Gina Carano is often credited with helping put women's MMA on the Map. From there, Rhonda Rousey grabbed the ball and took it to the next level. Today it's not uncommon to see several women featured prominently in major MMA promotions around the world. Needless to say, these ladies put in a lot of hard work in order to stay in peak physical condition. This is required in order to be able to compete at the highest level of the sport. One of the nice side effects of this type of training is developing the type physique that would have even a bikini model envious.
The world outside of the MMA media has certainly noticed the great beauty possessed by many of today's top female fighters. Popular magazine's like Maxim, Sports Illustrated, and even Espn have all prominently featured some of these ladies in less than full attire. The phrase "movie star good looks" certainly applies here, as some of these women have even been featured in major motions pictures. Corporate Americas has even got aboard with these starlets by featuring them in various television ads. However, as the saying goes, "seeing is believing". With that in mind let's take a look at 15 photo's that leave no doubt, that female mixed martial artists are some of the most beautiful women in the world today.
15 Paige VanZant
No. This isn't a model or ballerina. This is 22-year old UFC strawweight contender Paige VanZant. Don't let her good looks fool you, VanZant is a fierce competitor in the Octagon who has already collected 7 professional wins, prior to her 23rd birthday. You may also recognize VanZant from her stint on Dancing with the Stars, where she finished second overall. The Oregon native was also featured in her own MetroPCS wireless commercial. I'm sure there are more than few guys out there who wouldn't mind getting her number. A discussion of the hottest females in MMA wouldn't be complete without mentioning VanZant, just take a look at this photo if you have any doubt.
14 Gina Carano
Gina Carano's star power has transcended the sport of mixed martial arts. Carano went 7-1 as a pro with her only loss coming against Cristiane Justino, who many consider the best pound-for-pound fighter in all of women's MMA. However, in recent years Carano has also gained a great deal of notoriety, since leaving the sport back in 2009. She was even able to land the leading role in the Hollywood thriller Haywire. Moreover, the former featherweight starred in the Marvel film Deadpool. It's a classic case of movie star good looks turning someone into... well... a movie star. The American Gladiators fans out there might also remember Carano as gladiator Crush, in the series' second run. Leaving MMA early probably made sense for Carano. After all, it would be a shame to see a face like that take unnecessary damage.
13 Anastasia Yankova
There's a chance that Anastasia Yankova might be the hottest woman in MMA that you've never heard of. However, once you get a glimpse of the Russian flyweight, it's unlikely you'll soon forget her. The Moscow product is currently undefeated with a 4-0 record. She currently competes for Viacom's Bellator MMA promotion. If Yankova continues to develop, she could easily become Bellator's first breakout female star. Let's be honest, with looks like that, even if she doesn't continue to develop, there will still be more than few fans that will be eager to tune it. As it stands, Yankova might be the hottest athlete to come out of Moscow since tennis star Anna Kournikova. If you needed a reason to check out Bellator MMA, I've just given you one.
12 Felice Herrig
Fresh off of her upset win over highly rated prospect Alexa Grasso, Herrig is poised to make waves in the UFC strawweight division. She has admitted to struggling with confidence issues following her loss to Paige Van Zant back in April of 2015. However, it's clear that former kickboxer isn't struggling when it comes to staying in shape. From the looks of it, Herrig could enter a fitness competition tomorrow and would likely do pretty well. Since her UFC debut on the reality series The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion will be crowned, the Lil Bulldog has never been short on sex appeal. She recently challenged Paige Van Zant to a rematch in a recent post-fight interview. I'm sure there are plenty of folks who would love to see those two share the cage again.
11 Michelle Waterson
It's fair to say Michelle Waterson's nickname "The Karate Hottie" fits like a glove. The former Invicta FC atom weight champion is certainly easy on the eyes. When Waterson faced Paige Van Zant back in December of 2016, the cage nearly burst trying to contain the overwhelming hotness radiating from both women. I almost forgot, she's also a pretty darn good fighter. In fact, Waterson holds an impressive record of 2-0 since her debut in the UFC. She surprised many fight pundits when she submitted Van Zant with relative ease in the first round of their matchup. She also trains with fellow fight babe Holly Holm in New Mexico. MMA enthusiasts will surely get a kick out watching the Karate Hottie's career unfold.
10 Carla Esparza
Carla Esparza isn't one of the first names that come to find when discussing the most beautiful women in MMA, but maybe it should be. As you can see Esparza can hold her own when it come to rocking a bikini. Moreover, she can certainly hold her own when it come to competing inside the octagon. The Mexican superstar will go down in MMA history as the first ever UFC strawweight champion. Esparza was one of the many female strawweights who debuted as part of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion will be crowned, reality series. In fact, Esparza won the tournament with relative ease. At just over 5 feet tall the grappler from California might be small in stature, but finding a woman in better shape could prove to be a tall task.
9 Andrea Lee
Don't let Andrea "KGB" Lee's nickname fool you, this girl was born and raised in the in the U.S.A. The southern belle from Atlanta, Texas has accumulated a respectable 5-2 record as a professional mixed martial artist. She currently competes in the all-female promotion, Invicta FC's Flyweight division. Her charming smile and country charm have made her a fan favorite in the organization. Don't let that smile full you, Lee packs quite punch. Just ask her last opponent, Jenny Liou who was knocked out in just over a minute in Lee's most recent bout. As you can see, the Texan can lay claim to being one of the hottest stars in Invicta FC and MMA in general. Lee was breakout star written all over her.
8 Miesha Tate
Anyone in the mood to go swimming? Even casual MMA fans will probably remember the former women's bantamweight champion and her feud with longtime rival Rhonda Rousey. Sadly, we will no longer see Tate competing in the octagon. The avid Seattle Seahawks fan announced her retirement back in November of 2016. Since the announcement, she has been doing broadcast work for the UFC. If that doesn't work out, a career as a fitness model certainly wouldn't be out of the question. Tate will be remembered for her resiliency in the cage, as well as her signature good looks. Although, it's very likely there are more than few fans that wouldn't mind seeing this stunner return to the cage if retirement doesn't suit her.
7 Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina Shevchenko would probably rather be known for her outstanding Mua Thai than as an MMA beauty. However, let us give credit where credit is due, the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian is looking pretty good in this photo. Shevchenko surprised the MMA world when she upset former women's bantamweight champion, Holly Holm. She would follow up her performance with an impressive submission victory over Julianna Pena. It's believed that the woman called Bullet is next in line for a title shot against Amanda Nunes. It's possible the next time we see Shevchenko frolicking in a bikini on the beach, it could be with the UFC world title around her waist. Although the current women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will certainly be a tough out.
6 Holly Holm
After 38 professional boxing matches, 3 kickboxing bouts, and 12 MMA fights Holm still looks amazing. The striker from New Mexico became a household name following her upset win over the previously undefeated Ronda Rousey. Being the only women to win titles in both professional boxing and MMA give Holm a strong claim to being the greatest female combat sports athlete of all time. Her devastating head kick knockout of Rousey will be shown as part of MMA highlight packages for decades to come. She also looks pretty good in a bathing suit, so there's that. Holm is a world-class athlete who's beauty is only surpassed by her skills as a mixed martial artist. Fan's will likely enjoy watching Holm compete for years to come.
5 Claudia Gadelha
It's likely Sir Mix-a-lot could be among Claudia Gadelha's biggest admirers based on this photo. The zebra print clad Brazilian is probably best known for taking current strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk to the limit on two sperate occasions. Though she ultimately failed to capture Jedrzejczyk's title, she has undoubtedly been the champs toughest test since she entered the UFC. Gadelha has previously trained with famed Brazilian fight team Nova Uniao where she became the youngest person, male or female, to receive a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The 28-year-old looks to be in tremendous shape and is arguably the hottest Brazilian female in all of MMA. However, one might suspect those arguing against Gadelha will have a tough time after seeing this particular shot.
4 Jessamyn Duke
The nearly 6 foot tall Whitesburg, Kentucky product was a member of The Four Horsewomen. The Four horsewomen were stable of female MMA fighters who trained together, with their most prominent member being Ronda Rousey. I don't recall there ever being news of an official break up, but I haven't heard the faction referenced in a while. Duke allegedly modelled prior to the start of her career in MMA. It would appear she has the height and physique that's commonly associated with females in the modelling industry. This might be a good thing since her fighting career has hit a bit of a rough patch as of late. The Invicta FC fighters current professional record stands at 3-5, with one no-contest. She has lost 5 consecutive bouts in a row. Oh well, if the MMA thing doesn't work out, there's always the runway.
3 Megan Anderson
The Invicta FC standout has started to gain some notoriety as of late, due to her 4 fight win streak. For those of us out there that like their ladies with a few tattoos, the 145-pound Aussie could definitely be your type. However, if you are fortunate enough to score a date with the 6-foot tall featherweight, be sure to mind your manners, because this woman has become a knockout machine. Her last 4 victories have all come by the way of TKO stoppages. After her most recent victory against Charmine Tweet, Anderson was awarded the Invicta FC Interim Featherweight Championship. This tall tattooed title holder will be one to watch in 2017 and many fans of the sport will enjoy doing just that.
2 Tecia Torres
The Tiny Tornado proves that good things do indeed come in small packages. The 27-year old's career has gotten off to an excellent start, after suffering only one loss at the hands of Rose Namajunas, in her first 9 fights. Torres is another fighter who may not immediately come to mind when discussing the best bods in mixed martial arts. However, a lifetime of practicing Taekwondo has given her a physique comparable to many of the top beauties in the world of professional cage fighting. After signing with the UFC Torres was quoted as saying "I want to become the champion and hold that belt. I don’t want to just win a fight and then lose it in my next fight. I want to create the Tiny Tornado legacy." She can now add having a great bikini photo to that legacy
1 Ronda Rousey
You didn't think we were going to have a list MMA stars in swimsuits without featuring Rhonda Rousey, did you? We have chronicled Rousey's recent struggles in 15 UFC Stars Who Could Lose Their Roster Spot In 2017 .However, regardless of how her future in the UFC plays out, I'm sure there are plenty of the former champions fans who hope she doesn't disappear from the limelight completely. With her ability to pose for photos like this one, it's easy to see how the former olympian caught the eye of Hollywood producers. Rousey has become such a huge star that even people who have never seen an MMA fight in their life, still know who Ronda Rousey is. While she may no longer be the champion, Rousey still remains the Queen of women's MMA.