2018 First Half Stats in the Women’s Divisions Part 1: The Pros

Phto Courtesy Dave Mandel, Invicta FC

This year, I decided to dig a bit deeper.

After many questions about the strength of the women’s divisions by fans and MMA pundits, I tabulated debuts after a year absence, as well as added amateur results, which will be expanded upon in part 2 of this three part series.

The third part will dive deeper in each divisions to give you a glimpse of the current health and the future.

I usually just give numbers, but this time around, I will give you more insight into the numbers, as we have been doing these stats for most of the time the site has existed.

For now – a bit of a disclaimer. I compile results every week, but as much as I research, a few fights due fall through the cracks. This is a little more true when it comes to amateurs with several promotions not reporting their results to databases or having media there to even record them. A few times this gets corrected weeks or even months later. This is only a small percentage, and the stats I have are a good approximation of the divisions as a whole.

I encourage athletes, managers, coaches, teammates, and fans to look at my lists and please let me know if there is a fight missing or a result is wrong. Contact us on Facebook, instagram or twitter @WombatSports to make sure I get the information. This is not only important for stats, but I keep an eye out for surging talent and will make mention if I see someone on the rise to matchmakers and promoters.

Archived 2018 results can be found here. 

Current month results and upcoming fights can be found here.


We start 2018 in the pro ranks with a slightly higher number of fights than our pace last year. We stand on 343 bouts up to June 30th – four fights more than this time last year. Growth has slowed these past few years, but trends have been the last half of the year outpaces the first six months.

One trend I have been particularly fond of has been the race between armbars and rear naked chokes. In the past years, it was armbars dominating over rear naked chokes, but the RNC has been creeping up fast. For the first time. rear naked chokes are leading with 36 finishes, while armbars accounted for 33 of the submission victories. In total there were 92 submission wins in the first half of 2018, with triangle chokes (7) bypassing guillotines (4) for the third spot.

It should be noted rear naked chokes, then guillotines are the most popular ways to win the men’s divisions.

There were a total of 184 finishes for the first half of the year, roughly 54% of total fights. What has been somewhat muddled is the definition of a pure knockout versus a TKO. The relative definition is a competitor is incapacitated for a knockout versus a TKO, where the referee seeing an athlete in a compromising position he/she is incapable of getting out of and stopping a fight. Wile we are reporting 7 pure knockouts versus 85 TKOs, reporting of one or the other is sketchy at best. Submissions again out passed ending a fight via strikes in terms of finishes, but the numbers were closer than this time last year.

One stat that never seems to change is the time of finishes. Round 1 (113) is still the most popular time to win a fight, followed by round 2 (42), then round 3 (27). There were a two title fights that were finished in the championship rounds. Jingnan Xiong defeated Tiffany Teo at OneFC in round 4, and Amanda  Nunes defeated Raquel Pennington in round 5 in the UFC.

As talent evolves, we will see more decisions, and the stats show that. There were 120 unanimous decision wins, which beat this time last year by 22. Split decisions saw no change with 23. Draws more than doubled since last year with 7 draws so far in 2018. There was 1 majority decision and two disqualifications.

Due to Invicta staying in their home base in Kansas City for a few cards, Missouri is the most popular state for a female pro bout with 23. California (10) came in second. The United State overall held 123 pro bouts, most by any country and accounting for 36% of the total matches.

Brazil (43) and Japan (27) retain their number 2 and 3 spots respectively, with China (10) dropping from a tie in third in 2017 to fifth. The country making a comeback to the top 5 has been Russia, with 24 bouts held in the country and taking the fourth spot. 56 countries held female bouts in the first half of the year, the most in any year.

South America is close to being the second continent to have held female fights in all of their countries. Only Guyana and Suriname have yet to hold bouts overall.  (French Guiana has yet to hold fights as well, but is considered a territory).

In part 2, we will explore the amateur stats so far in 2018.

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Bellator’s Flyweight Division Shines as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Becomes Breakout Star

(Photo courtesy Bellator)

It was hero’s welcome as Bellator Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane went down the escalator at the Pechenga Casino and Resort this past Friday in front of her crowd of family, friends, and fans.

The champ estimated a good sixth of the crowd was there to cheer her on in the first defense of her recently won title. Many women were wearing her signatire flower in their ears to show support. The live fans were not alone in their support, as Bellator announced nearly 800,000 people watched the fight from the comfort of their own homes. Continue reading Bellator’s Flyweight Division Shines as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Becomes Breakout Star

Leslie Smith Talks Future; Championing Fighters’ Rights Movement

It has been a few months since Leslie Smith was let go of her contract from the UFC. The reasons why this happened is one of controversy.

For those who don’t know the story, Smith was scheduled to face Aspen Ladd at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City, New Jersey in April, but Ladd missed weight. Smith saw this as a break, since her contract with the UFC would be up if she fought Ladd. Smith would agree to fight Ladd at a catch weight if the UFC would extend her contract for one more fight after Ladd, so she could negotiate a new multi-fight deal. The UFC decided to simply drop Smith and pay her out. Continue reading Leslie Smith Talks Future; Championing Fighters’ Rights Movement

Leslie Smith: “A Union Would Benefit the UFC”

With it being the mid point of 2018, Project Spearhead has made some major progress.

The first goal of the organization is to determine the status of the UFC fighters as employees or independent contracts. By definition, there is mounting evidence that they are employees, due to the Reebok fight kits (essentially uniforms), the adherence to a code of conduct, the use of UFC equipment, and a set schedule. Another point is fighters are exclusive to the UFC can cannot fight elsewhere.

If found that fighters are employees, they can organize and form a Fighters’ Association or union, similar to other top sports such as the NFL and MLB.

With the exit of Leslie Smith from the UFC led her to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board that she was let go from her contract over heading Project Spearhead pushed the timetable up to render a decision. Continue reading Leslie Smith: “A Union Would Benefit the UFC”

Bellator Weigh-In Results: Title Match Official; One Fight Canceled

Photo courtesy Bellator

Friday night at the Pechenga Casino in Temecula, California Bellator will have its 201st offering that will air on the Paramount Network and the Bellator App.

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The main event features Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defending her title for the first time against Colombian Alejandra Lara. Both made weight for the title fight with Macfarlane tipping the scales at an even 125 and Lara at 124.6.

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The second bout of the main card could see the next title challenger as Valerie Letourneau (126)  faces Kristina Williams (125.4).

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The only preliminary female bout sees the return of Keri-Anne Melendez (116) face Hawaii’s Tiani Valle (114.5) in a strawweight tilt. This will stream on the Bellator App.

There was to be another preliminary fight between the undefeated Kristi Lopez and Paola Ramirez, but  Ramirez came in at 9.67 pounds over the flyweight limit, and the match was scrapped. Lopez weighed in officially at 125.5 pounds. She will most likely keep her fight purse.

Video – Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Defends on Home Turf; Talks Female Fighter of the Year Nomination

Photo Courtesy Bellator

It has pretty much came full circle for champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane as she has come back to the place she started her Bellator career.

The undefeated flyweight will defend her title against Colombia’s Alejandra Lara Friday night at Pechenga Casino in Temecula, California. The champ is expect a huge crowd of supporters, as she is within striking distance of her home gym in San Diego.  Continue reading Video – Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Defends on Home Turf; Talks Female Fighter of the Year Nomination

Video – Valerie Letourneau Disappointed in Not Getting Title Shot; Wants Bellator Canadian Return

It seemed inevitable that new Bellator star Valerie Letourneau would be fighting the champion next, but that wasn’t the case.

Instead of facing Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, Letourneau is now facing young newcomer and upset queen Kristina Williams at Bellator 201 Friday night in Temecula, California. Continue reading Video – Valerie Letourneau Disappointed in Not Getting Title Shot; Wants Bellator Canadian Return

Video – Colombia’s Alejandra Lara Talks MMA Growth in Latina America; Dancing in Mid Air

With a win Friday night, Alejandra Lara could have the distinction of being the first person in Colombia to be a world champion in MMA.

Lara will be in her first main event at Bellator 201 in Temecula, California against champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, and has been preparing with Mexico’s Team Grasso.

Lara talked to the media Thursday about her camp, representing Colombia, and her talents as an aerial and pole dancing.

Video – Keri Melendez on Balancing Family & Training

It has been a year since Keri Melendez fought, but she is ready to get back into action. as she faces Hawaiian Tani Valle at Bellator 201 in Temecula, California Friday night.

Having fought both in the Bellator cage and the Bellator ring, the striker is looking to take more opportunities in MMA and hopes Bellator brings in a strawweight division soon. Continue reading Video – Keri Melendez on Balancing Family & Training

Video – Kristina Williams Talks Meteoric Rise; Role as Underdog

Kristina Williams has had some tough challenges, and conquered most.

The Bellator star will look for what will be her biggest challenge to date in veteran Valerie Letourneau at Bellator 201 on Friday night in Temecula. The fight will serve as the featured contest on the main card. Continue reading Video – Kristina Williams Talks Meteoric Rise; Role as Underdog

EBI 16 Results: Beatriz Mesquita Takes Bantamweight Crown; Strawweight Tournament Announced

Photo courtesy EBI Facebook

It was the second time the female graced the EBI tournament and it didn’t disappoint.

The bantamweights took center stage Sunday night in San Diego, California for the Eddie Bravo Invitational’s 16th outing. Stars from the world of BJJ amd MMA took part in the tournament, with current ADCC and IBJJF champion Beatriz Mesquita taking home the title. Continue reading EBI 16 Results: Beatriz Mesquita Takes Bantamweight Crown; Strawweight Tournament Announced

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