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Top Three Women Fighters of the Decade

Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey, and Cris Cyborg

by Danielle DeVor

Since it’s the January of an entirely new decade, it felt right to do an article about the top three female fighters of the 2010’s. It was a crazy decade for MMA. And it gave rise to an entire crop of talented women in the sport and in particular, the UFC.

Cris Cyborg - Training

3. Cris Cyborg

Her resume from the last decade is full of accolades. She had a 13-fight unbeaten streak, Finished 11 of her 13 victories by KO or TKO. And, she had the most wins in UFC featherweight history with 4. She was also the former UFC women’s featherweight champion.

Important fights:
• Strikeforce: Miami; Jan. 30, 2010 – Defeated Marloes Coenen to retain Strikeforce women’s featherweight title
• Invicta FC 6; July 13, 2013 – Defeated Marloes Coenen to win the inaugural Invicta FC women’s featherweight title
• UFC 214; July 29, 2017 – Defeated Tonya Evinger to win UFC women’s featherweight title
• UFC 219; Dec. 30, 2017 – Defeated Holly Holm to retain UFC women’s featherweight title
• UFC 232; Dec. 29, 2018 – Defeated by Amanda Nunes to lose UFC women’s featherweight title

Ronda Rousey - on set of Charlie's Angels

2. Ronda Rousey

When thinking of Rousey, many people talk about how she exited the sport and hid from the spotlight, then joined the WWE. While that was controversial for sure, the fact remains that Rousey and her time in the spotlight did so much for women’s MMA. Prior to her, most people who were not fans of MMA had no idea there were even female MMA fighters. After her, even people who weren’t MMA fans knew about the division.

Her time included such accolades as a 12-fight win streak from 2011 to 2015, she headlined UFC 157—which was the first-ever women’s fight on a UFC Pay Per View, and held Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight titles (Which combining both featured 7 title defenses). She still holds a 12 -2 record and had 6 UFC title fight wins.

Important fights:
• Strikeforce Tate vs. Rousey, March 3, 2012 – Defeated Miesha Tate via first-round submission to win the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title
• UFC 157, Feb 23, 2013 – Def. Liz Carmouche via first-round submission to retain the UFC women’s bantamweight title
• UFC 168, Dec. 28, 2013 – Def. Miesha Tate via third-round submission to retain the UFC women’s bantamweight title
• UFC 190, Aug. 1, 2015 – Def. Bethe Correia via first-round KO to retain the UFC women’s bantamweight title

Amanda Nunes in the cage.

1 Amanda Nunes

If you haven’t heard about Nunes, you are living under a rock. Because seriously, this girl is amazing. She holds an amazing 15-3 record from 2010 to 2019, 10-fight win streak from 2015-19, which is the longest amongst female fighters in UFC history, has had 10 first-round finishes, 7 UFC title fight wins, and has the distinction of having defeated every former women’s bantamweight champion.

Important fights:
• UFC 200, July 9, 2016 – Defeated Miesha Tate to win the UFC women’s bantamweight title
• UFC 207, Dec. 30, 2016 – Defeated Ronda Rousey to retain the UFC women’s bantamweight title
• UFC 215, Sept. 9, 2017 – Defeated Valentina Shevchenko to retain the UFC women’s bantamweight title
• UFC 232, Dec. 29, 2018 – Defeated Cris Cyborg to win the UFC women’s featherweight title

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