These are the Pro MMA Now women’s bantamweight (135 lbs) rankings updated on May 24, 2016.
1. Miesha Tate (18-5)
Miesha has been unstoppable, she has been undefeated for the past 2 years. She would win 4 straight matches, which included victories over top rated bantamweights like Sara McMann and Jessica Eye, before receiving a well-deserved title shot. She would go on to defeat the hot favorite Holly Holm by choking her out in round 5 and would hence claim the UFC women’s bantamweight title. She is scheduled to defend her title against rising bantamweight Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. If she manages a victory, she is eyeing a rematch against long-time rival Ronda Rousey. Tate has thus claimed the well-earned title of the best female bantamweight fighter.
2. Holly Holm (10-1)
After stunning the world by knocking out Ronda Rousey at UFC 193, Holly Holm looked like she was ready to become the new star of women’s MMA. However, “The Preacher’s Daughter” would lose the belt to Miesha Tate by being choked out at UFC 196. The hard fought battle was turned around when Holly made a mistake and was caught in a vicious choke hold by “Cupcake”. Holly is now set to clash against world champion kickboxer Valentina Shevchenko on July 23, 2016 in the main event of the night. Holly is also in talks for two big matches which include a rematch with the former champ Ronda, and as a catchweight fight against Cris Cyborg. It looks like Holly has a tough year ahead and if she survives it she can go on to become an all-time great.
3. Ronda Rousey (12-1)
Ronda Rousey suffered her career’s first defeat at the hands of multiple time boxing champion Holly Holm. She had a great 2015 with both of her matches coming to an end in the very first minute of the fight. She even won the ESPY award for best female athlete. But her aura of invincibility was destroyed by “The Preacher’s Daughter” at UFC 196 where she was savagely knocked out by a head kick in round 2. Ronda is expected to fight for the title in her next bout, though the event at which she returns is not clear and neither is her opponent.
4. Tonya Evinger (18-5)
After completing 10 years in her MMA career Tonya Evinger has finally found her well-earned glory inside the Invicta FC cage. She is on a nine fight winning streak and has defeated some of the top contenders in the bantamweight division. She recently locked horns against fellow veteran Colleen Schneider and won by a unanimous decision. Her last defeat came way back in 2011. It is quite surprising that she, the Invicta FC bantamweight champ, and Miesha Tate, the UFC women’s bantamweight champ, hold the same record. Let’s see what awaits “Triple Threat”.
5. Amanda Nunes (12-4)
Nunes is on a 3 fight win streak. “Lioness” holds victories over world champion kickboxer Valentina Shevchenko and Olympic silver medallist Sara McMann. She has won 4 of her last 5 matches and she holds a UFC record 5-1, with her only loss in the octagon coming at the hands of Cat Zingano. Hence she was awarded a title shot at UFC 200 against Miesha Tate.
6. Julianna Pena (7-2)
Julianna Pena has gone on to become a sensation. Since winning The Ultimate Fighter season 18, “The Venezuelan Vixen” has been unstoppable. She had an amazing 2015 with a knockout victory over Milana Dudieva and her career’s biggest win when she defeated Jessica Eye at UFC 192. Julianna now holds a UFC record of 3-0. She was sidelined due to arrest but now is set to fight the returning and former title challenger Cat Zingano at UFC 200.
7. Sara McMann (8-3)
Sara McMann had her career’s first submission loss when she succumbed to Amanda Nunes in the very first round at their match in August. The Olympic silver medallist is for the first time in her career on a losing streak. She didn’t have a good 2015 as she lost to Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes and in both the fights she was out-grappled but she still holds victories over Tonya Evinger and Lauren Murphy.
8. Valentina Shevchenko (12-2)
The kickboxing world champ made a super UFC debut when she defeated Sarah Kaufman on short notice. But her march to the title shot came to an end when she ran into the Brazilian “Lioness” Amanda Nunes and lost the fight via unanimous decision. Shevchenko has however shown a display of badass kickboxing and has a decent ground game. Now “Bullet” is getting ready for her career’s biggest match as she locks horns with the decorated boxer and former champion Holly Holm. Both strikers suffered their first octagon losses at the same UFC 196 event. Now Valentina has a golden opportunity to get a title shot if she manages to stop Holly.
9. Raquel Pennington (7-5)
Raquel has been one of the most dominating forces in the women’s bantamweight division. She is the only fighter who has been able to face Holly Holm while keeping the game on feet, though she did drop a split decision to her. Raquel is currently on a two fight win streak and most recently defeated former title challenger Bethe Correia. Her ground game too has improved as she showed a display of super grappling when she made Jessica Andrade tap out in the second round of their fight. She is now taking a break before she returns for her next bout.
10. Lauren Murphy (9-2)
Lauren Murphy lost consecutive matches to Sara McMann and Liz Carmouche in 2014 and 2015 and was for the first time in her career on a losing streak. However, she rebounded in February of this year when she knocked out Kelly Faszholz in round 3 and picked up a performance of the night bonus for her efforts. She has recovered from her losses and is now open to any fight.