MMA Female Fighters with Gina Carano, Cristiane Santos, Ronda Rousey and more.
Female MMA is still in it's beginning stages.
But it has already pretty much overtaken female boxing as the number one female combat sport.
(Okay, I'm not counting womens pro wrestling).
Although there is a lot of division among fans on the sport, the Gina Carano vs Cristiane Santos bout at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg got both fighters and the sport a lot of press.
Here are a few of the best known and most promising female MMA fighters in the sport.
Former MMA fighter Gina Carano is in a category all her own.
I think it's called "Hot beats everything else".
She hasn't had a fight since Cris "Cyborg" Santos destroyed her at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg back on August 15th, 2009.
But she is still the most popular female mma fighter on this list.
Gina was born on April 16th, 1982, in Dallas County, Texas.
The woman that was once the "Face of Women's MMA." played basketball, volleyball and softball before getting into MMA. She even led the Trinity Christian High School in Las Vegas to a state title.
Gina started out in Muay Thai where she had a record of 12-1-1.
She appeared in the first ever sanctioned female MMA bout in Nevada against Leiticia Pestova.
Part of Gina's popularity is her good looks that have enabled her to branch out and draw in more fans for female MMA.
Besides fighting in the steel cage, Gina has appeared in "American Gladiators"as Crush, the Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 video game as Natasha Volkova, and she was in the fight film Blood and Bone starring Michael Jai White.
Gina also appeared in the 2005 cult film "Ring Girls" along with fellow female MMA fighters LaTasha Marzolla, Ardra Hernandez, Lisa King and Christine Toledo.
Along with Lisa King, she appeared as a mentor in the 2007 Oxygen series "Fight Girls".
In 2009, Gina Carano was ranked number 16 in Maxim's Hot 100 list.
Her current MMA record is 7-1-0.
There were rumors that she would be returning to the steel cage in 2011, but that didn't pan out.
She focused all her concentration on her role in Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire" with Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender.
Coming up for Gina is not a trip to the steel cage, but a role in John Stockwell's film "In The Blood" which will be (from what I understand) a feminine version of "Taken".
And it's possible she will show up in Fast & Furious 6 with Dwayne Johnson...aka The Rock.
In September 2012, Producer Adi Shankar (Dredd, The Grey, Machine Gun Preacher) announced that Gina had signed on for the lead role in a film that is supposed to be the female version of The Expendables.
Is it possible that Gina may return to the cage?
There are rumors that UFC President Dana White wants Gina to come back and fight Ronda Rousey.
Again in the category of "Hot beats everything else", we have MMA fighter Miesha "Cupcake" Tate.
Now that's not to say Miesha isn't talented...not at all.
She has a MMA record of 18-6-0 that shows she is no slouch.
This five foot six 134 pound female MMA fighter was born on August 18th, 1986, in Tacoma, Washington.
She is trained in Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu and her last fight was a loss to Cat Zingano at UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on April 13th, 2013 via TKO (Knees and Elbow).
UPDATE: On March 5th, 2016, Miesha beat Holly Holm to win the UFC title.
UPDATE: On July 9, 2016, she lost the UFC's Women's Bantamweight Champion after submitting to Amanda Nunes.
Female MMA Fighter Marloes "Rumina" Coenen was born on March 31st, 1981 in Olst, Netherlands.
This one one of the ladies that people thought could possibly put an end to Cristiane Santos' reign of terror.
Cris beat her, but Marloes turned around and beat Liz Carmouche and Sarah Kaufman back to back.
But she was stopped by Miesha Tate at the Strikeforce event I mentioned above.
Her current MMA record is 21-5-0 with her last fight being a win over Fiona Muxlow (via submission) at Dream 18 - Special NYE 2012 on December 31st, 2012.
Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey was born on February 1st, 1987 in Riverside County, California.
Before entering MMA, Ronda was an experienced Judoka (Judo practitioner).
She was the youngest Judo player at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, she won a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships, in 2006 she won a gold medal at the Birmingham World Cup in Great Britain and then the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships.
Her current MMA record is 7-0-0 with all seven wins via submission.
Ronda's last fight was a win over Sarah Kaufman at Strikeforce - Rousey vs. Kaufman on August 18th, 2012 via Submission (Armbar) at 0:54 of the first round.
On February 23, 2013, Ronda and Liz Carmouche will became the first two women ever to fight in the UFC.
Ronda won the match via submission in 4:49 of the first round, which is her longest MMA fight to date.
And here we go back to "Hot beats everything else".
Erin Toughill is a great female martial artist to be sure.
She's got a 10-3-1 MMA record.
The problem is that Erin waited almost two years between fights, then lost to Ashley Sanchez via Unanimous Decision at FCF - Freestyle Cage Fighting 46 on April 9th, 2011 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Yet she is still the fifth most popular female fighter.
Amanda "Lioness of the Ring" Nunes was born on May 30th, 1988 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
Her MMA record is 7-3-0 with her last fight was a loss to Sarah D'Alelio at Invicta FC 4 - Esparza vs. Hyatt on January 5th, 2013 via Decision (Unanimous).
Again the "Hot beats everything else" factor figures in because at times I think she resembles Rosario Dawson.
But even with that this lady has the cred.
She started out boxing at the age of sixteen and then began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
UPDATE: Amanda defeated Miesha Tate for the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship on July 9, 2016 at UFC 200
This five foot one, 145 pound powerhouse was born on October 22nd, 1986 in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.
She started training in judo at the age of three.
Before going full into MMA, Rin was a female grappler with a 2-2-0 record.
In MMA, her current record is 13-0-1 with her last fight being a win over Danielle West at Pancrase - Progress Tour 14 on December 1st, 2012 via Unanimous Decision.
Sarah Kaufman was born on September 20th, 1985 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
She started out in dance, went to aerobics kickboxing and finally wound up in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Sarah's current MMA record is 16-2-0 with her last bout being a win over Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 5 - Penne vs. Waterson on April 5th, 2013 via Decision (Split).
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is now known as Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino.
At one time the most dominant force in female MMA, Cris has had to fight back from January 6, 2012, when she tested positive for stanozolol, which is an anabolic steroid.
As a result of the banned substance, the fight she had with Hiroko Yamanaka was changed to a no contest and Cris had her license suspended for one year and was fined $2,500.
She was also stripped of the Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Championship.
Cris returned to the steel cage on April 5th, 2013 and defeated Fiona Muxlow at Invicta FC 5 - Penne vs. Waterson.
She beat her in 3:46 of the first round via TKO (Knees and Punches).
Cindy "Battlecat" Dandois was born on October 26th, 19?? in Borgerhout, Antwerpen, Belgium.
She's five foot seven, 145 pounds and her MMA record is 5-1-0.
Her last fight was a win over Jorina Baars via TKO (Punches) at SD - Staredown on March 19th, 2011 at the Expo Hall in her hometown.
What makes this fight unusual is that she won this fight when she was two months pregnant!
Don't try this at home.
Since then Cindy has given birth to a healthy baby daughter that she has nicknamed "Battlekitten".
Germaine de Randamie
Germaine de Randamie
Germaine de Randamie was born on April 24th, 1984 in Utrecht, Netherlands.
She is a Dutch kickboxer and female mma fighter who competes in Strikeforce's women's featherweight division.
She made her debut on January 29th, 2011 at RFC - Revolution Fight Club 2 with a loss to Vanessa Porto via submission (armbar).
Germaine has gone on to a 3-2-0 MMA record.
Featherweight female MMA fighter Fiona Muxlow is five foot four and weighs 143 pounds.
She made her MMA debut on June 2nd, 2007 at Princesses of Pain - Australasian Knockouts with a win over Justine Kalauni.
Since then she has a 6-3-0 MMA record, with her last fight being a loss to Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino at Invicta FC 5 - Penne vs. Waterson on April 5th, 2013 via TKO.
Julianna Pena aka "The Venezuelan Vixen" was born on August 19, 1989 in Spokane, Washington.
This five foot six, 135 pound bantamweight is trained in Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Her current MMA record is 8-2-0 and she has beaten some of the best in the bantamweight class like Cat Zingano, Jessica Eye, Milana Dudieva and Jessica Rakoczy.
Rachael "The Panther" Cummins is a female MMA fighter AND a model.
She is five foot nine, 125 pounds and is of German, Swedish and Russian heritage.
Her current MMA record stands at 3-2-0 following a win over Slavka Vitaly at Venator FC - Guerrieri Italiani Finals on May 30th, 2015 via Decision (Unanimous)
One of the best current runs in MMA is 155 pound Mexican strawweight Alexa Grasso.
Alexa is currently 8-0-0.
4 of those 8 wins were by knockout.
Alexa was born on August 9th, 1993 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and fights in the UFC,
Female MMA Fighters Comments
scif26 from Colorado Springs on June 05, 2014:
David Aaron from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 23, 2013:
Womens MMA is at a way higher level than I thought. Amazing fighters.
mmafightingworld from The Midlands, UK on April 24, 2012:
I've seen some fantastic female fights in the past!
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on October 21, 2011:
You are absolutely right.
For one thing, Carano shbe removed.
Kenneth Brown from United States on October 20, 2011:
I've seen some good female MMA matches. I only recognized Carano and Cyborg here though. The list should be updated.
TUFFighter on July 25, 2011:
@sabreblade - thanks for the compliment; very much appreciated! ;-)
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on May 03, 2011:
TUFFighter: Very nice site you have. I'm linking to it from my female MMA blog.
TUFFighter on May 03, 2011:
We're looking for a female ammy mma fighter @ 115lbs for and event in So. Carolina. Paid travel and hotel for 2 days. Please contact me if interested or if you know of someone! email@example.com
asian style on April 16, 2011:
I'd go a round with these girls any day of the week
ujoutdoors on April 16, 2011:
They are looking for an AMMA female at 115 lbs to fight for a belt in Louisiaa, travel paid contact La Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Leesville La...thanks
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 17, 2011:
TheMMAZone: Well Gina is saying she will be back in the cage in 2011.
I don't expect her to climb back in with The Cyborg any time soon though.
TheMMAZone from Kansas on February 17, 2011:
Even though Gina Carano has lost a couple I hope her comeback will be a good one. But, if her movie career takes off I don't think we will see her fighting anytime soon. Good hub
Yasmin on January 02, 2011:
Carano kicks butt. Female mma fights are very intersting to watch!
dan on May 29, 2010:
I just recently discovered female mma fights and I have to say that they are scrappy little girls, the action is non stop
captainchris on May 26, 2010:
Great hub! I enjoyed every bit of it! :)
samantha420 on April 29, 2010:
gina carano sucks there is so much more better fighters than her.she didn't make weight more than once that's not very professional of her.kerry vera is pretty good
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on April 09, 2010:
Superfreak76: I have to agree with pretty much everything you just said.
Superfreak76 on April 09, 2010:
It's awesome that we have such talented women fighters.
Okay. That being said, I agree that Women's MMA is growing by leaps and bounds, but we're a far sight off from having our own division in UFC. Yes, the numbers on Carano v. Cyborg were huge, but unless we can do that and prove the women's fights are drawing even a 1/3 to a 1/4 of that on a consistent basis...we're not going to see a UFC women's division.
Not only the draw, but we're sorely lacking in consistent talent. Yes, I agree there are tons of talented women out there, but we haven't seen them come out of the woodwork and end up in the same competing ground.
I realize most of it is lack of capital and impact-making sponsorship along with awareness, but in order to get those...you've got to show and prove as well.
It's very "which came first or do you need first: Chicken or Egg...Fame or Money". Unfortunately, women's MMA needs a hell of a lot of both to get to the forefront.
Sport Supplement on April 08, 2010:
I have spent quite some time to eventually stumble on your blog post about this topic. Great work.
TheMMAZone from Kansas on March 01, 2010:
Great hub the ladies are many time more exciting than the men. I think they go into a fight feeling they both go into a fight feeling they have something to prove. At least that is my naïve thought does anyone else have any idea why women fighters are many time more exciting than the men?
MMA pound for pound on February 22, 2010:
That's really amazing, these female fighter, they are really good.
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 19, 2010:
Dalyinx: Again I have to go back to the "Tyson thing". I think Cris' opponents may be a tad intimidated before the matches start. I know I would be!You need a super confident "Ali" type to go up against her.
And yeah, now that you mention it, I do recall one point where I thought the tide was turning.
Dalyinx on February 19, 2010:
If I remember, Cris' knees wobbled at least once in the Coenen fight. That's not to say she doesn't tear through girls because she certainly does.
I also have to say that she looked MUCH better in the Coenen fight than the Carano one. If Carano knew what she was doing, she might have finished the fight from mount - I just think she was a bit overwhelmed with the whole thing (Carano, that is.)
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 08, 2010:
optimus grimlock: Cyborg reminds me of Tyson when he first started. Did you see the Santos vs Coenen fight?
Marlos hit her with a solid right to the jaw and I swear I don't think Cris even blinked!
optimus grimlock on February 08, 2010:
I cant believe cyborg beat carano like she did!
mmasquad on February 02, 2010:
Coal Akida offers a completely unique perspective in regards to how to make boxers better, and stuns the MMA training world and us. We found on coals Fearnopunch site http://www.fearnopunch.com where he believes that his new skills can make WOMAN EQUAL TO MEN in the MMA, one of the strongest statements any MMA trainer has ever made.
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on November 01, 2009:
Michael: "Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques, from a mixture of martial arts traditions and non-traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of striking and grappling techniques, both while standing and on the ground. Such competitions allow martial artists of different backgrounds to compete."
And no I wouldn't think about competing now.
I prefer to live vicariously through Lisa Marie Varon...LOL
Michael Collins on November 01, 2009:
I'm not familiar, with this venue of Female Martial Arts Competition.
* Is it akin to Phillippine-styple betting matches?
* How is it scored?
* What is the predominant style, that the female competitors utilize?
As a personal note, I hope that Sabre Blade limits herself to journalistic coverage of the competitions, and does not herself engage in the actual matches.
Russell on October 12, 2009:
From what little i've seen of female MMA, it will be no wonder at it's bright future. Though I really dig the UFC , I feel that it's doesn't give female fighters their fair due. I see strenght, talent, and commitment. worry not, Ladies, your time is yet to come. As martial arts, you're already there!
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on October 01, 2009:
Well UF, I think you may have to wait on seeing Gina in the cage for awhile.
I think the acting bug has bitten her.
Ultimate_Fitness on October 01, 2009:
Great hub, I hope to see more companies take on female fighters. It would be nice to get some female mma fights on tv here in Canada. I wouldn't mind seeing more of Gina Carano either ;)
bengriston on September 10, 2009:
Gina Carano is definitely the leader among them thanks to her role on Americas Gladiators.
AllMomNeeds2know on August 30, 2009:
Great hub about some strong women!