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B/R Women's MMA Rankings, July 2014

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2014

B/R Women's MMA Rankings, July 2014

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Women's MMA is growing, and with that, we must keep up with the times. Women are getting more and more opportunities in mixed martial arts, as well as becoming more prevalent on the big stage.

    The UFC, Invicta and World Series of Fighting are just three of the major organizations that host female fighters. When you consider Deep Jewels, MMA Super Heroes and several others who let the ladies compete, you have a bunch of proving grounds for these up-and-coming athletes.

    Here is this month's installment of Bleacher Report's women's MMA rankings.

Featherweight

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
    1. Cris "Cyborg" Justino (BRA)
    2. Marloes Coenen (NET)
    3. Julia Budd (CAN)
    4. Ediane Gomes (BRA)
    5. Veronica Rothenhausler (USA)
    6. Pannie Kianzad (SWE)
    7. Talita Nogueira (BRA)
    8. Marina Shafir (MOL)
    9. Fiona Muxlow (AUS)
    10. Faith van Duin (NZE)
    11. Annalisa Bucci (ITA)
    12. Charmaine Tweet (CAN)
    13. Elina Nilsson (SWE)
    14. Andria Wawro (USA)
    15. Latoya Walker (USA)
    • Dropped out of the rankings: Ashlee Evans-Smith (8), Tamikka Brents (12)

    The featherweight division had some big shakeups in the month of June. With the exits of Tamikka Brents due to an upset loss and Ashlee Evans-Smith due to a divisional change, Andria Wawro and Latoya Walker were able to slip into the top 15.

    The division is filled with a bunch of young talent that will pad the division for the future. Ladies like Veronica Rothenhausler, Pannie Kianzad, Marina Shafir and Talita Nogueira have a chance to revitalize the division and make it one of the best weight classes in WMMA.

    Plus, with Invicta now on Fight Pass, we will finally see Cris Cyborg on a bigger platform again. She will defend her belt against Ediane Gomes at Invicta 8 at a date to be determined.

     

    Top-15 Results in June

    Andria Wawro (14)def.Jessy Miele

     

    Top-15 Fights in July: None

Bantamweight

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    USA TODAY Sports
    1. Ronda Rousey (USA)
    2. Cat Zingano (USA)
    3. Alexis Davis (CAN)
    4. Miesha Tate (USA)
    5. Sara McMann (USA)
    6. Jessica Eye (USA)
    7. Sarah Kaufman (CAN)
    8. Lauren Murphy (USA)
    9. Shayna Baszler (USA)
    10. Amanda Nunes (BRA)
    11. Holly Holm (USA)
    12. Rin Nakai (JPN)
    13. Liz Carmouche (USA)
    14. Germaine de Randamie (NET)
    15. Miriam Nakamoto (USA)
    • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

    The ranked bantamweights had a pretty quiet month. However, July marks the return of the biggest star in WMMA.

    Ronda Rousey co-headlines UFC 175 opposite Alexis Davis in what is being touted as a great grappling affair. Davis is a jiu-jitsu black belt, and Rousey is the most proficient submission artist in WMMA.

    Rin Nakai is now part of the UFC roster as well. The Japanese superstar will make her debut in Japan against Miesha Tate in what should be an interesting bout as well.

    Things are continuing to look up for the 135-pound division.

     

    Top-15 Results in June: None

     

    Top-15 Fights in July

    Ronda Rousey (1)vs.Alexis Davis (3)

Flyweight

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    Jessica Eye (right) was the former No. 1 women's flyweight in the world.
    Jessica Eye (right) was the former No. 1 women's flyweight in the world.USA TODAY Sports
    1. Barb Honchak (USA)
    2. Vanessa Porto (BRA)
    3. Jennifer Maia (BRA)
    4. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (POL)
    5. Nina Ansaroff (USA)
    6. Zoila Gurgel (USA)
    7. Munah Holland (USA)
    8. Brenda Gonzales (USA)
    9. Julia Berezikova (RUS)
    10. Tina Lahdemaki (FIN)
    11. Pearl Gonzalez (USA)
    12. Aline Serio (BRA)
    13. Alexa Grasso (MEX)
    14. Elaine Albuquerque (BRA)
    15. Delaney Owen (USA)
    • Dropped out of the rankings: DeAnna Bennett (10)

    The flyweight division could see the rankings become more diminished in the coming months. Fighters are moving up and down in weight, as the UFC has 135- and 115-pound weight classes that these women can join.

    Case and point: DeAnna Bennett. She is just another flyweight who has left the division with the UFC on her mind. She moved up to 135 this month and beat The Ultimate Fighter 18 vet Colleen Schneider with a rear-naked choke to gain attention from the UFC.

    Expect more of these moves to happen.

    Until then, enjoy the up-and-comers of the sport moving into the spots that get vacated. At the bottom of the rankings, Elaine Albuquerque and Delaney Owen are two ladies to watch out for as they jockey for position at 125 pounds.

     

    Top-15 Results from June

    Joanna Jedrzejczyk (4)def.Rosi Sexton
    Elaine Albuquerque (14)def.Carina Damm
    Delaney Owen (15)def.Shannon Gunville

     

    Top-15 Fights in July

    *Tina Lahdemaki (10)*vs.Claudia Gadelha (3SW)

    *Fight will be contested in the strawweight division

Strawweight

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    Charles Sykes/Associated Press
    1. Jessica Aguilar (USA)
    2. Carla Esparza (USA)
    3. Claudia Gadelha (BRA)
    4. Joanne Calderwood (UK)
    5. Tecia Torres (USA)
    6. Mizuki Inoue (JPN)
    7. Kalindra Faria (BRA)
    8. Katja Kankaanpaa (FIN)
    9. Ayaka Hamasaki (JPN)
    10. Felice Herrig (USA)
    11. Stephanie Eggink (USA)
    12. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (POL)
    13. Bec Hyatt (AUS)
    14. Rose Namajunas (USA)
    15. Herica Tiburcio (BRA)
    • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

    The time is upon us. The Ultimate Fighter 20 will finally being taping in July and will bring us one step closer to crowning a UFC champion in the 115-pound class for the first time.

    Yet, the best fighter in the division is not on the UFC roster. She is on the World Series of Fighting roster as its champion. She dispensed a one-sided butt kicking in June, as she decimated Emi Fujino to a lopsided decision.

    The first ever official pro fight in the UFC, though, will be between Claudia Gadelha and Tina Lahdemaki. That will occur July 16 in Atlantic City and will possibly provide the first challenger to the newly crowned UFC champ.

     

    Top-15 Results from June

    Jessica Aguilar (1)def.Emi Fujino

     

    Top-15 Fights in July

    Claudia Gadelha (3)vs.Tina Lahdemaki (10FLY)

Atomweight

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images
    1. Michelle Waterson (USA)
    2. Jessica Penne (USA)
    3. Seo Hee Ham (KOR)
    4. Naho Sugiyama (JPN)
    5. Simona Soukupova (UK)
    6. Lacey Schuckman (USA)
    7. Alex Chambers (AUS)
    8. Cassie Rodish (USA)
    9. Jodie Esquibel (USA)
    10. Stephanie Frausto (USA)
    11. Amy Davis (USA)
    12. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (USA)
    13. Diana Rael (USA)
    14. Amber Brown (USA)
    15. Jinh Yu Frey (USA)
    • Dropped out of the rankings: N/A

    Until Invicta returns, I don't see many major shakeups happening in this division. However, we eagerly await the next fight card, as this division is getting better and better with more young talent finally making the jump to the pro ranks.

    A lot of young fighters in the division have a chance to shake things up once they get more fights. Two of the women at the bottom of the division who can be the future are Amber Brown and Jinh Yu Frey. They have tons potential and can become the new blood that pushes this division into the spotlight.

    Keep an eye on this division. It's exciting and will continue to build momentum until it breaks the glass ceiling.

     

    Top-15 Results from June: None

     

    Top-15 Fights in July: None

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