Less than a decade after female fighters started competing in the UFC, they already have gained the respect of the fight fans. From novelty, fights between women in the octagon have become main attractions in themselves. Women are now competing in a sport that is notioned to be exclusively for men.
UFC started to display women fighters’ combat skills in November 2012. Luckily, the experiment soon produced a charismatic and spectacular champion in the person of Ronda Rousey.
More and more strong women of equally colorful personalities followed Rousey’s footsteps. They kept coming and the competition soon excited the fans. Women’s fights have become so popular that the ever-growing number of followers are willing to part with their hard-earned just to have a chance to watch the female fighters who have conquered even the rich pay-per-view field. They have successfully made themselves money -making enterprises just like their male counterparts.
Among the members of this exclusive club are the five women pound-for-pound fighters in UFC. Who are they? Better check the list of FanDuel’s fight odds and see why they are among the most exciting ones.
Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes
Amanda Nunes, also called “The Lioness”, is one of the strongest female fighters of UFC as of date. Today she is the top rated among women’s pound-for-pound mixed martial artists and is the women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion, making her the only woman in UFC history who has ruled two divisions.
She is from Brazil and was born on May 30, 1988. Her height is 5’8 and weighs 135 lb or 61 kg. She mastered different kinds of martial arts such as boxing, brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, capoeira, muay thai, and karate. She is also openly gay and is married to Nina Ansaroff. She is a slugger, she is very strong and aggressive. She dominates her opponents by her punches until her opponents submit.
After Ronda Rousey, she became the most dominant female fighter to have entered the octagon. In fact, she beat Ronda Rousey after only 48 seconds in the first round, although Rousey had already suffered her first loss by then, losing her championship in the process. But it was her match with Valentina Zhevchenko that made her more prominent in championship matches. Although her first match in UFC with Ana Maria India was a loss, she still did not give up and she became the top pound-for-pound fighter with the record of 18-4.
Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko
Zhevchenko, also known as “The Bullet”, is a Peruvian-Krygyz that was born on March 7, 1988. Her height is 5’5 feet and she weighs 125 lbs/57 kgs and is the current holder of Women’s Flyweight Championship title. Her record is 20-3.
Her beauty and demeanor would not distinguish her as a fighter. Although, unlike other fighters who are more emotional when they are in a match, Zhevchenko is calm and cool when she is in the octagon.
She is mostly a kickboxer but is also a puncher, she has no weakness and is well-rounded with different kinds of martial arts. She is a master in muay thai, kickboxing, MMA, taekwondo, boxing, and judo. Her significant fights include one with Joanna Jedzerczyk where she displayed her well-timed kicks and punches.
Zhang “Magnum” Weili
Another fighter to look out for is Zhang Weili, who is also called “Magnum.” She hails from China and was born on August 13, 1988. Her height is 5’4 and her weight is 115 lbs. She is the Women’s Strawweight champion as of date and her fight record is 21-1.
Magnum is a strong puncher and is very patient yet very strong when she is in a match. To prove her strength, she beat former champion Joanna Jedrzejcyk so thoroughly that Joanna suffered serious head injury that caused her face to be beyond recognition.
Rose “Thug” Namajunas
Namajunas, also known as “Thug”, is a quiet fighter who looks and moves like a ramp model sans an elegant dress. She hails from Wisconsin, USA and was born in June, 19, 1992. Her height is 5’5 and her weight is 115 lbs. Her record is 9-4.
Her style is like Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do style with her in-and-out fighting movement just like an Olympic fencer going for the gold medal. Her fighting style allowed perfect timing for her attacks while throwing off her opponent’s.
Coming from Olszty, Poland, Jedrzejczyk was born on August 18, 1987. Her height is 5’6 and her weight is 115 lbs, hence she belongs to the strawweight weight class. Her record is 16-4 and was perceived as unbeatable until she met Namajunas for the championship. Joanna’s a great disservice that night apparent overconfidence did her disservice that night. Nevertheless, Joanna is still considered today as one of the best contenders of her division.
Many women fighters can now match men’s popularity when it comes to MMA. Their pay-per-views are also crowded and were well anticipated by UFC fans. They have their own techniques and matching styles that made them not just a side track for the fans, but are also recognized as the main attraction as well by the MMA industry.