MMA isn't just dominated by men. Although it started and was known to be a men's sport, women began to invade the sport. These women are a great example of how women can do what men can too. For years it's become a norm for everyone, especially MMA fans, to see women fighting in the Octagon like men.
As the events of the sport continue, more and more women are entering the sport both in the Octagon and at home, supporting their favorite female fighter. To give you an update on who among these women are the best, here is the latest ranking of the MMA Women Class this year.
Pound-for-women's pound ranking 2020
1. Amanda Nunes
Amanda Nunes is in both the bantamweight and featherweight division of the UFC. She started in the featherweight category in 2008 before entering the bantamweight category in 2011.
She has recorded a total of 20 wins and four losses during her UFC career. Nunes is nicknamed the "Lioness" because she portrays the dominance and strength of a lion, with many calling her the greatest fighter of all time. She is the go-to fighter in the UFC women's class due to her spectacular performance in the Octagon.
2. Zhang Weili
Zhang Weili is in the strawweight division of the UFC women's class. She has a record of 21 wins and one loss. Weili is a Chinese fighter who had a long, difficult journey to achieve stardom.
After winning against Jessica Andrade of Brazil, Weili became the first Chinese woman to become a UFC world champion. She is truly a pride of her country, and she continues to be so by defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk again on March 8 in Las Vegas.
3. Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina Shevchenko is a Muay Thai specialist who defended her UFC flyweight title on November 21 after beating contender Jennifer Maia. She was the 125 pounds weight class champion ever since she beat Jedrzejczyk in 2018.
Shevchenko was out of the game for a good nine months with a medial collateral ligament injury she acquired with her fight against Katlyn Chookagian. Upon her return, she proved to the UFC League and her fans that even though she suffered an injury and was out for a few months, she still had the power to dominate her opponents.
4. Rose Namajunas
Rose Namajunas, with nine wins and four losses in the strawweight division, is the most generous fighter in the UFC. Namajunas, 28, refuses to denigrate his rivals, which is bizarre in MMA. MMA is known not only for the best fighters, but also for its trashy talk and rivalry. However, Namajunas refuses to play this kind of game.
Namajunas was the strawweight champion until Jessica Andrade stole the title from her last 2019. She was devastated but was trying her best to get better. Namajunas had a chance to make up for the setback and won by split decision over Andrade in their rematch last July.
5. Jessica Andrade
Jessica Andrade is in a three-weight UFC class: bantamweight, flyweight and strawweight. She presented a dangerous victory over Rose Namajunas via Knockout, where she stole the strawweight title from Namajunas.
However, in the scheduled rematch with Namajunas, the former defending champion took his revenge and got it back. But what stuck on the minds of all fans and pundits is how she knocked out Namajunas in their first match, as Andrade describes a dangerous and frightening victory.
Other notable women in the UFC
Here are other amazing women from the UFC who placed sixth through fifteenth:
- Joanna Jędrzejczyk - Strawweight class - 16 wins and four losses
- Germaine de Randamie - Bantamweight class - 10 wins and four losses
- Holly Holm - Bantamweight class - 14 wins and 5 losses
- Aspen Ladd - Bantamweight class - 9 wins and 1 loss
- Cynthia Calvillo - Flyweight class - 9 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw
- Nina Ansaroff - Strawweight class - 10 wins and 6 losses
- Katlyn Chookagian - Flyweight class - 15 wins and 4 losses
- Yan Xiaonan - Strawweight class - 13 wins and 1 loss
- Cláudia Gadelha - Strawweight class - 15 wins and 5 losses
- Julianna Peña - Bantamweight - 10 wins and 4 losses
Bet in the UFC
If you are betting for the UFC, it is best to search some more info about UFC betting before placing a bet. As well as knowing who the top ranked female fighters are, you will know which fighter ranked the best on the betting sites to compare with the list provided.
Keep in mind that the UFC is not just based on the overall performance of the fighter. Luck is also a factor in the outcome of the match. No matter how good you are at the sport, if luck is not on your side you will end up lying flat on the mat.
To take away
Every woman in the UFC had gone through tough training before she became what she is today. MMA is not an easy sport. It is a brutally physical sport that can put the life of every fighter in danger. But despite the context of the sport, women can still manage to be on top.
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For just over 3 years I have been training in Kung Fu and Muay Thai. Learning any martial art is a physically and mentally challenging process that takes years of practice to master. Here are 4 tips I wish I had known that can improve your training and reduce the time it takes between novice and grandmaster.
Flexibility is a fundamental trait of any good martial artist. Having this early on in your training will help boost you ahead for many reasons. Firstly, the more advanced techniques in martial arts require you to be extremely flexible, it’s to begin learning them without the required flexibility to do so, and thus you will be learning advanced moves earlier in your training if you’re already performing a perfect split. Secondly, you need to kick high, sometimes higher than your own head. If you’re training in a martial art that is fight orientated, such as kickboxing, being able to kick your opponent in the head is one of the best moves you have in your arsenal of attacks. If you are studying an art such as Kung Fu, flexibility will dramatically improve your technique in forms, helping you to score those extra points in competitions for your technical ability.
One of the best ways to learn, I have found, is directly from the horse’s mouth, in this case your master. Typically, in your classes, your master will demonstrate a technique that they want you to practice with a partner. If they don’t ask for volunteers before performing each technique, go ahead and tell them before the class starts that you would like to be involved in the demonstrations. This will help you get a real feel for what they’re trying to show you, as you can miss subtle techniques that may be out of your vision. Volunteering to be demonstrated on can seem scary, but remember that they are a master of what they do, and they won’t actually be performing the move with the intent to hurt you.
Hitting pads is good for when you’re learning a new move, but you will find you begin performing the technique in a much different way when faced with something that will hit back. Simple things like remembering to cover your head when throwing a kick or punch will become deuxième nature after being punished for dropping your guard, even for a split second. You may be asked or required to participate in a fighting tournament at some point of your martial arts journey, and the best way you can prepare for this is sparring. Remember that it is for the purpose of learning, not knocking each other out as quick as you can. You will begin to learn how to spot and react to your opponent’s openings, and how to defend against different moves. Forget being stronger or faster than your opponent, being an éclairé fighter is what will give you the advantage come fight night.
Your training doesn’t begin and end when you enter and leave the doors. My Kung Fu master always told us that “practice is good, but perfect practice makes perfect”. When you train at home make sure you are performing each technique properly, as if you were in chic, bad habits form fast and are extremely hard to be undone. Purchasing a large mirror is a great investment so you can analyse yourself at home. Also watching films of other people performing techniques will help you to see how different techniques should look when you’re not at class.
Did you set a new year resolution this year ? If so, do they happen to be martial arts related ? Do you think you will actually achieve them ?
Statistics for failed New Year’s resolutions run anywhere between 45-80%. Now that another new year is here, it’s time to focus and set our eyes back on the prize in order to not become part of this rather bleak data. to help you, on this post, I’ll be highlighting a couple personal tips that may help make both your short-term and long-term goals stick
Focusing on small milestones, following your détermination, challenging yourself, and finding what inspires you can help you make improvements for the rest year and meet or even surpass your martial arts goals and beyond !
You’re much more likely to stay motivated and make improvements if you’re doing something you enjoy. What is your absolute favorite thing to do at your martial arts school ? If you love to spar find ways to push yourself harder. Ask your instructor for pointers. Train with higher-ranking students. Seek out tournaments in your area for a challenge.
What if you’re doing what you love, and you’re already good at it, but you don’t know how to improve ? Avoid stagnation by digging deeper into your favorite activity. Find ways to go out of your comfort zone. Ask for help and feedback even in areas where you feel you are at your best. For example, if you enjoy doing forms, ask your instructor to work with you on finer details.
Play around with timing and emphasis. Enter or at least attend a tournament to see how other martial artists practice forms and see what you can learn from them. Seek out master classes, seminars, and clinics in your area. If you want some fun and relaxation while you practice consider taking a martial arts holiday.
Alternatively, you can also work on your training from the comfort of your own home by joining an online martial arts training. As you won’t even have to step foot outside, there’s simply no excuse not to keep up your practice !
Think about your long-term goals and then break it down into small milestones. Do you want to be able to do fifty push-ups in one set, but right now you can only do ten ? Don’t burn yourself out on day one trying to do all fifty. You may injure yourself or simply become discouraged that you can’t reach your goal immediately.
Slow down. Scale back. Try adding five extra push-ups per week, and over time you’ll build up the strength and stamina you need to meet your goal.
Maybe you have transferred schools and need to relearn the particular forms or self-defense techniques practiced at your new school. I have seen this happen with black belts and higher-ranking color belts who have transferred to my dojang. For example, a fellow black belt practiced Taeguk taekwondo forms at her old dojang, but now she needs to learn the Palgwe forms that we practice.
Rather than trying to learn everything at once, which will likely feel overwhelming, start with one technique or one form. Ask an instructor or another black belt for help. Watch films online. Move on to the next technique when you are able to perform the first one without any guidance or prompts.
Sometimes you have to do things in martial arts that you don’t enjoy as much but you still have to do due to coutume, chic schedules, and keeping your practice well-rounded. Martial arts may be the hardest thing you do, but it shouldn’t feel like drudgery. Think about what you don’t enjoy as much in chic or what you dread doing, and try to figure out why you avoid it. Perhaps you don’t like it because you’re not very skilled ( yet ), you don’t do it very often, you find it stressful, or you simply find it boring.
Challenge yourself. Find the “fun” in something that has simply felt like work. It’s easy to get better at something you enjoy and you’re naturally good at doing. Just think of how it will feel when you make improvements in an area where you have continuously struggled.
Leveraging your strengths can help you develop skills in areas where you struggle. For example, if sparring is particularly challenging, be mindful of other times when you use blocks or strikes such as in forms or self-defense. Make them as sharp and powerful as you would in a faster-paced sparring match. Ask your instructor to incorporate quick reaction drills into classes. Attend extra sparring classes, and if you are a black belt or higher ranking, attend lower ranking sparring classes and offer to coach or referee. Teaching a skill can help you make vast improvements in your own practice.