The Ultimate Fighting Championship or the UFC has been one of the most exciting sports companies in the world. It has been adored by many, most especially by men, due to its exceptional showcasing of strength and strategies. UFC matches are a unique and an interesting contest to watch.
UFC matches are not only limited to men, but it also recognizes women fighter’s capabilities and strengths. The UFC has four weight classes for women, namely strawweight with 115 lb, flyweight with 125 lb, bantamweight with 135 lb, and featherweight with 145 lb. Each fighter has their own unique fighting skills and techniques that capture the eye of many viewers.
With that said, one of the most exciting weight classes in the Women’s division is the strawweight weight class. Filled with powerful and agile women, the division never ceases to amaze. Below is the list of the best women fighters in the strawweight division.
Weili “Magnum” Zhang
She is the current champion of the strawweight division. She won against Jessica Andrade in convincing fashion. She is the first-ever Chinese UFC champion and is one of the best women’s MMA fighters in the world. Zhang Weili’s most recent match with Joanna Jędrzejczyk was touted as the best women’s MMA in FanDuel’s fight odds.
Her career had started in the sports of MMA in 2013, and she had won a series of fights earning the 16-1 winning record before she signed with UFC. In her UFC journey, she has defeated a handful of talented fighters like Danielle Taylor, Jessica Aguilar, Tecia Torres, and Jéssica Andrade. Magnum will defend the strawweight title against Rose “Thug” Namajunas on April 24, 2021.
Rose “Thug” Namajunas
Thug Rose is currently in the number one contender for the UFC women’s strawweight division. She won the title as an underdog, upsetting Joanna Jedrzejczyk via KO during the first round. Rose is a determined fighter as she successfully defended her title during her rematch fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk via a unanimous decision. Although known for her calm looks and demeanor, Rose has one of the heaviest hands in the division.
Her fighting style is opposite of how calm and collected she is. Namajunas favors a forward movement along with her powerful strikes, kicks, jabs, and footwork. She likes to dominate fights and pushes forward, pressuring her opponents. Although she loves moving forward, Thug Rose is an intelligent fighter often evading strikes and landing countershots to her opponents.
Before Weili “Magnum” Zhang entered the division, it was Joanna Jędrzejczyk who was the queen of the division. Known for aggressive style, Joanna loves intimidating her opponents both on and off the octagon. If you’re not ready for trash talking and solid punches to the face, it’s best to avoid confrontation with her.
Before entering the world of MMA, Joanna was a professional Kickboxer who has 27 wins and 3 losses, and 1 draw. Her most recent match with Zhang Weili was touted as the best women’s MMA fight ever. It was a match where both fighters hit each other constantly, without one ever backing down. Joanna eventually lost the fight to a close split-decision win. Look for her to continue her title quest as she once again plans to clean out the strawweight division.
She is the first Chinese woman fighter who signed in the UFC—currently ranked as the number three fighter in the strawweight division. She started her career as a mixed martial artist at the age of 13 and later fought various MMA championships in 2009 before signing with the UFC.
Yan Xiaonan is a Shanshou striker and elite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. She has defeated various elite fighters in the UFCsuch as Kailin Curran, Syuri Kondo, Angela Hill, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Cláudia Gadelha. Her next fight is slated on May 22, 2021 at UFC Fight Night 188 against another elite fighter in the division, Carla Esparza.
Carla Esparza was the winner of the UFC’s reality show, the Ultimate Fighter Season 20. Before winning her contract from the show, she was already an established MMA fighter. She had her debut in Bellator MMA, XFC and MEZ Sports, and Invicta FC.
Carla is primarily a wrestler who has excellent grappling skills. She has four submission finishes, all with arm bars and rear-naked chokes. Although her strength lies with wrestling, she loves to get into clinches and mounts. When given the opportunity, she also doesn’t shy away from ground and pound.
Women are capable of anything may it be in sports, career, leadership, and others. The UFC is an excellent platform to let women showcase their talent to the world. Mixed Martial Arts as a whole, is now a place where women can compete with other women to prove who is the baddest in the world.
The greatness of a woman is immeasurable. It cannot be described and determined by society. Greatness is earned and undergoes so much pressure, just like how these female fighters remain steadfast in defending their title despite the injuries, pressure, and losses they have acquired. It is more than just a game because it is their life and profession.
Colin spent the last 3 years writing for and with gym owners—from small martial arts schools in the Midwest to big fitness gyms in California. He has also worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years. He’s passionate about fitness, BJJ, reading, and dedicating every spare second to writing for fun. He wants to help business owners tackle the logistics of running a business so they can focus more on their passions too.