2016 in the Women’s MMA Division by the Numbers

When we posted the half years numbers in July, we had our doubts we would reach more than 700 pro female bouts in MMA. The last six months exceeded expectation.

The last half saw 385 bouts with three months out of the six topping the most fights per month list. On average there was 13.5 bouts per week this year.

Here is a look back at 2016 as a whole by the numbers.


711 – number of female division bouts in MMA. This is a 75 fight increase from last year. The growth nearly matches the increase in fights between 2014 and 2015.

421 – Total amount of finishes this year. That accounts for 59% of the fights. Of those finishes, 201 were submissions. In 2015, TKO/KO out paced submissions.

277 – Pro debuts this year. This is 13 less than in 2015. We saw more international talent make pro debuts overall.

243 – First round stoppages. It remains the most popular round to get a finish. Like the years previous, the numbers go down the longer the fight goes. However, only 1 bout was finished in round 4, with four finishes in round 5.

222 – Amount of strawweight bouts in 2016, the most by any female division. With the UFC only have two divisions, the effect has been seen this year as bantamweight (158) outpaced flyweight (143) to take the second position. Flyweight was in second place in 2015. Atomweight (61), featherweight (29), lightweight (5) and pinweight (1) round out the divisions lists. Catchweights broke down like this: 110lbs (14), 120lbs (25), 130lbs (26), 140bs (18), 150 (1). Eight fights were above 155 pounds.

192 – TKOs overall the most popular way to win a fight. There were 28 pure knockouts this year in comparison.

166 – Amount of Brazilian fights, the most by any country outside the United States. The US saw 218 female bouts. Brazil continues its reign as the second biggest MMA female fight market, outpacing #3 Japan three fold. China has seen the biggest growth tripling their output from 2015. 50 total countries held female bouts, with countries like Israel, Lithuania, Argentina, Latvia, Mongolia, and the Czech Republic having their first female bouts.

86 – Bouts in July, the most by any other month in 2016. September was the busiest month in 2015, which was the previous record holder for most female bouts in a month.

79 – Armbars the most popular submission this year. It outpaced rear naked chokes by 10. The number decreased from 2015 by seven, while rear naked chokes gain 4. Submissions are becoming more diverse as 52 subs this year were by other means.

52 – Female bouts in the UFC, the most by any promotion. This edges Invicta by only 4 bouts. Strawweight was the most popular division in the UFC with 27 and bantamweight at 22. Invicta also followed the UFC’s lead with more strawweight bouts (16) than any division under its banner.

43 – Bouts in California, the most by any state. This was a decrease of five from last year’s number with more states picking up the slack. Missouri came in at #2 with 33 thanks to Invicta. 41 states and Guam held bouts this year with South Carolina and South Dakota holding their first pro female bouts. Four states yet to see pro female bouts ever – New Hampshire, Vermont, Alabama, and Delaware.

1 – Big year. 2017 will continue to see growth and will be interesting to see if we reach 800 total bouts as we look to increase to 1000 by 2019.

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