The Outsiders: The Female Divisions

While most of the best talent is under the UFC banner and Bellator and WSOF have seemed scooped up the rest, there is still plenty of talent yet to be signed by the top promotions of the MMA food chain. These are not necessarily 'free agents' or even prospects, they are top 15-30 ranked fighters who are navigating the nebulous seas of regional and international fight promotion for whatever reason. Yet these are names you are most likely to see signed by top promotions in the near future more so than any of the other 'Outsider' posts; most are young, they are all prospects, and the promotions will have ample room and turnover for roster additions.

Unfortunately it's somewhat easy to dismiss Women's divisions in MMA, mainly because the depth of the divisions are really shallow and the sport hasn't taken off for the ladies in the same way it has for men. Sure you have Rousey and Cyborg (and the ghost of Gina Carano appearing once a year or so) and interest from the UFC in two divisions as well as Invicta's all-female roster, the reality is that the state of female MMA is best likened to MMA in general in 1996; a few big names, a lot of athletes with less than 10 fights on their record, and an unquantifiable standard for how 'good' talent can be measured.

On the other hand Bellator has revisited promoting a women's division (this time at 145) and DEEP has taken over the venerable JEWELS promotion to continue supporting Japanese female athletes. That's a decent foundation for the future, but the only thing missing are the athletes to fill those rosters. I personally enjoy women's MMA so I hope that all the ladies currently working hard to achieve MMA notoriety and the younger athletes just entering the gyms out there will grow the sport exponentially over the next few years.

Featherweights (145lb)

3 Arlene Blencowe 5-4-0 31 Storm MMA (Australia)
5 Jessica Miele 3-1-0 ? Gladiator Challenge
7 Latoya Walker 4-0-0 35 Sugar Creek Showdown
9 Jozette Cotton 6-0-0 26 Dynasty Combat
11 Faith Van Duin 4-1-0 28 Storm MMA (Australia)
12 Michelle Young 1-0-0 ? Alaska FC
13 Fallon Fox 5-1-0 39 CCCW
15 Megan Anderson 4-1-0 ? Roshambo MMA (Australia)

Top Promotions

Promotion # Top 15 fighters Champ
Bellator 4 vacant
Invicta 3 Cristiane Justino

Bantamweights (135lb)

21 Pannie Kianzad 7-0-0 23 Cage Warriors (UK)
22 Jessy Rose Clark 5-1-0 ? Roshambo MMA (Australia)
23 Adnieszka Niedzwiedz 7-0-0 19 Fighter's Arena (Poland)
24 Colleen Scheider 6-5-0 32 Super Fight League (India)
25 Sarah D'Alelio 8-6-0 34 BAMMA (UK)

Top Promotions

Promotion # Top 25 fighters Champ
UFC 18 Ronda Rousey
Invicta 1 vacant

Flyweights (125lb)

7 Brenda Gonzales 6-2-0 32 Mosley Showdown
8 Juliana Werner 8-4-0 33 XFC (Brazil)
9 Silvana Gomez Juarez 5-0-0 ? XFC (Brazil)
10 Kamila Porczyk 2-0-0 37 KSW (Poland)
11 Antonia Silvaneide da Silva 4-1-0 ? XFC (Brazil)
15 Reina Cordoba 7-0-0 ? Center Real Fights (Costa Rica)
16 Ana Maria 5-5-0 ? Fatality Arena (Brazil)
17 Karine Gevorgyan 2-0-0 Octagon FS (Russia)
18 Audrey Alvarez 3-0-0 31 Back Alley Promotions
19 Poliana Botelho 3-1-0 26 XFC (Brazil)
20 Manjit Kolekar 6-0-0 ? Super Fight League (India)

Top Promotions

Promotion # Top 20 fighters Champ
Invicta 8 Barb Honchak
XFC 4 vacant

Strawweights (115lb)

8 Livia Renata Souza 7-0-0 23 Circuito Talent de MMA (Brazil)
11 Kalindra Faria 15-5-1 28 KSW (Poland)
16 Justine Kish 4-0-0 26 RFA
18 Aline Sattelmayer 8-6-0 24 Real Fight (Brazil)
20 Marilia Santos 4-0-0 ? MMA Super Heroes (Brazil)
22 Viviane Pereira 7-0-0 ? XFC (Brazil)
26 Emi Fujino 15-8-0 34 DEEP/WSOF
27 Ericka Almeida 6-0-0 25 Jungle Fight (Brazil)
28 Virna Jandiroba 3-0-0 ? MMA Super Heroes (Brazil)
29 Sarah Schneider 7-6-0 34 Extreme Beatdown
30 Patricia Vidonic 9-7-0 35 Rogue Fights

Top Promotions

Promotion # Top 30 fighters Champ
UFC 12 Carla Esparza
Invicta 4 Katja Kankaanpaa
WSOF 2 Jessica Aguilar

Atomweights (105lb)

2 Ayaka Hamasaki 11-1-0 32 DEEP (Japan)
4 Celine Haga 6-12-0 30 Global KO
5 Cortney Casey 3-1-0 ? PXC (Philippines)
6 Mei Yamaguchi 13-8-1 32 DEEP (Japan)
7 Mina Kurobe 5-0-0 37 DEEP (Japan)
8 Saori Ishioka 13-8-0 27 DEEP (Japan)
10 Naho Sugiyama 10-4-0 37 DEEP (Japan)
11 Satomi Takano 6-5-0 ? DEEP (Japan)
13 Tomo Maesawa 5-4-0 ? DEEP (Japan)
14 Cassie Rodish 5-4-0 34 RFA
15 Satoko Shinashi 31-2-2 38 DEEP (Japan)

Top Promotions

Promotion # Top 15 fighters Champ
DEEP 8 Satoko Shinashi
Invicta 4 Herica Tiburcio

*All Rankings taken from Fight Matrix at time of writing. Promotions without a country listed next to it are considered US based.