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The greatest female MMA fighters of all time

Cris Cyborg
The greatest female MMA fighters of all time. Photo/ MMA Junkie - USA Today.
  • The International Fighting Championships held the first female MMA fight between Becky Levi and Betty Fagan in 1997.
  • Since then, we have seen several women fighters who have really impressed the fans with their fighting skills. 
  • The greatest female MMA fighters are in the history books due to their outstanding performances in the ring. 

The greatest female MMA fighters have etched their names in the history books with their dominant performance in the octagon ring.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact cage sport where fighters incorporate techniques from different combat sports.

MMA was initially a sport for men. It was until March 1997 that females began to fight officially in the octagon ring.

The International Fighting Championships held the first female MMA fight between Becky Levi and Betty Fagan. Since then, we have seen several top female fighters who have set records in the combat sport.

Here, we will rank the greatest female MMA fighters of all time.

10. Holly Holm

Holly Holm currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where she is a former Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

Holly Holm

Holly Holm. Photo/ ESPN.

Nicknamed The Preacher’s Daughter, Holm has an MMA record of 14-6. The 40-year-old has the notable distinction of being the first fighter to hold a UFC title and a world-boxing title. 

9. Marloes Coenen 

Marloes Coenen is undoubtedly one of the greatest female MMA fighters of all time. During her 17 years in the octagon ring, Coenen recorded 23 wins and eight losses. 

She began her MMA career in 2000 at the age of 19. The Dutch fighter competed in various promotions such as Invicta FC, Strikeforce and Bellator MMA. 

8. Rose Namajunas 

Rose Namajunas made her professional MMA debut in Invicta FC. She later joined UFC, where she won the UFC Women’s Strawweight title in 2017. 

The American international is the first female in UFC to retain her championship title after losing it. 

Nicknamed Thug, Namajunas is ranked number 2 in the UFC women’s strawweight rankings as of November 14, 2022. She is also ranked fifth in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings. 

7. Miesha Tate 

Miesha Tate competed between 2007 and 2016, then announced her retirement from MMA. However, she made a return in 2021 and has since been active.

Miesha Tate

Miesha Tate. Photo/ Bloody Elbow.

Nicknamed Cupcake, Tate has a complex legacy as she is among the greatest female MMA fighters in history. 

She is the first female to drag Ronda Rousey to UFC history’s second and third rounds. Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey created one of the greatest rivalries in UFC history during their prime days. 

6. Valentina Shevchenko 

Valentina Shevchenko has been an active MMA fighter since 2008. She made her professional MMA debut at the age of 15. 

The former Muay Thai fighter is the current UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion. 

Nicknamed Bullet, Valentina holds the record for most successive wins (7) in UFC women’s flyweight division. 

5. Megumi Fuji 

Megumi Fuji competed between 2004 and 2013. She has an MMA record of 26 wins and three losses. 

The legend is well known for her toughness and grappling strength, which she used to terrorize opponents in promotions such as Shooto, Bellator and Smackgirl. 

4. Joanna Jedrzejczyk 

Joanna Jedrzejczyk has been an active MMA fighter since 2012. Before joining UFC, the Polish international was a five-time Muay Thai world champion.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Photo/ MMA Junkie – USA Today.

She won her first UFC title, the UFC Strawweight, just one year after joining the promotion. Among her many impressive records, Joanna boasts the most successive wins at strawweight, 8. 

3. Ronda Rousey 

Ronda Rousey, nicknamed Rowdy, is undoubtedly one of the greatest female MMA fighters of all time. The living legend is the first female UFC fighter, UFC champion and UFC hall of Fame Inductee. 

She left UFC in 2016 and joined WWE, where she is also making her name for herself. Rousey is the first woman to hold titles at UFC and WWE. 

2. Amanda Nunes 

As of August 1, 2022, Amanda Nunes is ranked number 1 in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings. 

The Brazilian international is the current UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion and Bantamweight Champion. 

Amanda Nunes has the most wins in UFC, 14, and title fights, 9. 

1. Cris Cyborg 

Cris Cyborg is the first fighter in MMA history to be recognized as a grand slam champion, holding a world title in four different promotions – Bellator, UFC, Invicta and Strikeforce.

Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg. Photo/ MMA junkie – USA Today.

With such an amazing record, Cris Cyborg is undoubtedly the greatest female MMA fighter of all time. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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