Photo courtesy Dave Mandel, Invicta FC
Note: Any fights that were at above 126 for our purposes are considered bantamweight. Any fights 132-144 were rounded up to 135. Any fights 127-129 were rounded up to 130 pounds.
For years, the women’s bantamweight division has been the premier weight class. Things have drastically changed.
Only 58 bantamweight fights happened in the pro ranks in the first 6 months this year, only three more than this time last year. Flyweight, in comparison, grew by 25 fights from this time last year. A big part of the growing popularity of flyweight lies in the newly added division in the UFC, which gave athletes as chance to fight at a more natural and competitive weight.
The good news is that 70 fights happened in the amateur ranks, which could see a healthy new crop in the division in the future. A whopping 60 fighters in those fights were debuters.
There were 21 pro debuts in division the past 6 months.
While decisions (27) was the most popular way to win a pro fight as a seen in the lower weight classes TKO/KOs (19) takes second place to 11 submissions.
The same can be said on the amateur side, with 30 decisions, 25 TKOs/KOs and 17 submission.
Top 15 Bantamweights as of June 30th (courtesy Unified MMA Rankings/Tapology)
- Amanda “Lioness” Nunes (16-4-0) – UFC Champion
- Ketlen “Fenômeno” Vieira (10-0-0) – UFC
- Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (9-6-0) – UFC
- Marion “The Belizean Bruiser” Reneau (9-3-1) – UFC
- Sara McMann (11-5-0) – UFC
- Aspen Ladd (6-0-0) – UFC*
- Lucie “Bullet” Pudilova (8-2-0) – UFC
- Sarah Kaufman (20-4-0, 1 ND) – Invicta FC Champion
- Yana “Foxy” Kunitskaya (10-4-0, 1 NC) – UFC
- “Alpha” Cat Zingano (10-3) – UFC
- Bethe “Pitbull” Correia (10-3-1)- UFC*
- Irene “Robles” Aldana (8-4) – UFC
- Lina “Elbow Queen” Länsberg (8-3) – UFC
- Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (10-7-1) – free agent*
- Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras (5-3) – UFC
*-has yet to fight in 2018
Notes: Holly Holm and Tonya Evinger are not on the list due to not having had a bantamweight fight in the past year. Juliana Pena hasn’t competed during in the past year due to being pregnant. Expect Sara McMann to be no longer ranked as she is pregnant and will be out until 2019.