MMA is a complete cage-fighting activity that incorporates several martial arts styles. In addition to takedowns and grappling, the sport permits a variety of striking methods. In the past 20 years, mixed martial arts has increased in popularity and is now one of the most televised sports in the world. The excellence displayed by the boxers is what has caused this rapid expansion. Here are the top female MMA fighters of all time. A few legends in women’s MMA have distinguished themselves above the rest.
When Amanda Nunes defeated Shayna Bazler in 2016, it marked the beginning of her 12-fight winning run. Nunes had a 3-2 record during her first five UFC fights. Before then, she previously competed in Strike Force and Invicta FC. Following her victory in 2015, the Brazilian fighter embarked on what is perhaps the most dominant run in women’s MMA history, winning matches over elite competitors including Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, and Holly Holm. She is the third UFC fighter, male or female, to consecutively hold belts in two weight divisions and the first female MMA martial artist to become a two-division UFC champion. Nunes will continue to rule the MMA scene, despite her shocking defeat to Julianna Pea in 2021.
Another Brazilian, Cris Cyborg, is ranked second among all-time greats in women’s mixed martial arts. She is a quadruple MMA champion fighter (UFC, Bellator MMA, Invicta FC, Strikeforce) and a two-time world jiu-jitsu champion. After a defeat in her opening match in 2005, Cyborg embarked on a dominant streak that brought her 21 consecutive victories, five of which were in the UFC, including a win over Holly Holm at UFC 219. In the heavily exciting matchup against Amanda Nunes in 2018, she suffered only her second defeat overall and her first in the UFC as she was knocked out in under a minute. After that defeat, she piled up another five victories, increasing her overall record to 25-2.
Valentina Shevchenko, still competing after 22 victories in her career, is regarded as the best female MMA fighter in the flyweight division. Her record in the UFC is 11 wins and two defeats, all of which she suffered when competing against Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko and Katlyn Chookagian share the most UFC Women’s Flyweight Division championships. Shevchenko also participated in boxing matches in Peru because she was born there.