Who Are The Best Female UFC Fighters Of All Time?
28 October 2020
Nowadays, there is more to the UFC than just the men’s fights, as it has been the women’s bouts that have gained as much attention. Dana White revealed in the past that the UFC would never allow women bouts to be sanctioned, but that soon changed following the emergence of Ronda Rousey.
Since then, female MMA fighters have been a common sight in the main event, with some of the female UFC fighters even being touted among the best ever UFC stars. But, which past and present UFC women fighters are touted amongst the best of all-time?
Amanda Nunes is rightly regarded as one of the best UFC female fighters of all time and is the current champion in two different weights. Nunes is currently the pound-for-pound best female fighter, as she holds both the bantamweight and featherweight titles. In holding both titles, she is also only the third UFC fighter to successfully hold belts in two weight classes at the same time. Nunes is also the only female to have achieved this feat.
Nunes made her UFC debut back in 2013 with a victory over Shelia Gaff before she suffered her only UFC defeat against Cat Zingano in 2014. Since then, she has beaten every major star that there is to beat in the UFC, including Valentina Shevchenko, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. There is no denying that Nunes is one of the best female MMA fighters of all-time.
Despite the two biggest moments of her UFC career being defeats, it’s hard to forget how dominant Rousey was when she was at the peak of her powers. It’s fair to say, that there wouldn’t be as much attention on the female fight scene now if it wasn’t for the path that Rousey forged out for the UFC. She was the first-ever bantamweight champion, and she was involved in the first-ever women’s fight under the UFC banner when she beat Liz Carmouche at UFC 157.
Rousey still holds the record for the most title defences by a woman in UFC history and in 2018, she became the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. The popularity of women’s MMA increased with Rousey on the scene, as she main evented eight pay-per-views. She was the first global superstar of the female division, and she quickly became labelled one of the hottest UFC fighters female. She called time on her UFC career after defeat to Nunes in 2016, and since then has appeared in various movies and also won the WWE Women’s Championship.
When it comes to dominant UFC fighters, there aren’t many that have as much dominance across multiple brands as Cris Cyborg. Cyborg remains the only fighter male or female to have held championships across all four major MMA promotions, with her first success coming by winning the Strikeforce Featherweight Championship in 2009. She would then win the Invicta FC Featherweight title in 2013, before moving into the UFC in 2017 to win the Featherweight Championship in her third fight.
Her record is still phenomenal, as she has won 23 of her 26 fights. The only defeat that she suffered in UFC came against Amanda Nunes. Since leaving the UFC in 2019, she has gone on to win the Bellator Featherweight title, and there is even talk now that she could be targeting dominance in the boxing ring with a potential money-fight against unbeaten boxer Katie Taylor. However, Cyborg will be remembered for being one of the most frightening women in UFC history as she won by knockout in 18 of her 23 victories.
One of the other greats that is still competing in the UFC is Valentina Shevchenko. She is widely regarded as one of the best all-around fighters in the world, as she has competed in boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai as well as MMA. She is the reigning flyweight champion in the UFC, after capturing the belt by beating Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231. The reigning champion will also be worth a bet when making UFC picks on the latest action.
Shevchenko also rates highly on the pound-for-pound rankings, as she sits in the third position. She has an exceptional record at professional level, as he has won 19 of her 22 fights. Two of the defeats that she has suffered have come against Nunes, with both fights going the distance. Since that second defeat against Nunes, Shevchenko has won her last five fights in the UFC. There is still time for the 31-year-old to further her reputation, as she could soon be mentioned among the best of all-time if she continues to successfully defend her championship against the biggest names in the women’s division.