UFC

Invicta 7 Results: Ranking the Top 15 Women Per Division

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2013

Invicta 7 Results: Ranking the Top 15 Women Per Division

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    The biggest and most prestigious all-women's MMA promotion put on their seventh show last night, as Invicta took to the pay-per-view airwaves to deliver another great show.

    The card featured two title bouts, as the third between Carla Esparza and Claudia Gadelha fell through due to an illness to the latter fighter. In the actual two title bouts, Lauren Murphy took the bantamweight gold over Miriam Nakamoto, while Barb Honchak preserved her flyweight belt with a win over Leslie Smith.

    It was a great card, but now let's look at the top 15 ladies in each division.

Featherweight

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    Top-ranked Cris "Cyborg"
    Top-ranked Cris "Cyborg"Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
    1. Cris "Cyborg" Justino
    2. Marloes Coenen
    3. Julia Budd
    4. Ediane Gomes
    5. Veronica Rothenhausler
    6. Ashlee Evans-Smith
    7. Tamikka Brents
    8. Pannie Kianzad
    9. Fiona Muxlow
    10. Talita Nogueira
    11. Maria Hougaard Djursaa
    12. Faith van Duin
    13. Elina Nilsson
    14. Charmaine Tweet
    15. Kate da Silva

    The women's featherweight division is one of the most overlooked divisions in WMMA. This could be because its top stars are looking to drop to 135 to make a home in the UFC. Remember, it's the division Ronda Rousey used to be in.

    Of course, the top star is Invicta champ and all-around wrecking machine Cris Justino. Since her return from a year-long suspension, she has destroyed Fiona Muxlow and Marloes Coenen, returning to the form that made her so feared.

    Julia Budd is seemingly the next in line for Justino after winning a convincing decision over country-woman Charmaine Tweet at Invicta 7. She is a physical specimen and well-rounded.

    Two of the brightest up-and-comers are Ashlee Evans-Smith and Veronica Rothenhauser. They represent opposite games, though, as Rothenhausler is a power striker and Evans-Smith is a smothering wrestler. Evans-Smith is coming off the biggest win of her career over the controversial Fallon Fox.

Bantamweight

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    Second-ranked Cat Zingano is coming off a knee injury.
    Second-ranked Cat Zingano is coming off a knee injury.Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
    1. Ronda Rousey
    2. Cat Zingano
    3. Sara McMann
    4. Miesha Tate
    5. Alexis Davis
    6. Jessica Eye
    7. Sarah Kaufman
    8. Lauren Murphy
    9. Amanda Nunes
    10. Shayna Baszler
    11. Liz Carmouche
    12. Holly Holm
    13. Germaine de Randamie
    14. Rin Nakai
    15. Miriam Nakamoto

    The women's bantamweight division gets all the spotlight simply because it's in the UFC. That is a good reason, though, as it is one of the most talent-rich weight classes in WMMA.

    Of course, the division is ruled by undefeated Ronda Rousey, who is fresh off a coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter 18. She will face Miesha Tate later this month, and whoever wins that will likely fight Cat Zingano when she returns from injury.

    Lauren Murphy keeps creeping up the rankings after a title win at Invicta 7 over Miriam Nakamoto. That fight ended by unfortunate injury, as Nakamoto looked to have blown out her knee.

    The fighter to keep your eye on is Holly Holm. She is likely one of the best 135ers not in the UFC and is destroying the competition on her path to the world's largest MMA promotion.

Flyweight

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    Top-ranked Invicta champ Barb Honchak
    Top-ranked Invicta champ Barb Honchaksherdog.com
    1. Barb Honchak
    2. Vanessa Porto
    3. Leslie Smith
    4. Jennifer Maia
    5. Michelle Ould
    6. Kalindra Faria
    7. Zoila Gurgel
    8. Aisling Daly
    9. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
    10. Nina Ansaroff
    11. Munah Holland
    12. Brenda Gonzalez
    13. Julia Berezikova
    14. Sarah Alpar
    15. Juliana Aguiar

    The flyweight division made some big changes following Invicta 7, as Barb Honchak maintained her top spot in defending against Leslie Smith, and Vanessa Porto solidified her second spot with a win over Zoila Gurgel.

    In addition to that, Nina Ansaroff shot up the rankings with a TKO of Munah Holland. That was an impressive win, as she dragged the striker to the ground and punished her.

    Kalindra Faria and Joanna Jedrzejczyk are the two dark horses of the division. Faria has been dominating the competition in Brazil, while Jedrzejczyk has quietly put together a great resume in Poland.

Strawweight

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    Second-ranked Carla Esparza had her fight yanked at the last minute.
    Second-ranked Carla Esparza had her fight yanked at the last minute.sherdog.com
    1. Jessica Aguilar
    2. Carla Esparza
    3. Claudia Gadelha
    4. Joanne Calderwood
    5. Tecia Torres
    6. Ayaka Hamasaki
    7. Mizuki Inoue
    8. Katja Kankaanpaa
    9. Felice Herrig
    10. Stephanie Eggink
    11. Bec Hyatt
    12. Rose Namajunas
    13. Emi Fujino
    14. Alida Gray
    15. Herica Tiburcio

    The strawweight division is suddenly getting all sorts of attention due to the fact the UFC has talked about creating a 115-pound division in the company.

    Jessica Aguilar is the top fighter, as she is currently the only known fighter contracted under World Series of Fighting. Her latest win came against legend Megumi Fujii in her retirement bout, sending the pioneer into the sunset on a loss.

    Carla Esparza was poised to take the top spot, but her title defense against Claudia Gadelha was called off due to an illness to the Brazilian. The winner of that fight might have taken the top spot from "Jag."

    Tecia Torres stormed up the rankings after beating the popular Felice Herrig at Invicta 7. A bout with fellow winner Joanne Calderwood would likely create a top contender after the Esparza-Gadelha fight finally goes down.

    Keep an eye on Alida Gray and Herica Tiburcio. Both are young, on streaks and extremely talented.

Atomweight

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    Second-ranked Jessica Penne has to be considered the top contender.
    Second-ranked Jessica Penne has to be considered the top contender.sherdog.com
    1. Michelle Waterson
    2. Jessica Penne
    3. Seo Hee Ham
    4. Lisa Ellis
    5. Simona Soukupova 
    6. Naho Sugiyama
    7. Alex Chambers
    8. Lacey Schuckman
    9. Cassie Rodish
    10. Jodie Esquibel
    11. Stephanie Frausto
    12. Amy Davis
    13. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc
    14. Amber Brown
    15. Diana Rael

    The atomweight division is the Rodney Dangerfield of MMA. No matter what happens, it seems to get no respect.

    That should change, though, as it is an exciting division with some tough fighters.

    Michelle Waterson is the top dog, but Jessica Penne is nipping at her heels. Waterson took the Invicta title off Penne, but the Californian is storming back looking for a rematch.

    The two dark horses of the division are Alex Chambers and Simona Soukupova. Neither get a lot of attention despite the fact they have beaten some good competition and are well-rounded fighters.

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