The sport of mixed martial arts is predominantly male-dominated, but don’t forget the ladies. Although the fighters listed before have wildly different fighting styles (wrestling, judo, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, striking), with their tenacity and exciting performances, female fighters always look to steal the show.
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (5-0)
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey burst into the professional MMA scene in 2011, defeating progressively challenging opponents via 1st round armbar in every fight to date. An Olympic bronze medalist in judo, Rousey is known as much for talking trash as she is for her brutal submissions. Her last fight was a much-hyped affair against then-champion Meisha “Takedown” Tate. Rousey dislocated Tate’s elbow, stating after the fight that she didn’t “feel too bad about it.” She will be defending her Strikeforce women’s bantamweight championship belt against Sarah Kaufman on August 18.
Sarah Kaufman (16-1)
Before Ronda Rousey stepped into the picture, Sarah Kaufman was lined up for a title shot against Meisha “Takedown” Tate, who she’d previously defeated in an exciting bantamweight tilt. To say the Canadian powerhouse has heavy hands would be an understatement. She won her first eight fights by KO or TKO, and even made it onto ESPN’s highlight reel with a power slam KO over Roxanne Modafferi. Kaufman, a dancer since childhood, is set to challenge Ronda Rousey for the title. However, her sole loss, to Marloes Coenen, was due to an armbar, which does not bode well for her.
Sara McMann (5-0)
Best known for her Olympic freestyle wrestling silver medal, Sara McMann also gets the record for having the most women pull out of fights with her–often at the last minute. And although she’s been fighting in smaller promotions, most recently ProElite, McMann is scheduled to headline Invicta Fighting Championship’s second card, where she will square off against submission specialist Shayna “Queen of Spades” Baszler. McMann’s wrestling prowess is the best in the division, and although she’s very humble about her skills, she has been steadily climbing her way to the top.
Zoila “Warrior Princess” Gurgel (11-1)
You wouldn’t know it from watching current Bellator promotions, but Zoila Gurgel (formerly Frausto) is the current Bellator 115-lb. title holder. Gurgel, who at first fought in the bantamweight (135-lb.) division, scored an astounding KO victory over Rosi “the Surgeon” Sexton to earn her way into Bellator’s 115-lb. tournament. She then defeated Jessica Pene by unanimous decision, and scored razor-thin (and highly controversial) decision victories over Jessica “Jag” Aguilar and Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii, winning the tournament.
Although Gurgel has been sidelined with an injury, Bjorn Rebney has thrown her name around when discussing a potential 125-lb. tournament in the future. Gurgel’s kickboxing and improved submission game are a force to be reckoned with.
Jessica “Jag” Aguilar (18-4)
Fighting out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, Jessica Aguilar is a fan favorite who is on a 5-fight winning streak, most recently defeating MMA legend Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii. Many believe Aguilar was robbed of a victory over Zoila “Warrior Princess” Gurgel in the 115-lb. women’s tournament, and Aguilar has gone on to defeat Fujii, who lost in the finals of the tournament.
Due to Gurgel being ineligible to be ranked in the division (since her last fight was over a year ago), many consider Aguilar #1 in her division. She is extremely well-rounded, with dangerous submissions and a constantly improving stand-up game.
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