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Pound for pound Women’s UFC rankings: There’s a new No. 1 after Nunes’ retirement

RankFighterRecordLast 3 Results
#1Alexa Grasso16-3W-W-W
#2Valentina Shevchenko23-4L-W-W
#3Zhang Weili23-3W-W-L
#4Carla Esparza20-7L-W-W
#5Rose Namajunas12-5L-W-W
#6Julianna Pena12-5L-W-W
#7Yan Xiaonan17-3W-W-L
#8Taila Santos19-2L-W-W
#9Erin Blanchfield11-1W-W-W
#10Jessica Andrade24-11L-L-W

The pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings are a showcase of the best female fighters in MMA. It features world-class talents, a few division GOATs, and several champions across the company’s four female weight classes.

Related: UFC tonight: Fight card, betting odds, and watch times for Saturday’s UFC event

With that in mind, here is the official Sportsnaut top-10 for the organization’s pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings.

10. Jessica Andrade (24-11)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

After catching fire and winning three straight at flyweight, former strawweight queen Jessica Andrade is in the midst of just the second losing streak of her fantastic career. The multi-weight star has been finished in her last two and to a pair of rising stars. Making some wonder if “Bate Estaca’s” days as an elite fighter are behind her at just 31.

In her UFC return, she will battle one of the best rising stars in the division, Tatiana Suarez. A loss guarantees Suarez is in the rankings the following Monday and Andrade is out.

  • Next fight: vs. Tatiana Suarez on August 5

9. Erin Blanchfield (11-1)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey native Erin Blanchfield is the next big thing at flyweight. She is unbeaten over her first five bouts in the UFC and has won eight straight overall. At only 24 years old, her potential seems limitless and she is set up to be a serious title contender. In August she can land that opportunity if she can defeat former championship challenger Taila Santos.

  • Next Fight: vs. Taila Santos on August 26

8. Taila Santos (19-2)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Paul Miller-USA TODAY Sports

Brazilian Taila Santos has been one of the most under-appreciated fighters in the women’s flyweight division. In six Octagon appearances, her only defeats are a razor-thin split decision in her debut and another split loss to division GOAT Valentina Shevchenko. She should have been given a championship rematch, however, she will settle for a likely title eliminator clash against Erin Blanchfield in August.

  • Next Fight: vs. Erin Blanchfield on August 26

7. Yan Xiaonan (17-3)

women's ufc rankings
credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

After falling in consecutive bouts to former strawweight queen Carla Esparza and top contender Marina Rodriguez, Yan Xionan has moved up the pound-for-pound women’s UFC rankings off a pair of huge wins against MacKenzie Dern and a KO victory against Andrade in May. She is on the cusp of greatness if a rumored bout between her and fellow Chinese star, and champion, Weili Zhang is booked later this year.

  • Next Fight: TBD

6. Julianna Pena (12-5)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Julianna Pena is one of several stars that has proven “The Ultimate Fighter” is a legitimate resource for future stars and champions. Her win against Amanda Nunes in December 2021 will go down in history as one of the biggest upsets of all time and has forever cemented her place in the sport. However, the injury bug again bit her and she will not get to compete in a trilogy fight against Nunes in June. It is unclear when she will be back inside the Octagon.

  • Next Fight: TBD

5. Rose Namajuna (12-5)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time strawweight queen Rose Namajuna is one of the best female fighters of her era. When she is on, she is an elite-level striker and tactician. However, there have been a few times when she has lost mental focus in the cage. As she did in her shocking June 2022 loss to Esparza.

The former champ took over a year away from the sport and will finally make her return in September, but at flyweight. Welcoming her to the division will be rising contender Manon Fiorot.

  • Next Fight: vs. Manon Fiorot on September 2

4. Carla Esparza (20-7)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Carla Esparza was on top of the world heading to the end of 2022. She had won six straight and posted a second victory over strawweight great Rose Namajunas. However, the success train was derailed by former champ Weili Zhang in November. Esparza’s penchant for less-than-exciting fights could hurt her chances of getting a championship rematch sooner than later. Nevertheless, she is a top fighter at 115 pounds.

  • Next Fight: TBD

3. Zhang Weili (23-3)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of two losses to Namajunas, Weili Zhang has been everything the UFC could have hoped for. She is 7-2 in the Octagon with four finishes and has begun her second reign as strawweight champion. She is a mix of power and technique that makes her the best MMA fighter ever out of China.

In August she will look to defend her title when she battles top contender Amanda Lemos. A fighter who has won seven of her nine fights in the Octagon.

  • Next Fight: vs. Amanda Lemos at UFC 292 on August 19

2. Valentina Shechenko (23-4)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: Paul Miller-USA TODAY Sports

Valentina Shevchenko will go down as one of the greatest female fighters ever, and the best that women’s flyweight has ever seen. If not for two razor-thin losses to Amanda Nunes, she would be considered the women’s GOAT. However, in March she showed that even legends make mistakes.

In a rare moment of weakness in the UFC 285 co-main event, she flubbed and young star Alexa Grasso took full advantage and made her tap for the first time in her career. Now, “Bullet” will get a chance to prove her defeat was just a rare mistake and not a sign of bad things to come when she rematches Grasso in September.

Next Fight: vs. Alexa Grasso on September 16

1. Alexa Grasso (16-3)

women's ufc rankings
Credit: USA Today Network

Many doubted Alexa Grasso could beat Shevchenko, but in March the 29-year-old showed her four-fight win streak was no fluke when she made the division great tap out. In becoming just the second Mexican-born champion in UFC history she turned herself into a fighting legend in her come country. Now, the hard work of trying to hold on to the belt and pad her legacy is next.

She will begin that path with an unsurprising rematch against the division GOAT in the main event of a fight night card in September.

  • Next Fight: vs. Valentina Shevchenko