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Pound for pound Women’s UFC rankings: Raquel Pennington enters the top 10

women's UFC rankings
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
RankFighterRecordLast 3 Results
#1Zhang Weili24-3W-W-W
#2Alexa Grasso16-3-1D-W-W
#3Valentina Shevchenko23-4-1D-L-W
#4Carla Esparza20-7L-W-W
#5Erin Blanchfield11-1W-W-W
#6Yan Xiaonan17-3W-W-L
#7Rose Namajunas12-6L-L-W
#8Julianna Pena12-5L-W-W
#9Tatiana Suarez10-0W-W-W
#10Raquel Pennington15-8W-W-W

The pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings are a showcase of the best female fighters in MMA. It features world-class talents, a few division GOATs, and several champions across the company’s four female weight classes.

Related: UFC tonight: Fight card, betting odds, and watch times for Saturday’s UFC event

With that in mind, here is the official Sportsnaut top-10 for the organization’s pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings.

Top 10 pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings

10. Raquel Pennington (15-8)

women's UFC rankings
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After a decade in the UFC, Raquel Pennington’s long 18-fight odyssey to be a champion finally came to an end at UFC 297. Over five rounds, the American finally showed he was the best fighter in the world in her division when she defeated Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant bantamweight title. Now, she will likely face former titlist Julianna Pena in her first defense later this year.

Related: Sean O’Malley next fight – Who will “Suga” face in his UFC return?

9. Tatiana Suarez (10-0)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Tatiana Suarez has been one of the best strawweight prospects on the planet since she entered the company in 2016. She has yet to taste defeat in her seven UFC bouts and has rarely received serious resistance. The only thing that has derailed her in her career is a serious knee injury that sidelined her for nearly four years. However, she has bounced back since then and did so again dominantly at UFC Nashville.

In defeating Jessica Andrade she stamped her place as a serious title contender in the UFC 115-pound division and worthy of being among the top 10 pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings.

8. Rose Namajuna (12-6)

women's UFC rankings
Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time strawweight queen Rose Namajuna is one of the best female fighters of her era. When she is on, she is an elite-level striker and tactician. However, there have been a few times when she has lost mental focus in the cage. As she did in her shocking June 2022 loss to Esparza.

The former champ took over a year away from the sport and finally made her return in September, but at flyweight. It did not prove to be a beneficial change as she was decisively defeated by Manon Fiorot in her division debut and it is unclear what’s next for the two-time 115-pound champion.

Related: UFC Deaths – Taking a look into the ugly and violent side of cage fighting

7. Julianna Pena (12-5)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Julianna Pena is one of several stars who has proven “The Ultimate Fighter” is a legitimate resource for future stars and champions. Her win against Amanda Nunes in December 2021 will go down in history as one of the biggest upsets of all time and has forever cemented her place in the sport. However, the injury bug again bit her and she will not get to compete in a trilogy fight against Nunes in June. It is unclear when she will be back inside the Octagon.

6. Yan Xiaonan (17-3)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

After falling in consecutive bouts to former strawweight queen Carla Esparza and top contender Marina Rodriguez, Yan Xionan has moved up the pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings off a pair of huge wins against MacKenzie Dern and a KO victory against Andrade in May. She is on the cusp of greatness if a rumored bout between her and fellow Chinese star, and champion, Weili Zhang is booked later this year.

Also Read: UFC Heavyweight Rankings – Looking at the 10 best at the UFC’s heaviest division

5. Erin Blanchfield (12-1)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey native Erin Blanchfield is the next big thing at flyweight. She is unbeaten over her first six bouts in the UFC and has won nine straight overall. At only 25 years old, her potential seems limitless and she is set up to be a serious title contender.

In August she proved her worth as a title contender by working and defeating former title challenger Taila Santos in a highly competitive clash at UFC Singapore. A championship fight could be next.

Also Read: Conor McGregor next fight – When will “Notorious” make his UFC return?

4. Carla Esparza (20-7)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Carla Esparza was on top of the world heading to the end of 2022. She had won six straight and posted a second victory over strawweight great Rose Namajunas. However, the success train was derailed by former champ Weili Zhang in November. Esparza’s penchant for less-than-exciting fights could hurt her chances of getting a championship rematch sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, she is a top fighter at 115 pounds.

Related: How UFC scoring works – Everything you need to know about how to win inside the Octagon

3. Valentina Shechenko (23-4)

women's UFC rankings
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Valentina Shevchenko will go down as one of the greatest female fighters ever, and the best that women’s flyweight has ever seen. If not for two razor-thin losses to Amanda Nunes, she would be considered the women’s GOAT. However, in March she showed that even legends make mistakes.

In a rare moment of weakness in the UFC 285 co-main event, she flubbed and young star Alexa Grasso took full advantage and made her tap for the first time in her career. “Bullet” got her chance at revenge in Sept. and fought well. However, a close fight and some questionable judging led to a surprising majority draw in her rematch at Noche UFC.

Related: 10 Best MMA Movies That Will Make You Want to Fight

2. Alexa Grasso (16-3)

women's UFC rankings
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Many doubted Alexa Grasso could beat Shevchenko, but in March the 29-year-old showed her four-fight win streak was no fluke when she made the division great tap out. In becoming just the second Mexican-born champion in UFC history she turned herself into a fighting legend in her home country. Now, the hard work of trying to hold on to the belt and pad her legacy is next.

She began that path with a rematch against Shevchenko that led to a questionable majority draw. Getting her run as champion off to a controversial start.

1. Zhang Weili (24-3)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of two losses to Namajunas, Weili Zhang has been everything the UFC could have hoped for. She is 8-2 in the Octagon with four finishes and has begun her second reign as strawweight champion. She is a mix of power and technique that makes her the best MMA fighter ever out of China.

She showcased her overall game when she dominated talented contender Amanda Lemos for five rounds at UFC 292. While the Brazilian showed an impressive amount of toughness and heart, “Magnum” proved that she is on a level few female fighters in the world can reach.

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