UFC women's weight categories in order, ranking and history | Mixed martial arts beehive (2023)

Mixed Martial Arts has arrivedlong waysince its rule-free beginnings in the 1990s.

Today, women around the world are striving to reach the top of the UFC weight classes.

Here are the four UFC women's weight classes in order:

  1. straw weight (115 pounds / 52.2 kg)
  2. flyweight (125 pounds / 56.7 kg)
  3. Bantam weight (61.2 kg)
  4. Featherweight* (145 pounds / 65.78 kg)

*Women's Featherweight doesn't usually have enough active fighters to rank, but sometimes Amanda Nunes and others compete in this category.

Here's an easy-to-understand infographic of the women's weight classes in the UFC:

UFC women's weight categories in order, ranking and history | Mixed martial arts beehive (1)

Read on to learn more about the women's weight classes in the UFC!

Table of contents

UFC women's weight classes in order

This is the list of four weight classes for women in the UFC, including their maximum weight limit in pounds and kilograms:

weight class (division)Weight Kilo)weight (kg)
straw weight115 pounds52,2kg
flyweight125 pounds56,7 kg
bantamweight135 pounds61,2kg
Pena145 pounds65,8kg

There are currently only four weight classes for UFC women's wrestling.

Three (flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight) correspond to thatUFC men's weight.But straw weight is added exclusively for female games.

Women are generally different from men.because they are smaller in size, structure and weight. So the divisions represent that, along with the pool of most female MMA fighters currently available.

Although there is a women's featherweight division, fights in this division rarely occur as most fighters cannot reach that 145-pound weight.

The women's roster is only a third to half the size of the men's roster, so no additional weight classes have been added yet.

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Possibly an atomic weight or other similar weight class could be added in the future. But there must be enough fighters and enough demand to keep it going.

UFC women's weight rankings

Placements in the women's divisions change occasionally, particularly after contenders have competed for the top fifteen spots.

For example, the fighter at level three could fight against the fighter at level five. If the first player lost, the opponent could raise to take his place. But it could depend on many factors, such as a winning streak, but probably only Dana White knows the real reason for the ranking changes!

I've compiled a dynamically updated ranking for each UFC women's weight class. These are below and updated daily!

Women's Strawweight Rankings

Area fighter
0 Zhang, Weili
1 Esparza, Carla
2 Namajun, Rosa
3 Lemo, Amanda
4 Andrade, Jessica
5 Rodrigues, Marina
6 Yan, Xiaonan
7 Dern, Mackenzie
8 towers, weave
9 Ribas, Amanda
10 Jandiroba, Virna
11 Waterson, Michelle
12 Hill, Angela
13 Suarez, Tatjana
14 Pinheiro, Luana
15 Ducote, Emily

Women's flyweight rankings

Area fighter
0 Schewtschenko, Valentina
1 Fiorrot, Manon
2 Santos, Thailand
3 Blanchfield, Erin
4 Andrade, Jessica
5 Chookagian, Katlyn
6 Grasso, Alexa
7 Murphy, Lauren
8 Araújo, Viviane
9 Maja, Jennifer
10 Lee, Andrea
11 O'Neill, Casey
12 Barbeiro, Maycee
13 Cortes, Tracy
14 Calvillo, Cinthia
15 Outsider, Miranda

Women's Bantamweight Ranking

Area fighter
0 Nunes, Amanda
1 Sorry Juliana
2 Penington, Rachel
3 Stechpalme, Stechpalme
3 Vieira, Ketle
5 Aldana, Irene
6 Kunitskaja, Jana
7 Kianzad, Senhorita
8 Chiasson, Macy
9 Rose, Karl
10 Tat
11 Avila, Julia
12 BomSilva, Mayra
13 Dumont Viana, Norma
14 Nunes, Josiana
15 Chandler, Chelsea

Women's featherweight rankings

Area fighter
0 Nunes, Amanda

There aren't enough fighters who can hit 145 lbs/65.8 kg regularly enough for women to have an active featherweight division.

That's why you'll probably only see the champion in this ranking. But it's still possible for women to compete in this weight class, and perhaps this division will expand in the future as more female fighters enter the UFC.

History of UFC women's weight classes

UFC women's weight categories in order, ranking and history | Mixed martial arts beehive (2)

Let's take a look at the unique history of women's involvement in the UFC.

Introduction of weight classes for women

More than a decade ago, UFC CEO Dana White confirmed that the company would introduce its first women's weight class.

IsThe UFC signed then-Strikeforce World Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey in November 2012.

UFC women's weight categories in order, ranking and history | Mixed martial arts beehive (3)

Ronda earned the bantamweight title and made her first title defense against Liz Carmouche at the first UFC event to feature women's MMA, UFC 157, in February 2013.

Female fighters were also introduced to the UFC in 2013.

The April 2013 Ultimate Fighter 17 finals featured a women's bantamweight fight between Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate. Zingano won via technical knockout. This was another big step in building the popularity of MMA for women.

Start of the strawweight division

In late 2013, the UFC signed eleven fighters from Invicta FC to start the strawweight division.

Most of these fighters were introduced to the world in the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter (TV show), whereThe winner would receive the first strawweight championship belt.

Some of these warriors were:

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  • Rosa Namajunas
  • Felice Herrig
  • weaving towers
  • Joanne Calderwood
  • Bec Hyatt
  • Randa Marcos
  • Jessica Penne
  • claudia gadelha
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Carla Esparza

In the tournament rounds of this historic season for women's MMARosa NamajunasShe won three straight games by submission to Carla Esparza in the finals.

UFC women's weight categories in order, ranking and history | Mixed martial arts beehive (4)

Rose's submission streak ended when Carla won the match by subduing Namajunas and became the first women's strawweight world champion in UFC history.

Over a decade of women's fights in the UFC

Women's wrestling boomed over the next few years, reaching another milestone when Carla Esparza lost her title to Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 185 in 2015.

Since then, the women's UFC has gone from strength to strength. Women's fights appear on almost every map, whether it's a pre-fight or a main fight.

And all of those fights spanned a decade of competition at the UFC's elite level.

We benefit from the era of fighters like Cris Cyborg, Amanda Nunes, Zhang Weili and others who continue to push the boundaries of what was once thought possible.

Questions about UFC women's weight classes

There are many questions about the women's divisions in the UFC, which I will answer below:

How many women's divisions in the UFC?

The UFC has four divisions, or weight classes, for women. These are strawweight, flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight. Although featherweight rarely has enough contestants to maintain a consistent ranking.

What is the heaviest UFC weight class for women?

The heaviest weight class for UFC women is bantamweight. There's also a weight class above that, featherweight, but there are rarely enough fighters at that weight to compete.

Who is the heaviest UFC fighter?

The heaviest UFC fighter of all time is Megan Anderson with a weight of 66 kg. She is also one of the tallest at 6 feet.

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What is the lightest UFC female weight class?

The lightest UFC women's weight class is the Strawweight at 120 lbs.

How heavy is the UFC flyweight for women?

The UFC women's flyweight is 56.7 kg. It is the same weight as the male category.

Who is the toughest fighter?

It is often said that the toughest fighter is Amanda Nunes because she has faced competition in her career and has accepted challenges from almost every fighter.

Who is the number 1 fighter?

The number one contender is likely to remain Amanda Nunes, although she recently lost her belt to Carla Esparza. In the past, Cris Cyborg or Ronda Rousey could have been number one.

What are the UFC women's divisions?

UFC women's divisions are actually UFC weight divisions or weight divisions. They are strawweight, flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight.

Final thoughts on the women's divisions in the UFC

It's been great to see WMMA expand over the years.

Now that women fighters have been in the UFC for over a decade, we can expect the divisions to be filled with even more competition and skill.

This will only lead to more epic clashes between fighters and inspiration for the next generation of professional mixed martial artists.

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What are the female MMA weight classes in order? ›

* The women's UFC division is split into only 4 classes: strawweight, flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight.

How many weight classes are in mixed martial arts? ›

Every division from super heavyweight to flyweight explained. Each of the traditional weight classes explained. There are eight traditional classes in mainstream MMA boxing, running from flyweight to heavyweight.

What are the 12 weight divisions in UFC? ›

How Many UFC Weight Classes Are There?
Weight ClassMaximum Weight
Featherweight145 lbs (65.8 kg)
Lightweight155 lbs (70.3 kg)
Super Lightweight165 lbs (74.8 kg)
Welterweight170 lbs (77.1 kg)
10 more rows

What is the lightest women's UFC class? ›

Strawweight – 115 pounds

The strawweight division is the lightest division currently in the UFC and one of the four women's weight classes. In 2014, current Strawweight champion Carla Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas to become the inaugural champion.

What are the MMA girls called? ›

Ring girls are often seen in boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts.

What is the hardest mixed martial arts? ›

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is considered to be the most difficult martial art to learn. Even to athletic students, mastering this discipline is unlikely to come easy. But the difficulty of learning Jiu Jitsu is attractive to many students.

Is mixed martial arts harder than boxing? ›

Boxers had more severe injuries—broken bones, serious eye injuries—and lots of head injuries, such as a concussion or losing consciousness during a match. And while some MMA fighters also had head injuries or lost consciousness, most of their injuries were cuts or contusions.

What is the biggest mixed martial artist? ›

Who are the greatest MMA fighters of all time?
  • Anderson Silva (34-11, 1 No Contest) UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship. ...
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship. ...
  • Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 No Contest) ...
  • Stipe Miocic (20-4) ...
  • Fedor Emelianenko (40-6, 1 No Contest) ...
  • Amanda Nunes (21-5) ...
  • Jose Aldo (31-7)
Feb 26, 2023

How many women's weight classes are there in UFC? ›

Unlike in the Men's UFC weight divisions, the female UFC fighters have just four weight class titles they can fight for – the Strawweight, Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions.

Who is the UFC women's champion? ›

Current Women's UFC World Champions
FeatherweightAmanda NunesDecember 29 2018
BantamweightAmanda NunesJuly 30 2022
FlyweightAlexa GrassoMarch 4 2023
StrawweightZhang WeiliNovember 12 2022
Mar 5, 2023

Are 12 to 6 elbows legal in the UFC? ›

12–6 elbow strikes are illegal under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, defined as "striking downwards using the point of the elbow". Such bans were justified for medical and safety reasons, due to the possibility of serious injuries to opponents that could result from their use.

Who is the toughest woman in UFC? ›

Amanda Nunes

The reigning UFC bantamweight champion tops the list. She is technically proficient on the feet and on the ground, and she has faced the stiffest competition. Her current six-fight win streak includes Shayna Baszler, Sara McMann, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey.

Is MMA good for females? ›

Yes! MMA is definitely for women of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels. There are many benefits which go way beyond a physical transformation! Whether you're looking to get in shape, learn self-defense, or just have some fun, mixed martial arts is a great option.

How do female UFC fighters cut weight? ›

The main way fighters cut so much weight so fast is by dehydrating themselves throughout their cut. Water makes up 60% of our body weight, so cutting out water is essential in the process of losing weight quickly and temporarily. Fighters also avoid carbs and salts to ensure the best results.

How old is the average female UFC fighter? ›

According to Bloody Elbow the average age of a female MMA fighter in the UFC is 31 years old. Of course, 31 years old is not old but if you are 28 and have never trained in martial arts before, you may have quite a challenge in front of you.

How much does the average female UFC fighter make? ›

How Much Do UFC Ring Girls Make per Fight? Sportkz has revealed that top UFC ring girls earn about $1000 in fight fees and an additional $5000 for PPV events. But, their annual earnings are much diferent. UFC ring girl with the biggest annual earnings is by far Arianny Celeste, with about $1 million a year.

Are female UFC fighters paid less? ›

Earning Power of Female Fighters

Here, we're looking at the (considerably lower) earnings of women in the UFC. Those in the strawweight class had the highest career average earnings at $483,991, while the bantamweight class earned an average of $371,663. Flyweights earned the least average career earnings at $168,720.

Do UFC fighters date ring girls? ›

Unsurprising to most, fighter-ring girl relationships have been a frequent occurrence in years gone by, with some of the biggest names finding love in the Octagon. Here is a look at some of the most famous UFC relationships.

Who is the richest ring girl in UFC? ›

UFC's richest ring girl Arianny Celeste has been out showing off her figure on a beach in Perth ahead of UFC 284 this weekend.

Who was the 1st UFC ring girl? ›

Amber Nichole-Miller, 42, was said to be the UFC's first real octagon girl, making her debut at UFC 40 in 2002. The 42-year-old started her modeling career at the MGM Mirage Resorts.

What is the least painful martial art? ›

The martial art with the least amount of injury is Tai Chi because there is no contact with others, so the focus is on the individual. The techniques and the training principles teach you to perform without an opponent.

Which martial art is least violent? ›

Aikido is known to be the least violent of all martial arts. A student training in Aikido may not have the same self-defence skills against a peer as with other forms, but it's extremely useful as it teaches basic self-defence moves that can be used against less-skilled people.

Which martial art is quickest to learn? ›

Check out the following martial arts disciplines that are easy to learn:
  1. Karate. Karate is a diverse martial arts discipline that may be learned from any of three angles: as a form of self-defense, or as an art. ...
  2. Basic Boxing. New martial arts students might explore basic boxing. ...
  3. Muay Thai. ...
  4. Jiu-Jitsu. ...
  5. Krav Maga.

What is the hardest boxing style to learn? ›

The swarmer is one of the more difficult styles to achieve, as it requires nearly perfect form and the stamina to apply pressure to the other boxer continuously.

Who punches harder UFC or boxing? ›

In order to be the best all-around, too much of their fight has to focus on the ground game to be able to take on challengers from all martial arts disciplines. Boxers box and boxers punch, ultimately taking the crown of hardest punching fighters. But still, MMA fighters pack a powerful punch!

Who punches harder Muay Thai or boxing? ›

Both boxing and Muay Thai are complex and demanding combat sports that require years of dedication. It's safe to say that boxing is both easier and harder. As a beginner, you can relatively quickly learn boxing basics and how to punch correctly.

Who is the most respected martial artist? ›

It is widely accepted by fighters and other people around the world that Bruce Lee was the most influential martial artist of all time. From his famous action movies to his unique martial art of Jeet Kune Do, the legend of Bruce Lee has held strong.

What is the most effective martial art in a real fight? ›

Which Martial Arts Styles Are Most Effective for Self Defense?
  • Ground Fighting. According to an article in Military.com, it's estimated that 85% of street fights end up on the ground. ...
  • Judo. Shutterstock. ...
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Shutterstock. ...
  • Wrestling. ...
  • Striking on the Feet. ...
  • Boxing, Muay Thai, or Kickboxing. ...
  • Boxing. ...
  • Muay Thai.
Oct 17, 2022

When did the UFC change weight classes? ›

In response to criticism from Senator John McCain that saw the loss of its television deal and the banning of the sport in thirty-six states, the UFC increased its cooperation with state athletic commissions and introduced weight classes in 1997, starting with UFC 12, and began introducing weight-specific titles.

What is the most competitive UFC weight class? ›

Welterweight (170lb)

170lbs division is perhaps the most stacked one at the top and by far the most competitive UFC division. We have at least 6 fighters from the top 10 who can easily challenge the champ for the belt.

Who is the main UFC ring girl? ›

Arianny Celeste

Who is the best UFC fighter in history? ›

1. Jon Jones (Bones) Notable UFC Records/Achievements: Most UFC title fight wins (14), Longest unbeaten streak in UFC history (18), Longest UFC Light Heavyweight championship reign (1,501 days), Most UFC Light Heavyweight wins (20).

What kicks are illegal in UFC? ›

Illegal actions
  • Strikes to the neck, throat, spine, kidneys, joints, groin/testicles, knees and below.
  • Kicks and knees to the head in ground position (from either athletes)
  • Stomp kicks.
  • Intentional breaking of bones or joints (i.e. not giving the opponent's enough time to tap in submission situations)

Is it legal to throat punch in UFC? ›

No directed throat strikes are allowed. A directed attack would include a fighter pulling his opponents head in a way to open the neck area for a striking attack. A fighter may not gouge their fingers or thumb into their opponent's neck or trachea in an attempt to submit their opponent.

Are knees illegal in UFC? ›

Kicks and Knees to the Opponent on Ground

It is absolutely acceptable to kick or knee the opponent in the head while they are standing, doing so while they are on the ground is against the law. A fighter will very probably lose points or perhaps get disqualified for kneeing or kicking a downed opponent.

Who is the best female martial arts fighter? ›

The 10 Greatest Female MMA Fighters Ever!
  • Amanda Nunes. In just a span of six years, Amanda Nunes has established herself as the best female MMA fighter of all-time. ...
  • Ronda Rousey. ...
  • Cris Cyborg. ...
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk. ...
  • Valentina Shevchenko. ...
  • Rose Namajunas. ...
  • Holly Holm. ...
  • Miesha Tate.
Feb 4, 2023

Who is the scariest UFC fighter of all time? ›

Then there's Jon Jones, the former two-time UFC light heavyweight champion, widely regarded as the best — and perhaps the most intimidating — fighter of all time.

Who is undefeated UFC female fighter? ›

A list of undefeated Female MMA fighters, ranked by highest wins to lowest.
  • Yazmin Jauregui. ...
  • Tatiana Suarez. ...
  • Laura D'Auguste. ...
  • Piera "La Fiera" Rodriguez. ...
  • "King" Casey O'Neill. ...
  • Dakota "Dangerous" Ditcheva. ...
  • Seika Izawa.

Who is the biggest woman in MMA? ›

Tallest Female Mixed Martial Artists
FighterHeightWeight Class
Rachel Johnson6'3" (191cm)Bantamweight
Calli "Wait For It" Paquette6'3" (191cm)Welterweight
Chia Fei Asbury6'2" (188cm)
Abbey Frazier6'2" (188cm)Heavyweight
125 more rows

Who is the most muscular female MMA fighter? ›

1) Gabi Garcia

Brazilian MMA fighter and BJJ world champ Gabi Garcia is, simply put, a freak of an athlete. At 6 feet and 2 inches (188 cm) and 238 pounds (108 kgs), she easily dwarves most MALE UFC fighters in size. Nobody in Women's MMA even come close to her in terms of size and muscles.

What weight class is 135 in UFC women's? ›

In MMA, the Bantamweight Division is within 126-135 lbs (57.2-61.2 kg). The Bantamweight Division sits between the Flyweight Division (116-125 lbs) and the Featherweight Division(136-145lbs).

What weight is women's UFC flyweight? ›

With Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) now holding the throne, the women's 125-pound weight class is more compelling than ever with Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) sitting in the contender column alongside the likes of the highly touted Erin Blanchfield and surging Frenchwoman Manon Fiorot.


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