With the growing popularity of mixed martial arts, it鈥檚 no surprise that the sport has expanded to include female fighters.
Though women鈥檚 MMA has been ongoing for many years, it was only recently that the undisputed leader in the MMA realm, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, finally opened its doors to a women鈥檚 division of its own. Since then, the popularity of women鈥檚 MMA has continued to soar, and some extremely talented female fighters are plying their trade in the UFC.
When considering the best of the best female fighters, whether you鈥檙e a fan, sportsbook agent or just like betting on sports, there are a number of factors. Like any other MMA fighters, you must judge the best UFC women on their dominance in the cage, their striking and ground game, their charisma and more. It鈥檚 a formula that has been mastered by UFC president Dana White and the rest of the organization as they have worked to build the popularity of the sport.
Who are the best female fighters in the UFC today? Who are the standard bearers that will carry the MMA banner forward and inspire young women to follow in their footsteps?
Any list of the top female MMA fighters in the UFC has to begin with the champion, Ronda Rousey.
Undefeated in seven fights, Rousey is the current UFC women鈥檚 bantamweight champion. She has been so dominant in her career this far that she has ended each of her fights in the first round, and all of them by submitting her opponents with an armbar.
She is also an Olympic gold medalist in Judo, which she won in 2008.
She is considered by many to be the top pound for pound women鈥檚 fighter in the world.
Next on the list is arguably Rousey鈥檚 next opponent, Miesha Tate.
Known for her strong submission game, Tate is currently coaching opposite Rousey on The Ultimate Fighter and the pair will square off later this year. She is a former champion in the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion.
Cat Zingano is another strong MMA performer, having most recently defeated Tate by knockout. Though that victory put her in line for a title shot, she is currently on the sidelines with an injury, and will have to get back on track when she returns to action.
Sara McMann is another big name in the realm of women鈥檚 MMA. Like Rousey, McMann is undefeated in her career, and she is also an Olympic medalist, with a silver in wrestling. Those credentials make her dangerous in the Octagon, and a showdown with the champ seems inevitable.
Canadian Sarah Kaufman is next set to put her skills to the test against the aforementioned McMann. Known for her considerable boxing skills, she has run up an impressive record of 16-2 in her MMA career to date.
Women鈥檚 MMA may be newer to the scene than its male-centric counterpart, but athletes like these are proving it can be just as entertaining, which is good news for anyone that likes to bet on sports.