Lineage Of Women’s MMA
In November of 2012 women got their first chance to be in the biggest MMA promotion in the world, the UFC. Leading the way was mega superstar Ronda Rousey. Upon arrival to the UFC, she was awarded the inaugural women’s bantamweight championship. For a long time, Rousey was considered the best women’s MMA fighter in the world. That ended on November 15th, 2015 when she got knocked out by underdog Holly Holm. Today we will take a look into the two most dominant female MMA fighters in the history of women’s MMA.
Amanda Nunes was brought into the UFC in 2013, when she knocked out Sheila Gaff in her UFC debut. She only has one loss in her UFC career to Cat Zingano in her third fight with the promotion. Since then she is on a ten fight winning streak that dates as recent as December of 2019.
Nunes won the vacant women’s bantamweight title at UFC 200 by defeating Miesha Tate. Her first title defense came against the former champion Ronda Rousey, in Rousey’s first fight back in the UFC since she got knocked out by Holly Holm. Nunes dominated that fight, knocking Rousey out in the first round. She then went on to defend her title against the likes of Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Pennington, Holly Holm, and Germaine de Randamie. In the middle of all of that, she also went up to the women’s featherweight division and took that title from Cris Cyborg. This made Nunes the first woman ever to be a UFC double champion.
Cris Cyborg was looked at as one of the best women mixed martial artists before she signed to the UFC. When she signed she quickly proved that to be true as she went 2-0 out of the gate, knocking out Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg in the first and second rounds. The UFC then made a featherweight division for the women and had Cyborg fight, Tonya Evinger, for the inaugural title. After knocking out Evinger she went on to defeat Holly Holm and Yana Kunitskaya before running into Amanda Nunes and subsequently being released from the UFC. This made Nunes by far the best women’s martial artist in all of women’s MMA history.
Valentina Shevchenko only has three losses in her entire career. Two of those losses came to Amanda Nunes at bantamweight and the other came from Liz Carmouche prior to either of them signing with the UFC.
After her most recent loss to Nunes, Shevchenko went back down to flyweight and defeated Priscila Cachoeira. She then went on to defeat Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the vacant flyweight title. Since then she has defended her title three times, defeating Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, and Katlyn Chookagian.
While Nunes’ dominance comes from dominating the division, Shevchenko’s dominance comes from dominating individual fights. Shevchenko dominated every second of every title defense she has had, while also delivering some of the best highlight-reel knockouts in women’s MMA history. Shevchenko is set to fight Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251 in June of 2020. If she can manage to dominate that fight she will have successfully cleaned out the women’s flyweight division. That would make Shevchenko the flyweight queen and will possibly set up another super fight with Nunes.
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