15 Greatest Female MMA Fighter of All Time

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Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a raw, hybrid full-contact cage sport incorporating techniques from many combat sports. In 1997, the first official female MMA fight happened in the USA since the numbers of women have established their legacy and achieved incredible milestones.

However, it was 2009 Strikeforce’s main event fight between Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano that changed women’s MMA.

Amanda Nunes Vs Cris Cyborg
Who is the greatest female MMA fighter ever (Source: Wikipedia)

Later, Ronda Rousey‘s dominance in the UFC served as jet fuel that thrust women’s MMA into the mainstream.

15 Greatest Female MMA Fighter of All Time

In the past, it would be pointless to list out the 15 best female MMA fighters. But now, it has become a difficult task, thanks to the top MMA promotion franchise. 

Likewise, the rise of women in MMA has given birth to some legendary names in whole combat sports. 

So, without further due, let’s rank out who is the greatest female MMA fighter to step up to 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 mixed martial artist. She is arguably the most highly regarded female MMA fighter outside the UFC.

All of her professional fights have been for the Singapore-based MMA promotion One Championship.

Likewise, in 2015 Angela became the youngest fighter (19 years) in MMA history to win the MMA world title, defeating Mei Yamaguchi for the One Women Atomweight title. 

After an impressive 9-0 run in her professional MMA career, she lost her first fight in 2019. 

However, she still holds the One Women Atomweight title and has already completed four title defenses. 

At present, she ranks 3rd in the female One Championship Women’s Strawweight division. 

Angela Lee was searched the most by the people in 2022 in march.

14. Julia Budd

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

Julia Budd is a Canadian professional MMA fighter and former kickboxer. Probably she is one of the best-underrated fighters in the MMA world.

Likewise, Julia has only lost three times in her professional career. That came in the hands of greats like Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey, and Chris Cyborg.

Over 10 years, she has competed in MMA promotion companies like Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator MMA.

Moreover, on 3rd March 2017, at Bellator 174, she became the first Bellator Women’s Featherweight champion after defeating Marloes Coenen. 

Currently, she is ranked 1 in women’s featherweight and 4th in women’s pound for pound in Bellator Women’s ranking. 

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

Read the full bio of this fighter: <<Amanda Nunes Bio: Record, Wife, Fight & Net Worth>>

13. Zhang Weili

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

Zhang Weili is a professional Chinese MMA fighter. After an amazing 16-1 record across China and  South Korea, she instantly impressed everyone in UFC. 

Moreover, in 2019 she became the first Chinese champion in UFC history after defeating Jessica Andrade by TKO in 42 seconds to win the UFC women’s strawweight title.

Zheng Weili
Zheng Weili at UFC 235 press conference (Source: Pinterest)

Later, in her title defense, Weili defeated former world champion Jonna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248. 

At present, she is the number 1 fighter in the women’s strawweight division and 4th in women’s pound or pound fighter in UFC. 

Zhang Weili was the most searched twice in the years 2021 and 2022.

12. Claudia Gadelha

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

Claudia Gadelha is a Brazilian professional MMA fighter. She currently fights in UFC but started her MMA career in Invicta FC

She made her UFC debut in season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2013. She later became the first UFC strawweight champion.

She was also named Fan Favorite Fighter of the Year the same year. She is currently ranked eighth in the strawweight division.

Claudia Gadelha was most searched in 2021 and was again slightly higher 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 currently competing n UFC. She is the first UFC female fighter to compete in 3 different weight classes.

Jessica fought in bantamweight for the first two years, later moving to strawweight. Later in 2020, she started fighting in the flyweight.

In Octagen, she has won a majority of her fights with knockouts and submissions. Moreover, she holds a record for most knockouts (3) in the female strawweight division. 

Jessica defeated Rose Namajunas by KO at UFC 237 main event on 11th May 2019 to win her only UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship. 

Currently, she ranks 1st in the female flyweight division and 6th in the UFC pound-for-pound ranking in the female category. 

Jessica Andrade was more searched in the year 2021 than Claudia Gadelha 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 an American professional MMA fighter currently competing in UFC. She also had an incredible boxing career defending her world title 18 times. 

She is cited as the best professional female boxer ever by BoxRec. Moreover, Holm is the first and the only fighter in history to win both boxing and UFC title.

UFC 193: Rousey vs Holm
Holly Holm, after defeating Ronda Rousey. (Source: Facebook)

Likewise, her breakout moment in UFC came on 15th November 2015 at UFC 193 in front of a record 56,215 audience in Melbourne when she TKO Ronda Rousey. 

She became the bantamweight champion and the first fighter to defeat Rousey. However, Holm lost her first title fight to Miesha Tate

Currently, she is ranked 8th in the UFC pound for pound in the UFC female ranking. 

This American professional MMA Fighter’s search was frequented in the year 2022 of July. 

9. Marloes Coenen

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

Marloes Coenen is a retired professional Dutch MMA fighter. Moreover, she is considered an O.G of female MMA.

In her 17 years as a pro, she competed in different MMA promotions, including Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator MMA.

In 2000, Marloes debuted in MMA at 19, recording 8 consecutive victories to win ReMix World Cup. 

Following her championship victory, she became the first female MMA champion. Later, in 2010 she also won Strike Women Bantamweight champion.

Coenen was well known for her grappling skills and won her 17 professional wins by submission. 

Marloes Coenen’s search varied drastically in the same year and was rarely constant and can be named as 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 an American professional MMA fighter. She made her professional MMA debut in Invicta FC after an undefeated amateur career. 

Later, in 2013 she was called up by UFC to compete in The Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, in the reality TV show, she lost in the final. 

The best moment of her career came in 2017 when she defeated Jona Jedrzejczyk to clinch the UFC Women’s Strawweight title. Likewise, in her first title defense, she again defeated Jedrzejczyk. 

Later, after her defeat to Jessica Andrade, she reclaimed the strawweight title after defeating Zhang Weili by KO.

Moreover, Namajunas is the first female in UFC to retain her championship title after losing it. 

Currently, she is ranked 3rd in women’s pound-for-pound fighter in UFC Women’s ranking.

Rose Namajunas’s search ratio is quite static, and it only raised twice in the last two years (2021-2022)

Read the full bio of this fighter: <<Rose Namajunas Bio: Pat Barry, Career, Net Worth & Thug Rose>>

7. Miesha Tate

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

Miesha Tate is an American professional MMA fighter. She retired in 2016 but returned to UFC again in 2021.

She is well known as the number 1 rival of Ronda Rousey, creating one of the greatest rivalries in UFC history.

Moreover, she is the first female fighter to drag Rousey to UFC history’s second and third rounds. 

Meisha Tate
Meisha Tate at UFC 205 press conference (Source: Facebook)

Tate has a somehow complex legacy. Although she held the bantamweight title in both UFC and Strike Force, Meisha never defended either one. 

Her final victory before her first retirement came on 5th March 2016 at UFC 196 when she defeated Holly Holm for UFC Women’s bantamweight championship. 

Meisha Tate’s search ratio has not been as static as Rose Namajunas and fluctuated variedly in the past two years, as we can see in the graph.

Miesha Tate's search graph (2021-2022)
Miesha Tate’s search graph (2021-2022) (Source: trends.google.com)

6. Valentina Shevchenko

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

Valentina Shevchenko is a professional Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian MMA fighter and former Muay Thai fighter. 

She is also considered one of the best Muay Thai fighters ever, having multiple world titles to her name.

Shevchenko made her professional MMA debut at the age of 15. Later in 2014, she signed for UFC. Moreover, her two defeats in UFC have come against Amanda Nunes. 

Currently, she is UFC women’s flyweight champion and has not lost after moving to the division. 

Since winning the title fight against Jonna Jedrzejczyk on 20th September 2018, she has successfully defended her title 5 times. 

Furthermore, Shevchenko holds the record for most successive wins (7) in UFC women’s flyweight division. 

Valentina Shevchenko’s graph is nowhere like Meisha Tate’s but just hiked twice in two years.

According to UFC women’s ranking, she is 2nd best pound-for-pound fighter. 

5. Megumi Fuji

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

Megumi Fuji would definitely get a spot in women’s MMA Mount Rushmore if there were one.

Across MMA, promotions like Shooto, Jewels, Smackgirl, and Bellator terrorized her opponent with her grappling strength and toughness. 

During Fuji’s professional MMA career, she had an impressive 22-fight winning streak before her first defeat at 36.

Later, she vanished like a ghost and has not fought since 2013 in the cage. Currently, Fuji is 44 years old, so an MMA return looks unlikely. 

Megumi Fuji’s search engine keeps hiking as it did a lot of 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 Polish professional MMA fighter and also a former Muay Thai fighter.

Before making her UFC debut, she was a 5-time muay Thai world champion. 

Later, within one year of her UFC debut, she claimed the UFC Strawweight title on 14th March 2015 at UFC 185 after defeating Carla Esparza

Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Joanna Jedrzejczyk, after retaining her title at UFC 205 (Source: Wikipedia)

She successfully defended her title 5 times before losing to Rose Namajunas in 2017.  Furthermore, Jedrzejczyk has many impressive records of her name.

She holds the record for most victory in UFC women’s strawweight (10) and most title matches in any UFC women’s weight class.

Likewise, Rose ranks 2nd in women’s strawweight and 5th in women’s pound for pound per UFC women’s ranking.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is not as popular as other women fighters as her search only hiked recently and was down last year in 2021.

Read the full bio of this fighter: <<Joanna Jedrzejczyk Bio: UFC, Net Worth, Husband & Engagement>>

3. Ronda Rousey

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

Ronda Rousey is an American former professional MMA fighter and wrestler. In 2015, ESPN ranked her as the best female athlete ever. 

The legacy of Rousey is unprecedented. She is the first woman to hold UFC and WWE world champion.

Furthermore, she is the first female UFC fighter, UFC champion, and UFC Hall of Fame Inductee. Previously, she also held Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title.

Before her shocking loss to Holly Holm in 2015, Rousey was on 10 fights winning streak. Moreover, she won most of her fights in less than 1 minute. 

Likewise, her 6 consecutive title fights rank the longest in UFC history. Similarly, she holds a record for most title defenses by women. 

Rousey’s resume speaks of her greatness. Thanks to her, women in combat sports are booming like never before. 

Ronda Rousey’s search has also been very dynamic in the last two years, and we didn’t measure any staticity in that.

2. Amanda Nunes

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

Amanda Nunes is a Brazilian professional MMA fighter. At present, she is the dominant force in MMA, ranking 1 in the UFC pound-for-pound women’s ranking.

Nunes is the holder of both UFC Women’s bantamweight and featherweight championships. Moreover, she is the first one in UFC history to achieve that milestone. 

Likewise, she holds the most wins in UFC (14) and title fights (9). Similarly, she has the most successive wins in UFC among females with 12. 

Furthermore, Nunes holds the longest UFC title reign in UFC history, holding a bantamweight title since 2016. 

By the time her career ends, she might even sit on the throne of the greatest female Mixed Martial Artist of all time. 

Amanda Nunes had her popularity in 2021, but it drastically hiked in 2022, and the masses are still searching for her.

Cris Cyborg

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

Cris Cyborg is Brazilian-American professional MMA fighter. Since losing on her professional debut, Cyborg has transformed herself into a beast.

Likewise, Cris went undefeated for 20 fights before losing to Amanda Nunes in 2018.

As of 2021, she ranks number 1 in the pound-for-pound ranking among Bellator women.

Cris Cyborg strong left hand punch over Holly Holm at UFC 219
Cris Cyborg’s strong left-hand punch over Holly Holm at UFC 219 (Source: Twitter)

Furthermore, Cyborg is the first fighter in MMA history to become a grand slam champion holding a world title across four different promotional franchises; Strikeforce, Invicta, UFC, and Bellator.

Although people may question her doping incident, she is still the greatest fighting machine for the octagon. 

Cris Cyborg had the same static search graph, which hiked twice in two years, and now it is still down.

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Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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