A lot of people enjoy humiliating Ronda Rousey for losing back-to-back fights but if it wasn’t for her, women’s MMA might not be in the UFC. If you didn’t know, Showtime’s defunct MMA promotion StrikeForce, revolutionized women’s MMA on a large scale across the nation and the world years ago. Gina Carano, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey could be considered the Mount Rushmore of that era and women’s MMA has blown up ever since. Rousey obviously was the one on top of the promotion and because of her fighting style, as well as good looks, Dana White and the UFC finally changed their mind about women’s MMA.
Today, women are being given the same respect as their male counterparts, which wasn’t the case a decade ago. They headline cards, create great feuds, and show grit and toughness. Another great feature is the level of hotness many of these warriors have. There’s something special about a lady that could handle herself in a fight as a well as look good on a beach.
Of course, these girls have some bumps and bruises because of their occupation, and if chicks with some muscle make you feel emasculated then this list isn’t for you. It’s actually incredibly awesome that some of these female fighters can look tough one day and like perfect models the next. Enjoy.
16 Michelle Waterson
This beautiful bombshell has practically been on every list like this since her MMA debut in 2007. While the average fan was going bonkers over established stars Miesha Tate and Gina Carano, those that are diehards knew all about Michelle Waterson hotness when she was fighting in promotions like Invicta FC and Ring of Fire. Known as “The Karate Hottie,” Waterson finally made her UFC debut in 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.
She would have a triumphant debut, defeating Angela Magana with a submission in the third round of the match. She lost her last match against Rose Namajunas at UFC on Fox 24: Johnson versus Reis, but the Strawweight challenger still has a great record of 14-5. She’s still in the top ten of the UFC rankings and a few wins could earn her a title shot.
15 Claudia Gadelha
Her full name is Ana Cláudia Dantas Gadelha but we'll just use “Claudinha” for now. Born and raised in Brazil, the Strawweight fighter has an overall record of 15-2. She would make her UFC debut in 2014 and beat Tina Lähdemäki by decision at UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone versus Miller. She has four wins in the UFC, however, there is one person that has her number.
Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk would beat her twice but both times Claudinha went the distance with her. With a two fight win streak and the ranked second in the division, the UFC doesn’t usually reward a third match against an opponent that has already beaten her twice. Claudinha will have to be a gatekeeper for now and needs to keep racking up the wins for another title shot.
14 Tecia Torres
It’s remarkable how different a female fighter looks on fight night compared to a day at the beach or at some special event. It’s like night or day, and just another testament to the intelligence of women in the beauty department. Tecia Torres is one of those gals that can look battered and bruised one day and then the next day, she'll look like a model.
Known as “The Tiny Tornado,” Tecia Torres debuted for the UFC against Randa Markos as a contestant on UFC’s reality show The Ultimate Fighter Season 20: A Champion Will Be Crowned. The Strawweight fighter had a rocky road on the show but has an 8-1 record and on the path to a title shot. She faces Juliana Lima this summer at UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale.
13 Maryna Moroz
Known as “The Iron Woman,” Maryna Moroz hails from Ukraine, but is fighting out of Moscow, Russia. Moroz has an overall record of 8-2 but took a hit in the Strawweight rankings when she lost to Carla Esparza at UFC Fight Night 112: Chiesa versus Lee in June. The loss puts her out of the top ten in the division, however, at just 25 years old, Moroz has a ton of potential and time to get back into the championship picture.
As a member of Fight Nights Team, she’s training with world class killers like Vitaly Minakov, Rasul Mirzaev, and Movlid Khaibulaev. Don’t let the petite frame fool you, Moroz is as deadly as she is beautiful, oh it’s true, it’s damn true.
12 Felice Herrig
“The Lil Bulldog” made her MMA debut in 2009 and is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC’s Strawweight Division. After fighting in XFC and Bellator, Herrig finally made it to the big show when she became a contender on UFC’s reality television show The Ultimate Fighter Season 20: A Champion Will Be Crowned.
Herrig has been on fire since the show, going 4-1 in the UFC and has an overall record of 13-6. Her last fight came against Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 112: Chiesa versus Lee in June. She just cracked the top ten of the Strawweight Division but still has to win a few more matches before receiving that coveted title shot. If you enjoy her look, there are more tantalizing photos of Herrig online.
11 Ronda Rousey
We start with the most obvious choice and that's UFC legend Ronda Rousey. Despite her recent brutal loses in the octagon her star continues to shine with various Hollywood roles. Yes, her UFC legacy plays a big part, but it's her look that also helps as she has the mean side, along with the smoking hot side as well, something her fans have grown to love.
Along with good looks outside of the octagon, Rousey was also the victim of a burglary recently. However, don't feel too bad, Rousey caught the robbers on camera. It turned out to be a bunch of kids enjoying the time of their lives while Rousey was away. You can't make this stuff up folks, the thieves were found and immediately brought into custody.
10 1o. Amanda Cooper
Amanda “ABC” Cooper was lights out while on UFC’s reality television show The Ultimate Fighter Season 23: Team Joanna versus Team Claudia, winning three straight exhibition matches. However, having momentum because of exhibition bouts don’t necessarily transfer over to the real matches. She has gone 1-2 since The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale in 2016.
In her last match, she would lose to Cynthia Calvillo at UFC 209: Woodley versus Thompson 2 earlier this year. The beautiful blonde is only 25 years old and still has a long MMA career ahead of her. If she doesn’t start getting some wins under her belt, she won’t be with the promotion for much longer. Just because she doesn’t have the best record it doesn’t mean we don’t have to appreciate her beauty.
9 Carla Esparza
For having the nickname “The Cookie Monster,” it sure doesn’t look like Carla Esparza eats a lot of cookies. She would make her debut on UFC’s reality television show The Ultimate Fighter Season 20: A Champion Will Be Crowned, in 2015. She’s been inconsistent in her last four matches, going 2-2, however, Esparza is coming off a win against Maryna Moroz at UFC Fight Night 112: Chiesa Versus Lee in June.
With a record of 13-4, one or two more wins will propel her into the top five of the Strawweight Division. Fighting out of Redondo Beach, California, Esparza has done a decent job representing Team Oyama. Not only can she submit people on the mat, she can also make you submit with one look of her in a bikini.
8 Veronica Macedo
Veronica Macedo may have lost her first fight in the UFC to Ashlee Evans-Smith in 2016 but at 21 years of age, the sky is the limit for this Bantamweight fighter. Born in Venezuela, Macedo now fights out of Poznań, Poland and has an overall MMA record of 5-1-1 in her young career. She was supposed to fight Lina Länsberg at UFC Fight Night 107: Manuwa versus Anderson but the fight was canceled due to an injury sustained by Macedo.
She’s won by both TKO and submission, making her a dual threat standing up and on the ground. At such a young age, this injury shouldn’t be too much of a setback for her. With a gorgeous look and a great opportunity to be successful in a new division, the sky is the limit for Macedo.
7 Rose Namajunas
Known as the “Thug,” Rose Namajunas breaks the stereotype that a girl with a shaved head isn’t attractive. The Strawweight fighter comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin but trains out of Arvada, Colorado at the Genesis Training Center. With an overall record of 7-3, she would win her last match by submission against Michelle Waterson at UFC on FOX 24: Johnson versus Reis.
Whether she has a shaved head or long hair, one thing is for sure, Namajunas is not only turning heads in the UFC but also in pop culture at the age of 25. Ranked as the fourth best fighter in the division, Namajunas may very well get the next title shot against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. If she can dethrone the champion, her entire life is going to change for the better.
6 Kailin Curran
The Hawaii native has gone just 1-4 in the UFC since being part of the promotion. The Strawweight Division is the newest feature for the promotion so it’s no surprise that the UFC would keep someone with a losing record. Although her record has gone in the wrong direction, Curran does have an opportunity to change things soon.
She has a match against the Russian beauty Aleksandra Albu at UFC 214: Cormier versus Jones 2 in September. At just 26 years old, Curran still has a lot of time to improve her game. She's part of a strong camp, Reign MMA, which has standouts like Mark Munoz and Krzysztof Soszynski as coaches, so a turnaround is possible in her career. If she doesn’t win, she can always go into modeling with her looks.
5 Alexa Grasso
She looks like the lady you want to take home to mom but can also whoop your tail in a bedroom wrestling match. Fighting out of Guadalajara, Mexico, this 23-year-old alluring fighter has all the potential in the world to wreak havoc in the UFC. In a battle of undefeated records, Grasso would win in her UFC debut against Heather Clark at UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos versus Ferguson.
She has a 9-1 record, with her lone loss coming against powerhouse Felice Herrig at UFC Fight Night 104: Bermudez versus Korean Zombie earlier this year. The first loss of her career hasn’t detriment her fighting spirit like other fighters, as she has a fight coming up against Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night 114, which also happens to be in her home country.
4 Pearl Gonzalez
Fighting out of Chicago, Pearl Gonzalez is not only one tough cookie but also a stunning lady. The Strawweight fighter has a record of 6-1 but is coming off a loss against Cynthia Calvillo at UFC 210: Cormier versus Johnson 2 earlier this year. The loss was devastating for Gonzalez because it was her first taste of defeat in five years.
At 30 years old, she’s in the prime of her career so it wouldn’t be far stretched to say she’s eager to get back in the octagon as soon as possible. One of the best features of Gonzalez, besides her looks, is she finishes fights. During a six-fight winning streak, she won four matches by way of submission and one match by way of TKO.
3 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Maybe the hottest fighter on this list, Karolina Kowalkiewicz was on fire when she debuted for the UFC in 2015 with an 8-0 record. She would win three straight fights against Randa Markos, Heather Clark, and Rose Namajunas and get a title shot against Strawweight kingpin Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She would lose by decision, which is pretty impressive, but took a hard lost in her next fight against Cláudia Gadelha at UFC 212: Aldo versus Holloway this year.
Training in MMA since the age of 16, Kowalkiewicz has all the experience in the world to come back from back-to-back losses. Although she has two losses under her belt, the Polish native is still ranked third in the division to date. She can easily gain a win and get another title shot in the foreseeable future.
2 Aleksandra Albu
Whatever you think about Russia, you can’t deny the number of beautiful women in the country. It’s why James Bond always loved being assigned missions there. Aleksandra Albu could definitely be in a Bond movie and not just as the dame in distress but also somebody who could fight Bond in hand-to-hand combat. Her story is pretty interesting as she has taken a lot of time off since being signed by the UFC in 2013.
The strawweight fighter was supposed to fight Julie Kedzie in 2013 but the bout was canceled due to an injury Albu sustained. She would make her UFC debut in 2015, beating Izabela Badurek at UFC Fight Night 64: Gonzaga versus Cro Cop 2 in 2015. It has been two years since that fight and Albu finally has another bout coming up against Kailin Curran at UFC 214: Cormier versus Jones 2 in the fall.
1 Paige VanZant
If you know anything about hot women in the UFC, then you know Paige VanZant was definitely making this list. She pretty much has fans wrapped around her finger and even if she keeps on losing, she’s going to be loved by many fans. The beautiful blonde bombshell fights out of Reno, Nevada for Team Alpha Male. The internet would explode when the UFC signed VanZant in 2014 and she didn’t disappoint when she beat Kailin Curran by way of TKO at UFC Fight Night 57: Edgar versus Swanson.
She’s gone 3-2 since then and has an overall record of 7-3. Her last match came against another beautiful lady of the UFC, Michelle Waterson, at UFC on FOX 22, a show in December of 2016 that was highlighted by the two. It looks like she’s trying to recharge her batteries in 2017 but a fight should be coming up soon.