There’s something extremely captivating about a women’s MMA fight, as the idea of two females squaring off and throwing hands is still relatively taboo. One aspect of women’s MMA that’s winning fans over is the fact that their fights seem awfully personal. In many of the men’s fights, once the round begins, they do a calculated dance called“the feeling out process” or “finding their range.” Sometimes it takes a few minutes before the action truly commences. It’s certainly a very intelligent approach as they’re calculating their distances, so they don’t get tagged with a strike that comes out nowhere. The problem is that this process is not always visually pleasing for the fans. There’s no such apprehension in a women’s fight (if you don’t believe me, check out Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano). Their fights just seem very heated as oftentimes they meet in the center of the octagon and brawl. There’s also a certain “bromance” after a fight between two men as they usually hug it out when it’s over. After a women’s fight, they still look pissed off and want to go a few more rounds.
Let’s not make any illusions either, it certainly helps when the women that are competing are good looking. The UFC’s main audience is generally 18-35 year old males. When you walk into an arena for a live UFC event, you can almost feel the testosterone in the air. But there’s a respect factor for the female fighters, as people respect their skills along with their beauty. For example, when an “octagon girl” comes out and walks around in a circle, people are hooting and hollering as if they’re in a strip club. It’s a totally different reaction when a female fighter makes their walk to the octagon to throw-down.
Without further ado, let’s check out the top 20 hottest women in MMA!
(Quick note: we will not be including fighters that have only competed once in 3-4 years...unless your name is Gina Carano of course).
20 Julianna Pena
“The Venezuelan Vixen” is the first female ever to win The Ultimate Fighter tournament. She was a bit of an outcast in the house as her annoying habits seemed to repel everyone. Regardless, she let her fighting to the talking and almost made it look easy. She had a ton of momentum coming off the show but was forced to take a year and a half off after destroying her knee in a controversial training accident. There was controversy because she was training with a man that was way heavier than her and he decided to go for a standing rear-naked choke. Her leg ultimately buckled and she ended up damaging her ACL, MCL, LCL and meniscus. Pena seems to be back on track, winning via TKO in the first round against Milana Dudieva in her return fight.
19 Cassie Robb
Thankfully for Cassie, we're not taking wins into account for this list. The Invicta Atomweight's professional record stands at 0-3 as her most recent defeat came at the hands of Jinh Yu Frey at Invicta FC 10. To be fair, her amateur record is far more respectable at 3-2-1. There's no word as to when we can expect to see Robb competing again. She may get handed another loss, but will look very pretty doing it.
18 Maegan Goodwin
Goodwin is a 23 year-old Invicta prospect with a ton of upside. She is a considered a submission fighter and displayed a lot of potential in her three amateur fights, winning two by submission. At 5'11" she towers over the majority of fighters in the Featherweight division. She will be a force to be reckoned with if she can sharpen up her striking game and utilize her reach advantage. There were a lot of eyes on Goodwin when she made her Invicta debut this past November, but her opponent, Kelly McGill, was having none of it as she won a dominant decision.
17 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Jedrzejczyk recently upset Carla Esparza to win the UFC Straweight championship. No disrespect to the vet Esparza, who is still a heck of a fighter, but Joanna (way easier to just write her first name) winning the belt is the best thing for the division going forward. There's a shortage of "personality's" in the UFC right now and Jedrzejczyk provides plenty of it. Her trash talk leading up to the Esparza fight was very entertaining and it also paid dividends in the fight, as she clearly got in her head. She also is constantly sporting a cheeky smirk, as if she's up to something.
16 Aleksandra Albu
Joanna might have some company atop of the of the Straweight division as this hottie is certainly making a case for herself. She finished her fight against Izabela Badurek via devastating guillotine in the 2nd round at UFC Fight Night 64. Look for Joe Silva to give this 24 year old prospect from Moscow a step up in competition next time out and expect her to be up to the challenge.
15 Lena Ovchynnikova
While women's MMA is new to the UFC, Ovchynnikova is considered a grizzled vet in this sport, boasting a 10-3 record, eight of those wins by way of submission. She's a beast in the cage but unfortunately for Lena, she can kind of relate to Penny (Kayley Cuoco) of "The Big Bang Theory." She's still hot with the short hair but...it's just not the same!
14 Tecia Torres
Torres might be the most underrated fighter in the UFC's Straweight division. She has taken down some major names so far in her young career. Among her casualties have been; Paige VanZant, Rose Namajunas and Felice Herrig. She's also one of the most underrated looking women in women's MMA. It completely flies under the radar that she's beaten the three fighters named above and that she's within striking distance in the looks department.
13 Jessica Penne
Jessica Penne is tough. The word "tough" is overused in this sport but if you witnessed her three round war with champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, you would certainly concur with that assessment. She definitely went out on her shield as she slugged it out with the champ, ultimately getting TKO'ed in the 3rd round. Penne is a veteran of the sport and has taken her fair share of damage, but still sports a pretty face.
12 Angelica Chavez
At 5 foot 1 and 105 pounds, to steal a line from Rachel from Friends: "she's so cute! You could fit her right in your little pocket!" Chavez started off her career with authority as she submitted her first four opponents. Since then, she's sputtered a bit, dropping three fights in a row. She's only 27 and still has a lot of potential, but it will be tough for her to end up in the UFC at some pointm as they have no plans to add an Atomweight division.
11 Felice Herrig
Felice may never be the queen of the Straweight division but she is the undisputed queen of "the selfie." Herrig is a well known fighter as she's been around the game for a long time and has a unique look and charismatic persona. While a lot of the women that have been named so far like to fly under the radar, Herrig is the exact opposite. On The Ultimate Fighter last year, she'd either deliberately walk away from the camera's so they would get a good shot of her rear-end or the camera guy was creepy and would follow her around. If it was the latter, Herrig seemed to welcome it!
10 Cat Zingano
Poor Cat has had it rough over the last two years. First, she blew out her knee and was forced to pull out of her title fight with Ronda Rousey and ultimately had to give up her coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter to Miesha Tate. Her Husband (Mauricio Zingano) then committed suicide, which made her absence even more prolonged. When she finally got her title shot against Rousey, she was steamrolled in 14 seconds.
All this aside, Cat is very...very good looking. She does not have a Barbie approach like Felice Herrig either, they call her "Alpha" for a reason.
9 Jordan Nicole Gaza
This addition was borderline because she hasn't competed in two years, but we'll let it slide. Gaza is a natural beauty that has actually beaten the UFC's budding star, Paige VanZant in the past. She competes in the Featherweight division or as casual fans call it "the weight class Cyborg competes at." If she had UFC aspirations, it would be wise to drop down to Bantamweight, as the UFC doesn't seem too eager to create a Featherweight division.
8 Kyra Gracie
There's been a few Gracie's lately that have made underwhelming debuts. Kyra was looking to break that trend but unfortunately her MMA debut has been pushed back because she took some time off to become a mom. Gracie draws a lot of similarities to current champ, Ronda Rousey, due to the fact that they both mastered one art (Rousey with Judo, Gracie with Jiu-Jitsu) and won at an international level before entering the sport of MMA. Gracie is the real deal as she is a five-time (as Booker-T would say, FIVE-TIME!!) jiu-jitsu world champion. Considering her family name, looks and most of all, fighting pedigree, Gracie has all that it takes to be a star.
7 Rachael Cummins
You could consider Cummins a freelance fighter, as she's fought for different promotions in all of her professional fights. She's been impressive of late as well, as she's won three of her last four and she may be close to a shot in the UFC. Standing at 5'9", she has a very impressive frame for the Bantamweight division and could make an impact. She's also got a body that resembles a super model's rather than a fighter...we don't hear anyone complaining.
6 Michelle Waterson
Everyone keep your eyes on the screen as the ravishing Michelle Waterson makes her first walk to the UFC octagon this Saturday night. But then avert your eyes to the beat down that will take place as poor Angela Magana has been selected to be the sacrificial lamb for Waterson's first bout.
Waterson is an Invicta veteran and boasts a 12-4 record. Only two of those 12 wins have gone to the judges scorecards...she is vicious. Magana, on the other hand, was far from impressive on The Ultimate Fighter and didn't look great at the Finale, as she lost a decision to Tecia Torres.
5 Rose Namajunas
The general thought whenever an MMA fan sees Rose Namajunas is: "damn, good for you Pat Barry." Of course, Pat is Rose's boyfriend and ex-UFC Heavyweight. She's as cute as a button and he's just hilarious. They're very goofy together, the type of couple you'd want to play beer pong with at a party, but maybe not sit at the same table at a formal event.
Don't let her sweet demeanor fool you as she's a nightmare in the octagon. She made it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 20 and lost a competitive fight to Carla Esparza.
4 Ronda Rousey
The face of women's MMA clocks in at #4 on our list. Rousey sports a natural "all-American" look and it's not just a look, as she actually represented the United States in Judo in two Olympics (2004 and 2008). It's hard to go see a movie nowadays without seeing Rousey make a cameo. Just this past year she appeared in The Expendables 3, Furious 7 and Entourage.
Rousey does display some unladylike tendencies, as she's admitted to being a bit of a slob. In her autobiography "My Fight, Your Fight," she compared her old Honda Accord to one of those messy vehicles in the air freshener commercials...without the air freshener. Nevertheless, she's still very good looking and high on this list.
3 Gina Carano
Oh Gina, the one female fighter that Rousey looks up to...even on this list. Gina Carano is the first female fighter that went to Hollywood. She was gorgeous, personable (something Rousey is not, sometimes) and most importantly, a kick ass fighter. While Rousey was the driving force for getting women in the UFC, Carano was the one that put women's MMA on the map. Before her, women fighting was deemed as a cat fight.
Unfortunately, Carano has faded off. Her first and only defeat came at the hands of Christiane "Cyborg" Justino (formally known as Santos, that woman has too many names) in 2009. The loss kind of captured Carano's fighting spirit, as she hasn't expressed any desire to return. Rousey has already surpassed Carano's exploits in the octagon and is poised to do the same on the big screen. It's ok Gina, you still 1-up her on this list.
2 Miesha Tate
The Ultimate Fighter 18, Team Rousey vs. Team Tate was the last season of that show that anyone cared about. Throughout the season, episode by episode, Tate slowly became the fan favorite because of the way she carried herself while Rousey's antics turned everyone off.
It's Tate's combative nature, along with her good looks, that endear her to most of her fans (and let's be real, some just like looking at her butt). For example, in her first fight with Rousey, she was in an armbar and rather than immediately give up, she fought her way out even though it near broke her arm. The damage didn't deter Tate as she went after Rousey with her good arm. Most recently, she challenged "Cyborg" to a fight at a catch weight of 140 pounds. "Cyborg" is widely regarded at the most feared fighter in women's MMA.
1 Paige VanZant
At only 21 years of age, VanZant is very young but still has already fought seven times (one of them was an amateur bout). She's garnered a lot of attention, particularly in her latest fight against Felice Herrig, where Felice seemed genuinely disappointed that she wasn't the token "hottie" that all the guys were gawking at. To make matters worse for Felice, VanZant beat the breaks off her in a very one-sided decision.
VanZant started training at Ken Shamrock's gym "The Lions Den" when the family moved to Sparx, Nevada. Random fact: she is the only UFC fighter sponsored by Reebok that doesn't have a UFC belt or that hasn't won one in the past. Dana White claims it's because she has that "it" factor and personality. Ok Dana, you can just say it's because she's hot.