(Photo Courtesy Professional Fighters League)
The Professional Fight League is in a unique position.
Having only one signed female fighter, Olympic Gold medalist in judo Kayla Harrison, they also have only one female division – lightweight. There are a few promotions who have dabbled in the weight class, but no one has pulled the trigger on crowning a pro world champion.
The PFL has recently stated the 2019 season will feature a female lightweight tournament, with many MMA fans wonder who will fill the other 11 spots.
We heeded the call and here would be our 12 seeds for the tournament (plus two alternates).
#1 – Kayla Harrison (2-0)
Although several on this list have more experience, hard to see Harrison not given the spot after her last two performances.
#2 – Ediane Gomes (11-4)
Gomes has been begging for fights this past year, but she is in a spot where she is too good for most not signed with the UFC. The experience advantage is going to test any opponent in the tournament.
#3 – King Reina (9-2)
Always wanting to keep herself busy, the Japanese star has fought for four different promotions this year alone. She has two losses to Cindy Dandois and Kaitlin Young respectively, but looked good versus both.
#4 – Randi Miller (1-0)
The Olympic Bronze medalist in wrestling is looking forward to getting back in action in MMA. This would be great marketing for the PFL as they could get two Olympic medalists facing each other.
#5 – Zamzagul Fayzallanova (5-1)
Her only loss by decision, the Kazakhstan fight has finished in all but one of her wins. Her base is in judo same with Harrison, but trains with the Astana Patriot boxing team.
#6 – Daria Ibragimova (9-1)
Her only losses to Cris Cyborg and Cindy Dandois, the Russian has finished all but one of her wins.
#7 – Latoya Walker (5-1)
We haven’t seen Latoya since her loss to Charmaine Tweet, but the boxer certainly seems like she would be up to getting back in the cage.
#8 – Amanda Lucas (5-1)
Although having been on a long layoff, the BJJ black belt told us a comeback isn’t out of the question. She was well on her way to 145 before she took time off to start a family.
#9 – Anita Höehenleiter (7-1 amateur)
The German born fighter has made her home in the United States and has made her mark on the California circuit. She has won 5 straight at 155, with 3 finishes to her credit.
#10 – Audrey Wolfe (1-0-1)
Undefeated as an amateur, Wolfe won her pro debut, but drew with Holli Salazar this past year at Invicta. Although is seems she doesn’t have much experience, she has been with her coach Guy Metzger for over a decade.
#11 – Kayla Yontef (4-0 amateur)
Yontef has only became pro earlier this year, but is already on a four fight win streak starting with back to back finishes. Although she has dropped to 145 for her past two fights, we can expect she would be more than willing to go back for a shot at the PFL tournament. She currently trains at Jackson/Wink.
#12 – Gase Sanita (4-1 amateur)
The New Zealander is a three year vet of the sport, and the 2017 IMMAF World Champion.
- Lauren Bensinger (5-2 amateur)
After back to back losses, Bensinger has 5 straight wins.
- Holli Salazar (1-0-1)
Although she did draw with Audrey Wolfe, she went 2-2 as an amateur.