While Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is seen by many as a brutal male-dominated sport, there are plenty of ladies who’ve risen to the challenge and earned their own professional titles. And though Female MMA may have originally starting in Japan, it is now a worldwide recognised artform that includes ladies across many continents. Without further ado, here are the top MMA female fighters to date.
This Brazilian fighter takes no prisoners, and since April 2021, she is the current UFC Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion in the women’s division. She has defeated some of the top well-known female MMA fighters including Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, and Cris Cyborg. She is particularly noteworthy for having successfully defended her two titles in two different divisions – at the same time – and has incredible record of only four losses to her name so far with 21 wins.
Japanese fighter Satoko Shinashi is widely regarded as the absolute best MMA fighter in Japan and is considered to be a submission expert, since this is how she’s retained her winning streak. She won the Smackgirl Lightweight Championship as well as the Deep Women’s Flyweight Championship, and while she retired briefly in 2008 when she became pregnant, she’s been back on the scene since 2014. She’s had five fights since then and has been the victor in each of them. Her record stands so far at 24 wins, 1 draw, and only 2 losses.
This American fighter, now retired, has fought mainly in the UFC in the Bantamweight Division for women, but has impressively won her MMA debut for King of the Cage, and retains the record as the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the category of Judo. She has beaten some top names including Meisha Tate and Sarah Kaufman and was the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018. Her current record is 12 wins with two losses.
A retired Dutch fighter, Marloes Coenen has won the Women’s Bantamweight title after beating Sarah Kaufman as part of the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. A notable grappling expert, she has statistically won 74% of her fights by submission, and in 2000 she won the ReMix World Cup, making her the first ever female to win a MMA championship. Her record stands at 23 wins and eight losses.
A Brazilian-American fighter, Cristiane Justino who is better known as Cris Cyborg is one of the most impressive MMA fighters to date. She is the current Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion, and has the UFC, Invicta FC and Strikeforce Featherweight Champion under her belt. She defended her title against Hiro Yamanaka but it was stripped from her after she was discovered to test positive for anabolic steroids. She went on from that to win the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship and only recently lost it to Amanda Nunes. Her record so far is 23 wins, two losses, and one no contest.