Five divisions make the majority of female MMA weight classes. Each has their top fighters.
We honor these athletes every year in WMMA Press Divisional Awards.
The awards are voted on by the WMMA Press committee, a set of journalists that have covered the female divisions of martial arts for years on may different levels.
Six journalists who voted on the award:
- Gina Begley – Pro WMMA Now / Bluegrass MMA
- Charlie Jewett – CJ’s Report (covering Asian MMA)
- Yael Grauer – TheSportsPost.com
- MarQ Piocos – WombatSports.com
- Elias Stefanescu – Ground and Pound (Germany)
- Kristin Ursy – Women’s MMA Round-up
The winners of the Divisional Awards are eligible for the over Fighter if the Year, which we will announce this afternoon.
Here are the Divisional Winners.
Featherweight of the Year – Cris “Cyborg” Justino
For the fifth time in awards history, Cris “Cyborg” Justino has been voted the best 145er in the world.
2016 was Justino’s busiest year, with three fight, including her long awaited UFC debut. The current InvictaFC champion had finished in all of her wins and continues to be the “Baddest Woman on the Planet”.
Bantamweight of the Year – Amanda Nunes
The current UFC champion went on a three fight run in 2016, and is on a five fight win streak. This includes her title win over Miesha Tate and TKO over former champion Ronda Rousey. She is the first openly gay UFC champion.
Flyweight of the Year – Jennifer Maia
What a year it has been for the current InvictaFC champion.
When the flyweight title became open, Maia stepped up and not only took the belt, but avenged a loss in the process over Vanessa Porto. She soon followed this up with “Fight of the Year” nominee in her win against Roxanne Modafferi.
Strawweight of the Year – Joanna Jędrzejczyk
For the second year in a row, the UFC strawweight champion take this divisional award.
Jędrzejczyk defended her belt twice with both being epic battles that were up for “Fight of the Year”. She defeated Claudia Gadelha in a rematch of their 2014 outing and a rematch against fellow Polish fighter Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Atomweight of the Year – Ayaka Hamasaki
The Japanese star three-peats as the best 105er according to the WMMA Press.
The current InvictaFC champ defended her belt twice in 2016, with stoppages over Amber Brown and Jinh Yu Frey, extending her win streak to five and is undefetated at atomweight.