15 Greatest Female Fighters in MMA

Best Female MMA Fighter
Best Female MMA Fighter (Source: The New York Times)

Who are the 15 greatest female fighters in MMA?

Women’s MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is one of the most entertaining and stimulating sports shows in the world.

With their gripping punches, nasty powers, ferocious hooks, wonderstruck spinning kicks, and most brutal knockouts, the women fighters have made their own mark in the octagon.

Holly-Holm-V.S.-Ronda-Rousey
Holly Holm VS Ronda Rousey (Source: Sporting News)

The first recorded female MMA fight took place in 1997 in the USA at IFC4. Since then, numerous female fighters have made their own legacy and achieved huge milestones throughout the incredible journey.

However, it was Ronda Rousey who changed the game into a historic moment by dominating the UFC in 2012.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 15 greatest female fighters in MMA who left their permanent imprints in combat history.

Quick Overview

 S.N. Greatest Female MMA Fighters  Country 
 1.  Cris Cyborg   Brazil
 2.  Amanda Nunes  Brazil
 3.  Ronda Rousey  USA
 4.  Joanna Jedrzejczyk  Poland
 5.  Megumi Fuji  Japan
 6.  Valentina Shevchenko   USSR
 7. Meisha Tate   USA
 8.  Rose Namajunas  USA
 9.  Marloes Coenen  Netherlands
 10.  Holly Holm  US
 11.  Jessica Andrade  Brazil
 12.  Claudia Gadelha  Brazil
 13.  Zhang Weili  China
 14.  Julia Budd  Canada
 15.  Angela Lee  Canada

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA

The information and details has been compiled from trusted sites on the web, including Tapology and Wikipedia.

15. Angelina Lee

Angelina Lee, famous as “Unstoppable,” is a Canadian-born American MMA fighter and current ONE Women’s World Atomweight Champion.

The Chinese, Singaporean and Korean descent champ made her MMA debut in 2015 with ONE Championship. At that time, she defeated Aya Saber during the opening round via an armbar submission.

In 2016, Lee became the youngest fighter to win a world title in MMA history by winning the ONE Women’s Atomweight title (115 lbs.) at the tender age of 20.

Angelina Lee
Angelina Lee (Source: South China Morning Post)

She defeated the Japanese veteran MMA fighter, Mei Yamaguchi, by a unanimous decision.

With her recent 2022 match, she has successfully defended the world Atomweight title five times. Lee just defeated Thai MMA fighter Stamp Fairtex by a rear-naked choke during the second round of the match.

To date, Lee has fought 13 matches, won 11 (1 KO, eight submissions, two decisions), and lost 2 of them.

14. Julia Budd

Holding the 14th spot is the third greatest featherweight in MMA.

Julia Budd, famous as ” The Jewel,” is a kickboxer and MMA fighter from Canada. Currently, she is competing in the Professional Fighter’s League (PFL).

Budd made her MMA debut with Strikeforce in 2010.

Julia Budd
Julia Budd (Source: Pinterest)

In 2017, Budd became the first Bellator Woman’s Featherweight Champion by defeating Marloes Coenen by a powerful strike during the fourth round of the match.

To date, she has fought 19 matches, won 16 (6 KO, one submission, nine decisions), and lost 3 of them.

13. Zhang Weili

Zhang Weili is an MMA fighter from China who competes in the UFC.

She made her MMA debut with Kunlun Fight in 2013.

In 2017, Zhang became the Kunlun Fight Female Strawweight Champion by defeating Simone Duarte by TKO during the second round of the match.

Zhang Weili
Zhang Weili (Source: Generation T)

After two years, Zhang won the UFC’s Strawweight Championship by defeating Jessica Andrade by first-round TKO. By that, she became the first Chinese and Eastern Asian fighter to win the UFC title.

To date, Zhang has fought 24 matches, won 21 (10 KO, seven submissions, four decisions), and lost 3 of them.

12. Jessica Andrade

Jessica Andrade is an MMA fighter from Brazil who competes in the UFC.

She made her MMA debut in 2011 in Brazil. After two years, she joined the UFC.

In 2019, Andrade won the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship by defeating Rose Namajunas by knockout during the second round of the match.

Jessica Andrade
Jessica Andrade (Source: UFC.com)

To date, she has fought 31 matches, won 22 (9 KO, seven submissions, six decisions), and lost 9 of them.

Besides, Andrade is the sole female fighter to win bouts in three different weight classes: bantamweight, strawweight, and flyweight in the UFC history.

Moreover, she holds the record for most knockouts in the women’s strawweight division in the UFC by 3.

11. Cláudia Gadelha

Cláudia Gadelha is a former UFC Strawweight champion from Brazil.

She debuted in MMA with Fighting Championship 1 in 2008.

Besides, the UFC signed her in 2013. She competed in MMA for fourteen years till 2021.

Cláudia Gadelha
Cláudia Gadelha (Source: UFC.com)

After a year, she won the UFC Woman’s Strawweight Championship by a unanimous decision in her bout against Tina Lahdemaki. That made her the first female Strawweight fighter and champion in UFC history.

To date, she has fought 23 matches, won 18 (2 KO, seven submissions, nine decisions), and lost 5 of them.

10. Holly Holm

At the 10th spot comes one of the best head kickers in the world.

Holly Holm, famous as “The Preacher’s Daughter,” is an MMA fighter from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Holm made her MMA debut in 2011 with Jackson’s Submission Fighting.

In 2014, she joined the UFC.

Holly Holm
Holly Holm (Source: The Sun)

Holm’s most eminent bout was in 2015 when she captured the UFC Bantamweight Championship title from the unbeatable champ, Ronda Rousey, by a knockout in the second round of the UFC 193 match.

To date, Holm has fought in 19 matches, won 14 (8 KO, six decisions), and lost 5 of them.

Currently, Holm is UFC’s third-ranked bantamweight champion and seventh-ranked pound-for-pound champion.

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9. Marloes Coenen

Marloes Coenen, famous as “Rumina,” is a former MMA fighter from the Netherlands.

She competed in Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator MMA from 2000 to 2017.

Marloes Coenen
Marloes Coenen (Source: EDGE MMA – Fandom)

In 2010, Coenen became the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion (135 lbs.) by defeating Sarah Kaufman with an armbar submission during the third round of the match.

During her time in the ring, Coenen fought 21 matches, won 23 (3 KO, 17 submissions, three decisions), and lost 8 of them.

8. Rose Namajunas

Holding the 8th spot is one of the greatest strawweight fighters in MMA history.

Rose Namajunas, famous as “Thug Rose,” is an MMA fighter who competes in the UFC.

In 2013, Namajunas made her MMA debut with Invicta Fighting Championship.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA The AllStar
Rose Namajunas (Source: The AllStar)

In 2017, she knocked out the unbeatable strawweight champion, Joana Jedrzejczyk, during the first round of the UFC 217 match and won the title.

Later, Namajunas became the UFC Strawweight Champion for the second time in 2021 by defeating Zhang Weili by KO during the first round of the match. With that, she became the first female fighter in MMA to reclaim the UFC belt.

To date, she has fought 15 matches, won 11 (2KO, five submissions, four decisions), and lost 4 of them.

7. Meisha Tate

Meisha Theresa Tate is one of the greatest bantamweight fighters in MMA history. She currently competes in the UFC.

Tate first made her MMA debut in 2007 with HOOKnSHOOT.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA- Meisha-Tate
Meisha Tate (Source: Wikiwand)

In 2011, Tate became Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion by defeating Marloes Coenen. She won the bout by arm submission during the fourth round of the match.

In 2016, Tate went to claim the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship by defeating Holly Holm by a rear-naked choke in the fifth round of the match.

To date, Tate has fought 27 matches, won 19 (4 KO, seven submissions, eight decisions), and lost 8 of them.

6. Valentina Shevchenko

Holding the 6th spot is one of the best Mua Thai fighters in the world.

Valentina Shevchenko, famous as “Bullet,” is an MMA fighter from the USSR.

She made her MMA debut in 2003 with Kyrgyz Federation Kulatuu at the tender age of 15.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA- Valentina-Shevchenko
Valentina Shevchenko (Source: Flickr)

In 2018, Valentina became the UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion by defeating the Polish MMA fighter Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She won the bout by a unanimous decision during the match.

Besides, she has defeated Jedrzejczyk three times. She is practically an unmatched fighter when it comes to gauging distances, and most of her wins are from her godlike counterstrikes.

To date, she has fought 25 matches, won 22 (8 KO, seven submissions, seven decisions), and lost 3 of them.

As of 2022, Valentina is the UFC’s No.1 women’s pound-for-pound champion.

5. Megumi Fujii

Megumi Fujii is one of the greatest female MMA fighters in the world from Japan.

She competed in MMA from 2004 to 2013.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA- Megumi Fujii
Megumi Fujii (Source: EDGE MMA – Fandom)

During her time in the ring, Fuji defeated several veteran international MMA fighters like Lisa Ellis, Sarah Schneider, and Carla Esparza. With that, she became the leading MMA fighter in the Shooto, Smackgirl, and Bellator events.

In her MMA career, Fuji won 22 bouts straights without a single defeat. And she is the second fighter (male or female) to have a career of 22 straight wins in MMA history.

She has a record of 29 matches fought, 26 won (1 KO, 19 submissions, six decisions), and three losses.

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4. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is an MMA fighter from Poland who competes in the UFC.

Jedrzejczyk made her MMA debut in 2012 with the SFT- MMA Fight Night Diva SPA event, which was held in Poland.

In 2014, the UFC signed her as its fighter.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA- Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Source: Soul Artist Management)

In 2015, Jedrzejczyk became the UFC’s Strawweight Champion beating Carla Esparza with TKO during the second round of the match. Besides, she became the first European female MMA UFC Champion and the first Polish to win the UFC title.

From March 2015 to May 2017, she held the title of UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.

To date, Jedrzejczyk has fought 20 matches, won 16 (4 KO, one submission, 11 decisions), and lost 4 of them.

Further, she holds the record for most strikes landed by a female MMA fighter with 225.

3. Ronda Rousey

Holding the 3rd spot is one of the greatest defenders in MMA history.

Ronda Rousey, famous as “Rowdy,” is a former MMA fighter and Hall of Famer from UFC.

She competed in MMA from 2010 to 2016. Currently, Rousey fights in WWE Smackdown.

Rousey changed the game for Women’s MMA forever by being the first-ever UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion on 23rd Feb 2013.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA- Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey (Source: NBC News)

Rousey beat Liz Carmouche by armbar submission during the first round of the UFC 157 match.

On 3rd March 2013, she became Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion by beating Meisa Tate with an armbar submission during the third round of the match.

Besides, Rousey has the most defenses by a female fighter in UFC with 6. Whereas she is the only female fighter to get inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018.

During her time in the ring, Rousey fought 14 matches, won 12 (3 KO, nine submissions), and lost 2 of them.

2. Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes, famous as “The Lioness,” is one of the greatest female fighters in MMA from Brazil.

Nunes made her MMA debut in 2008 with Prime MMA Championship 2. Currently, she competes in the UFC.

She stormed in the UFC by gaining victories over some of the very best fighters in MMA, from Rousey, Cyborg to Shevchenko.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA- Amanda Nunes
Amanda Nunes (Source: Wikipedia)

In 2016, Nunes became UFC’s first openly gay Bantamweight Champion by defeating Meisha Tate. She won the bout by rear-naked choke on Teta during the first round of the match.

After two years, Nunes claimed UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion title by knocking out Cris Cyborg in mere 51 seconds during the first round of the UFC 232 match.

To date, she has fought 26 matches, won 21 (13 KO, four submissions, four decisions), and lost 5 of them.

Besides, she has the most KO wins, and stoppage wins in UFC Women’s Bantamweight division with 6 and 8, respectively.

1. Cris Cyborg

At the top comes one of the most feared women fighters on the planet.

Cris Cyborg is an MMA fighter from Brazil who competes in Bellator MMA. Besides, she is one of the greatest female featherweights of all time.

Cyborg made her MMA debut with Showfight 2 in 2005 when she was just 19 years old.

Greatest Female Fighters in MMA- Cris Cyborg
Cris Cyborg (Source: The Sun)

Her first world featherweight title came from Strikeforce in 2009 when she defeated Gina Carano by TKO during the first round of the match.

In 2013 and 2020, she went to win her second and third world featherweight titles from Invicta FC and UFC.

To date, Cyborg has fought 28 matches, won 25 (20 KO, one submission, four decisions), and lost 2 of them.

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