UFC 161 Results: Ranking the Top 10 Women's Bantamweights in the UFC
Let's be honest here: The only thing that was really exciting at UFC 161 this weekend was when it was all over. The card itself is in the running for the UFC's worst show of the year.
The card featured a women's bantamweight scrap between British WMMA pioneer Rosi Sexton and Canadian contender Alexis Davis. It was the fourth WMMA bout featured in UFC history and the first that was critically panned by audience members.
I guess they all can't be five-star matches.
Here are the top 10 women's bantamweights in the UFC following the event in Winnipeg this weekend.
10. Rosi Sexton
Last Fight: Decision loss to Alexis Davis at UFC 161
Next Fight: n/a
Rosi Sexton dropped a unanimous decision to Alexis Davis this weekend, but she proved why she was a top flyweight for so long.
Despite being outmatched in the size and grappling department, Sexton put on a competitive match with Alexis Davis. Many speculated the BJJ black belt would submit Sexton, but the Brit actually put up a fight on the ground.
It will be interesting to see who her next opponent is, as there are three women, including herself, who normally compete at 125. At this point, having her fight the loser of Julie Kedzie-Germaine de Randamie would be the smart move.
9. Germaine de Randamie
Last Fight: Decision win vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
Next Fight: vs. Julie Kedzie at UFC on Fox 8
Germaine de Randamie has yet to show her skills at 135 pounds, having formerly competed at featherweight, but she is currently a part of the UFC bantamweight division.
The Dutch striker is strong and getting better in the cage. She showed in her bout against Hiroko Yamanaka that her wrestling is improving since she is now working with Daniel Cormier at the American Kickboxing Academy.
Her UFC debut will be against Julie Kedzie, a journeywoman with experience and solid all-around skills.
8. Amanda Nunes
Last Fight: Decision loss to Sarah D'Alelio
Next Fight: vs. Sheila Gaff at UFC 163
Brazilian striker Amanda Nunes is not one to pull a punch. In fact, getting hit by one of her cruise missiles often results in scrambled brains.
Nunes is pure power and aggression, as seen in her blitzing of Julia Budd. She throws strikes with the intention of sending her opponents back to the Stone Age.
She will make her UFC debut against German powerhouse Sheila Gaff, a normal flyweight, at UFC 163. A win against Gaff would be a good way for Nunes to stay in the upper part of the division.
7. Liz Carmouche
Last Fight: Submission loss to Ronda Rousey at UFC 157
Next Fight: vs. Jessica Andrade at UFC on Fox 8
Liz Carmouche is a pioneer of a few important things: She is the first female to ever walk out to the Octagon, the first female to challenge Ronda Rousey for her UFC title and the first openly gay competitor for the UFC.
All things considered, her effort against Rousey at UFC 157 was commendable. She nearly shocked the world with a rear-naked choke before she was reversed and submitted herself via armbar.
She was scheduled to have a confrontation with Miesha Tate, but that plan was scrapped due to a Cat Zingano injury that moved Tate into the title picture. Instead, she meets unheralded and dangerous Jessica Andrade at UFC on Fox 8.
6. Alexis Davis
Last Fight: Decision win vs. Rosi Sexton at UFC 161
Next Fight: n/a
I said that Alexis Davis would likely become a top-five fighter with a win against Rosi Sexton this weekend, but she was not convincing enough in Winnipeg. In a three-round snoozer, the Canadian did achieve victory but struggled in doing so.
Davis has performed much better in the past, which has gotten her to this point. Look at her Invicta scrap with Shayna Baszler if you want proof of that.
For now, she stays at the sixth spot. Perhaps a bout against the winner of the Liz Carmouche-Jessica Andrade scrap should be her next opponent.
5. Sarah Kaufman
Last Fight: Decision win vs. Leslie Smith
Next Fight: vs. Sara McMann at UFC on Fox Sports 1 in Indianapolis
Speaking of not doing themselves favors in their last fight, Sarah Kaufman's stock didn't do much, if anything, in her close decision win against Leslie Smith in the Invicta promotion. In fact, many fans believe Smith defeated Kaufman in the bout.
However, Kaufman is still one of the best bantamweights around today. You don't run a 16-2 record against top competition if you aren't one of the best.
One of her biggest tests to date is on deck. The Canadian boxer meets American silver medalist Sara McMann, who will test Kaufman's wrestling and ground game.
4. Miesha Tate
Last Fight: Knockout loss vs. Cat Zingano at TUF 17 Finale
Next Fight: vs. Ronda Rousey
Miesha Tate's UFC title dreams were put on hold the minute Cat Zingano kneed her into oblivion. They were revisited when Zingano was forced out of her coaching role on The Ultimate Fighter and Tate took the gig.
Tate is a great submission wrestler but has hit hard times of late. After losing the belt to Ronda Rousey in Strikeforce, she did defeat Julie Kedzie but then took the loss to Zingano.
Right now, she and Rousey are raising hell in the TUF 18 tapings. She will get her chance to throw down with Rousey when the show is completed and aired on TV.
3. Sara McMann
Last Fight: Knockout victory vs. Sheila Gaff
Next Fight: vs. Sarah Kaufman at UFC on Fox Sports 1 in Indianapolis
If there is a woman on the UFC roster who is going to beat Ronda Rousey in the future, I have Sara McMann pegged as that lady.
McMann is undefeated and an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling. She has the tools to fight off Rousey's takedowns and score some of her own.
Next on deck is experienced Canadian striker Sarah Kaufman, who could continue to raise McMann's stock.
2. Cat Zingano
Last Fight: Knockout win vs. Miesha Tate at TUF 17 Finale
Next Fight: n/a
I said earlier this year that Cat Zingano was the next big thing in the women's bantamweight division. It appears I was right, as Zingano has shot up the rankings to the second spot at 135.
Her last win was a gutsy effort against former champion Miesha Tate. She battered Tate with knees and finished her to gain top-contender status.
She's on the shelf with a knee injury, effectively taking away her title shot. We will have to see if she still gets her title shot or has to fight again in her return.
1. Ronda Rousey
Last Fight: Submission win vs. Liz Carmouche at UFC 157
Next Fight: vs. Miesha Tate
There's not much explaining needed here. She is the undefeated, undisputed champion, who has never seen the second or third round (or fourth and fifth during championship fights). She has armbarred everyone.
After coaching TUF, she will meet Miesha Tate in a rematch from Strikeforce when she became the top woman in the world.