strawweight/Flyweight
  • MMA Record: 15 wins/3 loss
  • Career: 2010-present

Julia Budd is a former kickboxer and professional MMA fighter from Canada. She is most likely one of the most underappreciated fighters in the MMA world. Julia, on the other hand, has only lost three times in her professional career. That was in the hands of legends such as Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey, and Chris Cyborg.

She has competed in MMA promotion companies such as Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator MMA for over ten years. Furthermore, on March 3, 2017, at Bellator 174, she defeated Marloes Coenen to become the first Bellator Women’s Featherweight champion. She is currently ranked first in women’s featherweight and fourth in women’s pound for pound in the Bellator Women’s rankings.

Julia Budd was the most searched twice in the years 2021 and 2022.

13. Zhang Weili

  • Nickname: Magnum
  • Division: Strawweight
  • MMA Record: 23 wins/2 loss
  • Career: 2013-present

Zhang Weili is a Chinese professional MMA fighter. She wowed everyone in the UFC with her incredible 16-1 record in China and South Korea. In addition, she became the first Chinese champion in UFC history in 2019 when she defeated Jessica Andrade by TKO in 42 seconds to win the UFC women’s strawweight title.

Weili later defeated former world champion Jonna Jedrzejczyk in her title defense at UFC 248. She is currently ranked first in the women’s strawweight division and fourth in the women’s pound-for-pound division in the UFC. Zhang Weili was the most searched for in both 2021 and 2022.

12. Claudia Gadelha

  • Nickname: Claudinha
  • Division: Strawweight
  • MMA Record: 23 wins/8 loss
  • Career: 2008-present

Claudia Gadelha is a professional MMA fighter from Brazil. She currently fights for the UFC, but she began her MMA career with Invicta FC. In 2013, she made her UFC debut in season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter. She went on to become the UFC’s first strawweight champion.

The same year, she was named Fan Favorite Fighter of the Year. In the strawweight division, she is currently ranked eighth. Claudia Gadelha was the most searched for in 2021, and she was slightly higher again in 2022.

11. Jessica Andrade

  • Nickname: Bate Estaca
  • Division: Bantamweight/Strawweight/Flyweight
  • MMA Record: 21 wins/9 loss
  • Career: 2011-present

Jessica Andrade is a Brazilian MMA fighter who currently fights in the UFC. She is the first female UFC fighter to compete in three weight classes. Jessica fought for the first two years at bantamweight before moving up to strawweight. Later in 2020, she began competing at flyweight.

Jessica Andrade has won the majority of her Octagen fights via knockouts and submissions. She also holds the record for the most knockouts (3) in the female strawweight division. Jessica won the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship by KO over Rose Namajunas in the main event of UFC 237 on May 11, 2019.

She is currently ranked first in the female flyweight division and sixth in the UFC’s female pound-for-pound rankings. Jessica Andrade received more searches in 2021 than Claudia Gadelha did in the same year.

10. Holly Holm

  • Nickname: The Preacher’s Daughter
  • Division: Bantamweight/ Featherweight
  • MMA Record: 14 wins/ 5 loss
  • Career: 2011-present

Holly Holm is a professional MMA fighter from the United States who is currently competing in the UFC. She also had a successful boxing career, winning the world title 18 times.

BoxRec ranks her as the best professional female boxer of all time. Furthermore, Holm is the first and only fighter in history to hold both the boxing and UFC titles. Similarly, her breakthrough moment in the UFC came on November 15, 2015, when she TKO’d Ronda Rousey in front of a record 56,215 crowd in Melbourne at UFC 193.

She won the bantamweight title and was the first fighter to defeat Rousey. However, Holm was defeated in her first title defense by Miesha Tate. She is currently ranked eighth in the UFC female rankings pound for pound.

This American professional MMA Fighter’s search was active in July 2022.

9. Marloes Coenen

  • Nickname: Female Rickson Rumina
  • Division: Featherweight/Bantamweight
  • MMA Record: 23 wins/8 loss
  • Career: 2000-2017

Marloes Coenen is a former professional MMA fighter from the Netherlands. Furthermore, she is regarded as the “O.G.” of female MMA. She competed in various MMA promotions during her 17-year career, including Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator MMA. Marloes made his MMA debut at the age of 19 in 2000, winning the ReMix World Cup with 8 consecutive victories.

She became the first female MMA champion after winning the championship. She later became Strike Women’s Bantamweight champion in 2010. Coenen was well-known for her grappling abilities, having won 17 professional matches by submission.

Marloes Coenen’s search varied dramatically over a year, was rarely consistent, and can be categorized as the most searched among the previous ones.

8. Rose Namajunas

  • Nickname: Thug
  • Division: Strawweight
  • MMA Record: 10 wins/4 loss
  • Career: 2010-present

Rose Namajunas is a professional MMA fighter from the United States. After an undefeated amateur career, she made her professional MMA debut with Invicta FC. She was later called up by the UFC to compete in The Ultimate Fighter in 2013. Unfortunately, she was eliminated in the final round of the reality TV show.

Her career high point came in 2017 when she defeated Jona Jedrzejczyk to win the UFC Women’s Strawweight title. Similarly, she defeated Jedrzejczyk in her first title defense. After losing to Jessica Andrade, she reclaimed the strawweight title by KO against Zhang Weili.

Namajunas is also the first female in UFC history to reclaim her championship title after losing it. She is currently ranked third in the UFC Women’s rankings for women’s pound-for-pound fighters. Rose Namajunas’ search ratio is fairly stable, having only increased twice in the last two years (2021-2022)

7. Miesha Tate

  • Nickname: Cupcake
  • Division: Bantamweight
  • MMA Record: 18 wins/7 loss
  • Career: 2007-2016/2021- present

Miesha Tate is a professional MMA fighter from the United States. She retired in 2016 but will return to the UFC in 2021. Miesha is well-known as Ronda Rousey’s number one rival, sparking one of the greatest rivalries in UFC history. She is also the first female fighter in UFC history to drag Rousey into the second and third rounds.

Tate’s legacy is somewhat complicated. Meisha held the bantamweight title in both the UFC and Strike Force, but she never defended either. Her final victory before her first retirement came on March 5, 2016, at UFC 196, when she defeated Holly Holm for the UFC Women’s bantamweight title.

Meisha Tate’s search ratio has fluctuated more than Rose Namajunas’ over the last two years, as shown in the graph.

6. Valentina Shevchenko

  • Nickname: Bullet
  • Division: Bantamweight/ Flyweight
  • MMA Record: 21 wins/ 3 loss
  • Career: 2008- present

Valentina Shevchenko is a Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian MMA fighter and former Muay Thai competitor. She is also regarded as one of the best Muay Thai fighters of all time, having won multiple world titles. At the age of 15, Shevchenko made her professional MMA debut. She later signed with UFC in 2014. Furthermore, her two UFC losses have come against Amanda Nunes.

She is currently the UFC women’s flyweight champion and has not lost since joining the division. She has successfully defended her title five times since winning the title fight against Jonna Jedrzejczyk on September 20th, 2018.

Shevchenko also holds the record for the most consecutive wins (7) in the UFC women’s flyweight division. Valentina Shevchenko’s graph is nothing like Meisha Tate’s, but she has only hiked twice in the last two years. She is the second-best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC women’s rankings.

5. Megumi Fuji

  • Nickname: Mega Megu
  • Division: Strawweight
  • MMA Record: 26 wins/3 loss
  • Career: 2004-2013

If there was a women’s MMA Mount Rushmore, Megumi Fuji would undoubtedly be on it. Her grappling strength and toughness terrorized her opponents in MMA promotions such as Shooto, Jewels, Smackgirl, and Bellator. Before her first defeat at the age of 36, Fuji had an impressive 22-fight winning streak in professional MMA.

She later vanished like a ghost and has not fought in the cage since 2013. Fuji is currently 44 years old, so a return to MMA appears unlikely. Megumi Fuji’s search engine continues to hike, as it has done numerous times in the last two years.

4. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

  • Nickname: JJ
  • Division: Strawweight/Flyweight
  • MMA Record: 20 wins/4 loss
  • Career: 2012-present

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a former Muay Thai fighter and a professional MMA fighter from Poland. She was a five-time Muay Thai world champion before making her UFC debut. Joanna won the UFC Strawweight title one year after her UFC debut, on March 14, 2015, at UFC 185, after defeating Carla Esparza.

She successfully defended her title five times before losing in 2017 to Rose Namajunas. Furthermore, Jedrzejczyk has a long list of accomplishments to her name.

She has the most victories in UFC women’s strawweight (10), as well as the most title matches in any UFC women’s weight class. Similarly, Rose is ranked second in women’s strawweight and fifth in women’s pound for pound in the UFC women’s rankings.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is not as well-known as other female fighters because her popularity only recently increased and then declined in 2021.

3. Ronda Rousey

  • Nickname: Rowdy
  • Division: Bantamweight/Featherweight
  • MMA Record: 12 wins/2 loss
  • Career: 2010-2016

Ronda Rousey is a former professional MMA fighter and wrestler from the United States. ESPN named her the best female athlete of all time in 2015. Rousey’s legacy is unprecedented. Ronda Rousey is the first woman to hold both the UFC and WWE world titles.

She is also the first female UFC fighter, UFC champion, and UFC Hall of Fame inductee. She was previously the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion.

Rousey was on a 10-fight winning streak before her shocking loss to Holly Holm in 2015. Furthermore, she won the majority of her fights in under a minute. Similarly, her six consecutive title fights are the most in UFC history.

Similarly, she holds the record for the most female title defenses. Rousey’s resume speaks for itself. Women in combat sports are thriving like never before thanks to her. Ronda Rousey’s search has also been very dynamic in the last two years, and we found no evidence of staticity.

2. Amanda Nunes

  • Nickname: Lioness
  • Division: Bantamweight/Featherweight
  • MMA Record: 21 wins/4 loss
  • Career: 2008-present

Amanda Nunes is a professional MMA fighter from Brazil. At present, she is the dominant force in MMA, ranking 1 in the UFC pound-for-pound women’s ranking. Nunes holds both the UFC Women’s bantamweight and featherweight titles. Furthermore, she is the first woman in UFC history to reach that milestone.

Similarly, she has the most UFC (14) and title fight victories (9). Similarly, she has the most consecutive UFC wins among females, with 12. Nunes also has the longest UFC title reign in UFC history, having held the bantamweight title since 2016. By the end of her career, she could be crowned the greatest female Mixed Martial Artist of all time.

Amanda Nunes’ popularity peaked in 2021, but it skyrocketed in 2022, and the public is still looking for her.

Cris Cyborg

  • Nickname: Cyborg
  • Division: Featherweight
  • MMA Record: 24 wins/2 loss/1 No-contest
  • Career: 2005-present

Cris Cyborg is a Brazilian-American MMA Fighter. Cyborg has evolved into a beast since her professional debut defeat. Similarly, Cris was undefeated for 20 fights before succumbing to Amanda Nunes in 2018. As of 2021, she is the pound-for-pound leader among Bellator women.

Furthermore, Cyborg is the first fighter in MMA history to become a grand slam champion, having won world titles in four different promotions: Strikeforce, Invicta, UFC, and Bellator. Despite the controversy surrounding her doping scandal, she remains the best octagon fighter.

Cris Cyborg had the same static search graph, which had risen twice in two years and is now still falling.


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