UFC 248: Every UFC women’s champion ranked

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY - AUGUST 09: (L-R) Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche face off during the UFC Fight Night official weigh-in at Antel Arena on August 9, 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider /Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)
MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY - AUGUST 09: (L-R) Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche face off during the UFC Fight Night official weigh-in at Antel Arena on August 9, 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider /Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC) /

UFC 248 will feature one of the three current women’s champions in action but stacked up next to each other, who had the best run in the UFC?

UFC 248 will see Weili Zhang defend her strawweight championship against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a battle of two of the divisions better fighters. Both women represent the apex of women’s MMA in the UFC, and fans everywhere will find out on March 7 who the best woman is in that division,

So in that vein, let’s look at every women’s championship run in UFC history and see who comes out on top.

13. Weili Zhang

Weili Zhang is not this far down because she’s bad, anything but. She’s this far down because she’s yet to have her first title defense. Realistically, she’d leap into the top six or seven with a single title defense. We just don’t know what she is yet as a champion. We’ll find out though because Jedrzejczyk is not going to mess around. A win here would be massive.

12. Germaine de Randamie

Yes, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino was once popped for having stuff in her system. Yes, Cyborg is normally a violent and scary threat. Yet when you beat Holly Holm to win the featherweight championship, you better defend it. Something Germaine de Randamie refused to do against Justino. She was rightfully ripped for her refusal and many thought her moves were cowardly.

11. Nicco Montano

When you don’t defend your belt, you’re low on all-time lists. Nicco Montano, unlike de Randamie, wanted to defend her championship. She just physically couldn’t do it. Montano was scheduled to face off with Valentina Schevchenko at UFC 228 but had to be pulled from the fight due to health concerns following her weight cut. She was subsequently stripped of the belt. She’s yet to bounce back, losing in her return at UFC Sacramento in 2019.

10. Jessica Andrade

Rose Namajunas was having a heck of a fight to start off her second title defense against Jessica Andrade. Andrade though was too much in the second round, slamming Namajunas and earning the win and the championship. Andrade though would lose the championship just 112 days later to Weili.

9. Carla Esparza

Rose Namajunas has been in a lot of title fights, and the first was against Carla Esparza. The two fought in the main event of the Ultimate Fighter 20 finale, with Esparza coming out on top. Esparza was looked at as a woman who could carry the division going forward, but just 92 days later, Jedrzejczyk went all Boogeywoman on her and took Esparza’s belt.

8. Holly Holm

For the woman who beat Ronda Rousey, Holm was a disappointing champion and an even more disappointing fighter. Since the championship win, Holm has gone 3-5 in her next eight fights. She’s not been bullied in most fights, losing a few close ones, but results are results. The woman who dethroned Rousey should’ve been the next big star, not just another fighter.

7. Miesha Tate

Miesha Tate was the one who took the bantamweight championship from Holm and had a better run after losing the belt, which is partly why she’s here. Like all the women before Tate, each person failed to defend the championship. Tate though didn’t flake out, fall ill, or struggle post title fight like the others. Of Tate’s seven losses, three were to Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes. Not exactly scrubs.

6. Rose Namajunas

The woman with the greatest nickname in UFC (not a debate) got a second shot at glory after losing to Esparza. To get this shot, however, she’d have to go through Jedrzejczyk. Go through Jedrzejczyk she did. In just three minutes and three seconds, Namajunas ran through Jedrzejczyk for a steller TKO finish. The results may have been slightly different, but in the eventual rematch, Namajunas again beat Jedrzejczyk to retain her championship. Namajunas lost the belt to Andrade on a slam and then took some time off. She’s set to return at UFC 249 and hopefully get back to her winning ways.

5. Cris Cyborg

Depending on who you ask, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino is one of, if not the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time. Yet, most of her title success came outside of the UFC banner. With title wins in Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator, among her UFC gold, it’s clear she’s on the short-short-short list of greatest of all time. Yet, in the UFC, she only had two successful title defenses and a stunning loss to Amanda Nunes. Herr UFC run went better than so many others, but considering how good she is, and how her run ended, you can’t help but wonder that she had more to prove.

4. Valentina Schevchenko

Right now, pound-for-pound, there isn’t a fighter better than Valentina Schevchenko. Yet, we’re not ranking the talent, we’re ranking the title champions. The run Schevchenko is on is impressive, but not as impressive as the others ahead of her. If this list was made in 2021, there might be a new number one at the bottom of this list.

3. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Another woman with a great nickname, “Joanna Violence”, really established herself as an elite fighter. From her career in kickboxing to her run in MMA, she’s easily one of the best ever. Yet, her profile is hindered by a few key losses, and her overall appeal simply not as high as others ahead of her. For one reason or another. Her only three losses have been to Namajunas and Schevchenko. Not bad names to lose to. As champion, she had five title defenses. Only one other woman had more.

2. Ronda Rousey

Speaking of more, Ronda Rousey is still the UFC’s reigning leader in title defenses for women. Rousey may have been overrated, to the point of Joe Rogan claiming she could beat most men, but she had a lot of impressive women. Cat Zingano, Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche were just some of the names that got gobbled up by Rousey on her historic run. During that run, she raised the profile of women’s MMA across the board and became a legitimate crossover star. Then Holm kicked her ego in and took her belt.

1. Amanda Nunes

I mean, come on. She’s a current double champ. Five times successfully defended the UFC women’s bantamweight championship, one shy of the record, tied with Jedrzejczyk for second all-time and she hasn’t lost since 2014 when Cat Zingano TKO’ed her. She’s not the greatest of all time, that’s probably Justino, and she’s not the best right now, that’s probably Schevchenko. Yet, she is the best champion the UFC has ever had in the women’s division. Two title wins, five defenses, across two divisions and a win over Justino, Rousey, and Schevechnko? Those are pretty impressive wins. Even if the second Schevchenko fight was controversial.

UFC 248 takes place on Saturday, March 7, 2020, live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who will be on-site, for all your live results and highlights.

Next. 15 of the best female MMA fighters of all time. dark