The Pound-for-Pound Best Women in MMA
The oft-maligned women's fight "situation" has a great many detractors from all sides. It still exists, and usually outshines the men's fights on the cards, with so few big fight promotions utilizing their services, most of the ladies I'll be telling you about won't be household names; in fact, only one (see photo) you most likely have in your minds (and you'll be surprised where she ranks).
Here I'll break down the top 10 with their fight records and highlight some of their key wins and losses. If you don't like this list, by all means spam the crap out of the comment box, as the division boasts so few stars and a bunch of fighters who have big wins and losses to each other.
Harcore fan alert: If you can name more than four ladies without the use of the Internet, consider yourself a bigtime fan; if you name the list, well then you're either a liar or are one bad-ass MMA fan. Give yourself a cookie.
P.S.: This isn't a beauty pageant, these are fighters, some of them are lookers some of them, well aren't, but that factors in zero to the rankings, and I'd appreciate you arguing their skills in the ring not on the runway or in your bed.
Number 10: Kelly Kobold 145lb
Kelly's walk in to the ring and fight story is an incredible one, she started training in 2002 entering into her first fight with no past mma training, and submitted Crystal Reilly in the first round.
MMAA(Minnesota Martial Arts Academy) home of such fighters as Brock Lesnar, Sean Sherk, and Brock Larson, must have saw some talent, and boy were they right, she would go on to a 17 fight unbeaten run, crushing fighters like Shayna Braszler, and Andriana Jenkins. This run earned her a Bodog title shot against Tara Larosa.
At 26, her abilities all around are still good enough to stake a claim in the top 10 on my board, despite 3 consecutive losses to top competition.
16-3-1 Key Ws: Shayna Braszler, Andriana Jenkins Key Ls: Tara Larosa, Gina Carano, Julie Kedzie
Number 9: Satako Shinashi 100lbs
A fan favorite in Japan, she's a wrecking ball in her weight class, a grappler, her skills standing are not what's going to win her fights, she's really little with a short wing span, she relies on counter punching and moving in range for clinching where she showcases her Judo and Sambo skills. in 33 career fights shes never been submitted.
the 100lb and 97lb weight divisions are exclusive to Japan, (as far as i know) So saturation and level of competition is a concern, also how she would fair if she moved up to 110lbs is unclear do to her small stature, and a match between Fujii and herself is unlikely as they are great friends.
29-2-2 Key Ws: Hisae Watanabe, Key Ls: Mai Ichii, Hisae Watanabe
23 Submissions 6 decisions
Number 8: Rosi Sexton 125lb
A poster child for time management, she's a PhD, a world class jujitsu fighter and a black belt in taekowondo, a mom, and probably will cure cancer before too long here. small even for her weight class she is the british version of Fujii, only not nearly as fast, or as skilled at getting her opponent to the mat.
her dismantling of Japanese playboy model/ bjj fighter Carina Damm, was an eye opener, and one that put her on the map in the womens game.
9-1-0 Key Ws: Carina Damm Key Ls: Gina Carano
Number 7: Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos 145lb
The bane of my personal existence, Cyborg was probably the best find of EliteXC's short life span. a devastating muay thai striker, she looks to finish every fight. Her athleticism allows her to escape subs without much technical ability.
The problem i have with her however is shes really never fought top class opposition and her 1 loss is a really bad one, i feel atm at least shes a physical freak in the woman's game, to rival Brock Lesner in the mens, but until i see a Cyborg v. Larosa, or Cyborg v. Gina fight im hesitant to call her the real deal just yet.
7-1-0 Key Ws: N/A Key Ls: Erica Paes
6 TKOs 1 decision
Number 6: Ana Michelle Tavares 115lb
How can a 7-2 fighter be the #6 overall on the big p4p rankings? well how about for your 1st pro fight you fight Yuka Tsuji, and ya beat her,then two fights later you get ow just Megumi Fujii, then two fights later you get to fight Tsuji again?
That's hows that's possible.
solid stand up skills(that i wish shed use a little more of) mixed with a great background in BJJ. and a thick catalog of top 115lb fights, does all the talking for her.
7-2-0 Key Ws: Yuka Tsuji, Carina Damm, Lisa Ward Key Ls: Yuka Tsuji, Megumi Fujii
5 Submissions 2 Decisions
Number 5: Sarah Kaufman 135lb division
If your squeamish don't look up any of her fights on youtube, if you do prepare for a few things, A) blood, by the pint, B) none of it being hers, and C) Sarah with her hand in the air, and doctor's running in to check on the other fighter.
so far nobody has had a bigger year than this girl, she's been the most active, as she's currently affiliated with 2 good orgs PFC Palace Fighting Championships, and Strikeforce, where as a last minute add in she battered Miesha Tate, for 3 rounds it was the only fight where she hasn't forced the referee to stopped it, so far.
Needless to say she's a devastating striker, but she's shown her ability, so far anyway, on the ground, with some ferocious ground and pound, and escape technical ability. She's still young and is definitely one to keep an eye on, to move up in the next 2-3 yrs.
8-0-0 Key Ws Miesha Tate, Alexis Davis: Key Ls: N/A
7TKOs 1 decision
Number 4: Yuka Tsuji 125lbs
If Mega Megu, is the Babe Ruth of womens mma in japan, than Yuka Tsuji is Lou Gehrig, solid and dependable if rarely flashy. a master armbar technician, shes fought a bunch of top female opposition, beating all of them.
22-1-0 Key Ws: Ana Michelle Tavares, Erica Montoya, Hisae Wantanabe, Erica Montoya Key L: Ana Michelle Tavares
2 TKO 15 Submissions 5 Decisions
Number 3: Tara Larosa 135lb division
Despite what you think of her decision to sign with AFL, which no one can question has been a total failure, her level of competition and her record versus it is second to none.
Overshadowed by Gina in the press, she has reason to be upset, as a fighter she's entertaining even as a ground fighter she's not afraid to try subs, and surrender positioning to do it, she can take shots, and she's one of the best ive seen escaping submissions.
Tara has earned her way to number 3 on my board she's fought everywhere, Japan, Costa Rica, America, Russia. where she goes from here though is a good question? she's linked up with Extreme Challenge for the time being, fighting just to stay in the game til AFL officially throws in the towel, from there I'm hoping for a Shooto 125lb bout with Fujii, more of a hope than reality.
17-1-0 Key Ws: , Kelly Kobold, Roxanne Modaferri, Alexis Davis Key Ls: Jennifer Howe.
3 TKOs 9 subs 5 decisions
Number 2: Gina "Conviction" Carano 145lbs
Often dismissed as a cover model more than a fighter. She boasts an unbeaten record, with her last win being against a member of my top 10, she's been inactive for a year now, and many fear she's using this as a platform for bigger things, with a contract situation with the now defunct EliteXC many mma rumor mills have her back with Strikeforce where she fought before. I just hope she stays in the fight game because she is such a huge asset to a division in need of it.
As a fighter Gina has alot of skills. shes a nice user of ranged kicks namely the standing front kick, and the devastating head kicks, from her Kickboxing background.
She has solid ground skill's to escape, and utilize the ground n' pound, but as many of the girls do she struggles to put fighters away, she's dominated every fight I've seen her in, but her lack of decisive power may prove to be the reason she steps away, she can't keep slugging if she wants a career profiting off her looks.
Fight record 7-0-0 Key Ws: Kelly Kobold, Rosi Sexton Key L's N/A
3 TKO's 1 Submission 3 Decisions
Number 1: Megumi "Mega Megu" Fujii 115lb
There's no doubting her ability on the ground, she's the most decorated female in the world, at 115lbs, her fights are largely one sided, and end with spectacular submissions, toe holds, kneebars, armbars, keylocks, chokes, shes got the whole arsenal.
It's so bad nobody will fight her, and her record bares this out, her 17th win was an embarrassing bout with Won Bun Chu at Shooto Final Tradition earlier this month, who had zero fights on her record, predictable miss Won, was dismantled in a little short of a minute.
As a result picking through her record in mma, you can find a lot of soft opposition on her fight card the only big win she has is versus Lisa Ward, who she caught at the end of the first round.
At 35 she's at the point in her career where she needs to be fighting the top dogs, but i guess you'd need to get them to Japan first.
17-0-0 Key Ws: Lisa Ward, Cindy Hales, Ana Michelle Tavares Key Loss: N/A
0KOs 0 TKOs 14Submissions 3 Decisions