Top 15 Greatest Female UFC Fighters of All Time

Top Female UFC Fighters

There was once a time when UFC president Dana White stated that there would never be female UFC fighters. Everything changed in 2012, when the UFC bought the Strikeforce MMA promotion – bringing women fighters onto the UFC roster for the very first time.

Nowadays, female UFC fighters are an integral part of the sport. Since 2012, they have left an indelible mark on the sport of MMA and have provided fans with some of the most memorable moments in UFC history.

As a diehard fan of UFC since the early days, I have had the privilege of watching the organization grow and expand over time. The UFC’s inclusion of women in 2012 changed the landscape of the fight game forever, allowing female fighters to carve out their spot in MMA history.

These are my top picks for the top 15 greatest female UFC fighters of all time.

15. Carla Esparza

Carla Esparza

Nationality: American

Birthday: October 10, 1987

Weight Class: Strawweight

MMA Record: 19-7

Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza is a two-time UFC women’s strawweight champion known for her relentless wrestling. She was the division’s inaugural champion when she defeated Rose Namajunas in The Ultimate Fighter 20 finale on December 12, 2014. Ironically, she reclaimed her strawweight title against Namajunas a second time 8 years later at UFC 274 – 2,612 days between title reigns, a UFC record.

Esparza’s wrestling has made her a fixture of female UFC fighters, leading the UFC women’s strawweight division in takedowns with 44. She is also tied with Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the most wins in the division’s history with 10.

14. Cat Zingano

Cat Zingano

Nationality: American

Birthday: July 1, 1982

Weight Class: Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight

MMA Record: 14-4

Cat Zingano is a pioneer of women’s MMA who made an indelible mark on the UFC when the promotion finally allowed female fighters to participate in the sport. She was the first woman in UFC history to win via TKO. Along with Miesha Tate, she was also the first woman to win “Fight of the Night” honors.

Zingano’s life in combat sports started at an early age. She began wrestling at twelve years old, going on to become a 4-time All-American and National Champion. Her wrestling pedigree made her a force to be reckoned with inside the UFC Octagon, and she continued her career in MMA by joining Bellator in 2020.

13. Mackenzie Dern

Mackenzie Dern

Nationality: American

Birthday: March 24, 1993

Weight Class: Strawweight

MMA Record: 13-3

Mackenzie Dern is a BJJ specialist who is currently the 7th ranked UFC strawweight. A multi-time world champion in BJJ, Dern is considered one of the strongest female submission artists on the UFC roster.

7 of Dern’s 13 wins have come via submission, including becoming the first woman in UFC history to win via kneebar. Dern currently holds the record for most submission victories by a UFC strawweight with 4, as well as the most submission attempts in the division’s history with 15.

12. Tatiana Suarez

Tatiana Suarez

Nationality: American

Birthday: December 19, 1990

Weight Class: Flyweight, Strawweight

MMA Record: 9-0

Sometimes referred to as the “female Khabib,” Tatiana Suarez is one of the fiercest wrestlers amongst female UFC fighters. A two-time World BJJ champion, Suarez currently sports an undefeated record, with an impressive 4 finishes in the UFC.

Injuries derailed Suarez’s career in 2019, but she recently made her return to the UFC on February 25, 2023, choking out her opponent with a guillotine in the second round. Despite the layoff, she catapulted herself into the top 10 of the strawweight division, with many expecting her to be a title contender sooner rather than later.

11. Holly Holm

Holly Holm

Nationality: American

Birthday: October 17, 1981

Weight Class: Bantamweight, Featherweight

MMA Record: 15-7

Holly “the Preacher’s Daugher” Holm is one of the most decorated strikers in women’s MMA history. Not only was she UFC women’s bantamweight champion, she was also a boxing and kickboxing champion, making her one of the most accomplished female fighters in history.

Holm’s knockout of Ronda Rousey to become bantamweight champion in 2015 remains one of the largest upsets in UFC history, known as the “head kick heard ‘round the world.” That performance won her the 2015 Upset of the Year, Knockout of the Year, and Newcomer of the Year honors.

Despite being 41 year old, Holm is still competing in the UFC, coming off a victory over Yana Santos in her last bout. Her notable victories include Irene Aldana, Raquel Pennington, and Megan Anderson.

10. Miesha Tate

Miesha Tate

Nationality: American

Birthday: August 18, 1986

Weight Class: Flyweight, Bantamweight

MMA Record: 19-9

Miesha “Cupcake” Tate is a pioneer of women’s MMA whose rivalry with Ronda Rousey helped popularize female fighters. She was the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion and became UFC women’s bantamweight champion when she choked out Holly Holm at UFC 196 in 2016.

UFC President Dana White cites Tate’s rivalry with Rousey as one of the reasons why women’s MMA became successful. Although she lost to Rousey twice, she was able to secure her UFC title by beating the woman who stopped Rousey.

Tate’s notable victories include Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Sara McMann, and Marion Reneau. Tate retired from MMA in 2016, but made her return to the UFC in 2021. She is expected to fight again in the summer of 2023.

9. Jessica Andrade

Jessica Andrade

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthday: September 25, 1991

Weight Class: Strawweight, Flyweight, Bantamweight

MMA Record: 24-11

Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade is a powerhouse Brazilian female UFC fighter who is known for her heavy punches and devastating slams. She is the only woman in UFC history to hold a victory in three different weight classes, having competed in the 115, 125, and 135 lbs categories.

Andrade became the UFC women’s strawweight champion when she dropped Rose Namajunas on her head at UFC 237 in 2019. Although she lost her belt to another fighter on this list of the greatest female UFC fighters, her accomplishments in the sport speak for themselves.

Andrade hold the record for the most fight bonuses in UFC women’s history with 9, as well as the most knockouts in the strawweight division’s history with 3. She has the second most wins for female UFC fighters with 15 and is second all-time for finishes with 8. As of 2023, she is the only fighter – man or woman – to win via standing arm-triangle choke in UFC history.

8. Alexa Grasso

Alexa Grasso

Nationality: Mexican

Birthday: August 9, 1993

Weight Class: Strawweight, Flyweight

MMA Record: 16-3

Alexa Grasso shocked the world by becoming the first female UFC fighter from Mexico to become champion when she submitted Valentina Schevchenko at UFC 285. A relentless boxer and submission artist, Grasso overcame the odds and defeated Schevchenko despite being a massive underdog, adding to her current 5-fight win streak.

In addition to being the current UFC women’s flyweight champion, Grasso also has the record for the third-most significant strikes thrown in a 3-found fight with 369, including both men and women. Her notable victories include Viviane Araujo, Maycee Barber, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

7. Weili Zhang

Weili Zhang

Nationality: Chinese

Birthday: August 13, 1989

Weight Class: Strawweight

MMA Record: 23-3

Zhang “Magnum” Weili is a two-time UFC strawweight champion, currently holding the belt after submitting Carla Esparza at UFC 281. Known for her dynamic striking, relentless pace, and creative grappling, Weili is the UFC’s first-ever champion from China.

Weili has provided UFC fans with some of the most memorable women’s MMA fights in history, including her legendary battle with Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 and her signature knockout performance against Jessica Andrade.

In addition to winning three Performance of the Night Bonuses, Weili was also’s 2022 Female Fighter of the Year, as well as the 2022 Comeback Fighter of the Year.

6. Rose Namajunas 

Rose Namajunas 

Nationality: American

Birthday: June 29, 1992

Weight Class: Strawweight

MMA Record: 11-5

Rose “Thug” Namajunas is a UFC fan-favorite who is a two-time UFC women’s strawweight champion. A fixture in the UFC’s strawweight division, Namajunas has defeated every strawweight champion in history, with wins over Jessica Andrade, Zhang Weili, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Namajunas started her run in the UFC by becoming the runner-up on TUF 20. She became UFC strawweight champion at UFC 217 in 2017 when she knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the first round. She dropped her belt against Jessica Andrade at UFC 237, but became the first female UFC fighter to regain her title after losing it when she reclaimed it against Zhang Weili at UFC 261.

Namajunas is currently tied with Jessica Andrade and Amanda Lemos for the most finishes in UFC strawweight history with 5. She has also won Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night three times each, and was ESPN’s 2017 Fighter of the Year.

5. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Nationality: Polish

Birthday: August 18, 1987

Weight Class: Strawweight, Flyweight

MMA Record: 16-5

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is considered by many MMA fans to be the greatest female strawweight in UFC history. A 5-time Muay Thai World Champion, Jedrzejczyk used her striking prowess to become the most decorated fighter in UFC strawweight history.

Jedrzejczyk became the UFC’s first Polish champion and first European female champion when she knocked out Carla Esparza at UFC 185 in 2015. She would go on to defend her belt 5 times, a UFC strawweight record.

Although she lost to the aforementioned Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang, Jedrzejczyk’s accomplishments are undeniable. She has the most title bout wins in UFC strawweight history with 6, as well as the most consecutive wins with 8. She holds the UFC record for most leg kicks landed in a fight with 78 and is tied with Carla Esparza for the most victories in the division’s history with 10.

Jedrzejczyk’s fight with Weili Zhang at UFC 248 is considered the greatest female fight in UFC history. Jedrzejczyk retired from MMA in 2022 after getting knocked out by Zhang in their rematch.

4. Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthday: July 9, 1985

Weight Class: Featherweight

MMA Record: 26-2

Cris Cyborg is considered by some to be the greatest female fighter in history. The only thing preventing her from being higher on the list of greatest female UFC fighters is her relatively short stint in the UFC; most of her accomplishments happened in other promotions.

Cyborg became the UFC’s women’s featherweight champion when she knocked out Tonya Evinger with knees at UFC 214. She would go on to defend her belt twice, with victories over Holly Holm and Yana Kunitskaya.

Cyborg is tied with Norma Dumont for the most victories in UFC women’s featherweight victories with 4, as well as the most knockouts in the division’s history with 2. She is currently the Bellator MMA women’s featherweight champion and was also a champion in Strikeforce and Invicta, making her one of the most successful female fighters in MMA history.

3. Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey

Nationality: American

Birthday: February 1, 1987

Weight Class: Bantamweight, Featherweight

MMA Record: 12-2

Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey is the female fighter responsible for making women’s MMA a global sensation. She was the first bonafide woman fighter superstar, bringing worldwide attention to the sport and proving that women could become just as big (or even bigger) stars than the men in the UFC.

Rousey’s extensive background in Judo set her up for a legendary run in the UFC. After winning a Bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Rousey joined the UFC with the Strikeforce merger in 2013. Rousey became the inaugural UFC women’s bantamweight champion. She won her first three fights via armbar, her signature move.

Rousey collected 6 consecutive wins in the UFC before losing her bantamweight title against Holly Holm in a massive upset at UFC 193. Rousey was the UFC’s first female champion, as well as the first woman inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. She defended her title 6 times and has the most submissions in the division’s history with 3.

2. Valentina Schevchenko

Valentina Schevchenko

Nationality: Kyrgyzstan, Peruvian, Russian

Birthday: March 7, 1988

Weight Class: Bantamweight, Flyweight

MMA Record: 23-4

Valetina “Bullet” Schevchenko is a multi-time women’s Muay Thai world champion who used her striking prowess to dominate the UFC’s women’s flyweight division for years. She holds nearly all the relevant records in the UFC women’s flyweight division and was one of the longest reigning champions in the UFC. She is currently the top contender in the division, having dropped her belt to Alexa Grasso after 7 consecutive title defenses, a UFC record for female fighters.

Schevchenko became the first woman to defend the UFC women’s flyweight title, having the most consecutive wins in the division’s history with 9. She has the most title wins in the division’s history with 8 and the most knockouts with 4. 

Schevchenko is also the only female fighter in UFC history to hold victories over four former champions, including Holly Holm, Julianna Peña, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Jessica Andrade. She was the 2022 winner of Female Fighter of the Year by the World MMA Awards.

1. Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthday: May 30, 1988

Weight Class: Bantamweight, Featherweight

MMA Record: 23–5

Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes is not only considered the greatest female UFC fighter of all time, she’s considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, men included. Nunes is one of only four UFC fighters in history to hold titles in multiple weight classes and is the only female fighter to do so. Nunes is the consensus pick for the greatest female fighter of all time.

Nunes won the UFC women’s bantamweight title by choking out Miesha Tate at UFC 200, going on to defend the belt 5 times. She gained “double champ” status when she knocked out Cris Cyborg at UFC 232, going on to defend that belt twice.

When it comes to UFC records held by a female fighter, Nunes is second to none. She owns the most wins by a woman in UFC history with 16, the most finishes with 10, the most consecutive wins with 12, the most knockouts in UFC women’s bantamweight history with 6, and tied with Cris Cyborg for the most consecutive victories in UFC women’s featherweight history with 3.

Nunes retired from MMA after a dominating performance over Irene Aldana at UFC 289, going down in the history books as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time.


Who is the most famous woman UFC fighter?

Ronda Rousey became a household name during her rise to stardom and is still the most famous female fighter in history. After her retirement from the UFC, she went on to perform in the WWE, further increasing her popularity.

Other famous female UFC fighters include Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg, and Rose Namajunas. While not as famous as Rousey, these three women fighters have large fan bases due to their accomplishments in the sport.

Who is the most beautiful female UFC fighter?

While beauty is subjective, many fans consider Mackenzie Dern to be one of the most beautiful UFC fighters. Former UFC fighters Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich were also considered to be among the most gorgeous fighters on the planet.

Other bombshell standouts include Miesha Tate, Michelle Waterson, and Bellator fighters Valerie Loureda and Randi Field.

Who is the youngest female UFC fighter?

The current youngest female UFC fighter on the roster is Iasmin Lucindo, who is currently 21 years old.

Other young female UFC fighters include Cory McKenna (23 years old), Erin Blanchfield (24 years old), Yazmin Jauregui (24 years old), and Viktoriya Dudakova (24 years old).

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Timothy Schoonmaker
Timothy Schoonmaker
I was an amateur boxer in high school when I competed in the prelims of the New York Golden Gloves amateur division. Later in life, I began training BJJ. My friends at the academy introduced me to Muay Thai, and I train all 3 martial arts today. I am currently a purple belt in BJJ, hoping to advance to brown soon!