The top 10 female UFC fighters of all time includes many active fighters but spotting the best UFC fighters is not always so simple. With a roster of over 200 talented, female MMA fighters, it can be difficult to stand out in an ocean of world class competition. Fighters are constantly on the rise and new contenders are eager to prove themselves.
These are 10 of the top standouts that have entertained the masses while dominating their divisions. So, who are the top 10 female UFC fighters of all time? Check below to find out.
#10 Carla Esparza (19-6-0)
nickname: “Cookie Monster”
origin: Torrance, CA
born: Oct 10, 1987
Having beaten Rose Namajunes for the Strawweight Championship, at UFC 274, Carla Esparza is the UFC’s #6 ranked pound for pound fighter and current Strawweight champion. Carla has won her last six straight bouts, and secured a decision win over the former champion, at UFC 274 on May 7th, 2022.
Carla Esparza is the first UFC women’s Strawweight Champion, the first Invicta FC Strawweight Champion, an Ultimate Fighter contestant, and a competitor in the first Bellator women’s tournament. She is known for strong wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. An obvious contender for the best female fighter under any promotion.
#9 Zhang Weili (21-3-0)
origin: Handan, China
born: August 13, 1989
Zhang Weili is the first UFC Chinese champion, the former Strawweight Champion, and the #1 contender in the Strawweight division. She has a strong record at 21-3-0, though she has recently lost to Namajunas, by split decision, who she defeated by knockout just months prior. A rubber band match is in order before the rankings between these two fighters can be definitive.
Zhang Weili is ranked #5 on the UFC pound for pound rating and it’s easy to see why after her brutal KO victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk. A couple more performances like that and Zhang Weili could end up holding the belt and shaking up these rankings.
#8 Jessica Andrade (22-9-0)
nickname: “Bate Estaca”
origin: Umuarama, Brazil
born: Sept 25, 1991
Jessica Andrade is #6 on the pound for pound list in the UFC. She has notable wins over many of the talented fighters in her division, including a second-round knockout of Namajunas,a first round KO/TKO over #11 ranked Cynthia Calvillo and now the first ever standing arm triangle submission over #10 ranked Amanda Lemos.
This Brazilian MMA veteran is a Muay Thai specialist who has stopped her opponents in 17 of her 22 victories. It would be no surprise to anyone if she were to have another title shot in this stacked, Strawweight division.
#7 Ronda Rousey (12-2)
origin: Riverside, CA USA
born: February 1, 1987
Ronda Rousey is the first, and currently the only, female UFC Hall of Famer. She is a Judo and submission specialist who finished every one of her victories by way of submission or knockout. Ronda Rousey has been the perfect storm of charisma and talent that has helped catapult the fandom for women’s mixed martial arts. She held the Bantamweight belt for 3 years, defending it an impressive seven times.
In addition to Ronda’s impressive MMA career, she was an Olympic judo competitor and has even held a title in the WWE. She played a large part in getting women’s MMA where it is today, which is another reason Ronda has earned her spot as one of the top 10 female UFC fighters of all time.
#6 Holly Holm (14-5-0)
nickname: “The Preacher’s Daughter”
origin: Albuquerque, NM
born: October, 17, 1981
Holly Holm is the UFC’s #9 pound for pound contender, and the #3 ranked Bantamweight, behind Nunes, Pena and now Vieira (see Fight Night results here). She is known for putting a stop to the domination that Ronda Rousey had in the division. Holly Holm has even been inducted into the International boxing hall of fame.
This southpaw currently fights out of Jackson Wink MMA Academy. She has racked up awards in boxing, kickboxing and MMA alike. At one time she has held the UFC Bantamweight championship and the Legacy FC Women’s Bantamweight championship.
#5 Rose Namajunas (12-4-0)
origin: Milwaukee, WI
born: June 29,1992
Rose Namajunas has won 8 of her 13 fights by way of stoppage. She is a two time champion in her Strawweight division. She is currently the #4 UFC ranked pound for pound fighter, and she has notable wins over tough talented fighters like Zhang and Andrade.
Recently, Rose lost the Strawweight championship to Carla Esparza, the #2 ranked challenger at the time, on May 7th 2022. The fight was a lack luster affair and the decision loss had more to do with a flaw in the scoring system than in proving the better fighter of the night. Thug Rose is a great fighter with a bright future in the sport and undoubtedly one of the top 10 female UFC fighters of all time.
#4 Amanda Nunes (21-5-0)
nickname: “The Lioness”
born: May 30, 1988
Amanda Nunes, at the time of this writing, is the UFC second ranked pound for pound fighter and the current Featherweight Champion. She has defeated Valentina Shevchenko twice. Once at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016, and again on September 9, 2017.
Nunes has been steamrolling competitors in her division for nearly a decade. With wins over Meisha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Chris Cyborg, Holly Holm, and two wins over the UFC’s pound for pound best female fighter, Valentina Shevchenko, Amanda Nunes would seem the obvious case for the best female MMA fighter of all time. However, a recent second-round submission loss to Julianna Pena must be taken into consideration. Possibly booked for UFC 277 on July 30, 2022.
#3 Cristiane Justino (21-2-0)
nickname: “Cris Cyborg”
origin: Curitiba, Parana Brazil
Though no longer fighting for the UFC, an article like this one can not serve it’s audience well without bringing “Cris Cyborg” into the conversation. She is the only fighter to have held belts in Bellator, UFC, Invicta, and Strikeforce.
She had 7 of her fights in the UFC, from 2016 to 2019. One of those fights resulted in a first round knockout loss to Amanda Nunes. Since leaving the UFC Cyborg has gone on to win the Bellator championship where she is still the defending champion and Bellator’s #1 women’s pound for pound best fighter. Though she had her fall out with the organization, Cristiane Justino was at one time, one of the top 10 female UFC fighters of all time.
#2 Julianna Pena (12-4-0)
nickname: “The Venezuelan Vixen”
origins: Spokane, WA
born: August 19, 1989
Julianna Pena is the UFC #4 pound for pound contender and the current Bantamweight champion. Pena is still a no brainer for one of the top UFC women fighters. Pena boasts wins over Cat Zingano, and Amanda Nunes in December 11, 2021 at UFC 269 by submission. One of her losses came by none other than the UFC’s pound for pound champion pick Amanda Shevchenko.
With most of her fights being won by KO or submission, Julianna Pena is a headliner worth tuning in for. Most recently she has secured a second round submission win over Amanda Nunes securing her place as one of the UFC’s best fighters.
#1 Valentina Shevchenko (22-3-0)
origin: Kyrgyz, Peruvian, Russian
born: March 7, 1988
Valentina Shevchenko, at the time of this writing, was ranked the UFC women’s Pound for Pound #1 and the current UFC Flyweight champion. With an impressive 23-3 record, Valentina has won all of her last 9 fights, with 7 title defenses. She has a kickboxing style with a precise counter ability that makes her a hard opponent to deal with.
Though she has suffered three losses in the UFC, only two fighters have been able to solve this riddle. She has lost two decisions to Amanda Nunes, however, since then she has been running through her division. With nearly half of her wins coming by way of knockout. Shevchenko has earned her fandom and we find it hard to disagree. Which is why she remains our pick for the best female UFC fighter.
Feel like we’re missing someone? Feel free to give us your list or argue the legitimacy of ours. Thank you for choosing The MMA Beatdown for your source for Mixed Martial Arts news.