Photo Credit: pxhere.com
In 2023, we're well into a new decade, and when it comes to the UFC, it's looking to be the best on record for woman's MMA. A surge of super-talented female fighters have moved into the promotion in recent years, proving time and time again that they are some of the most skilled and dangerous athletes in the sport.
Photo Credit: pxhere.com
We may only be four months into the year, but we've already seen a number of cracking UFC events take place. As ever, the ladies have proven they are not here to play, with both Jessica Andrade and Holly Holm emerging victorious from their respective bouts. The rest of the year is set to bring some superb WMMA matches to our screens, including the return of Mischa Tate to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 255, as well as Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena 3 - the latter of which is likely to be a favourite with punters keen to utilise their free bet offers from Draft Kings.
With all this in mind, let's take a look at the best female pound-for-pound UFC fighters in 2023.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk may no longer hold the Strawweight title, but she remains one of the greatest female fighters in the promotion. Her ability to throw a high volume of strikes is incredible, and her precision is second to none. With a record of 16-4, Jedrzejczyk has defeated some of the best in the division, including Jessica Andrade, Claudia Gadelha, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Her next fight has yet to be announced.
Germaine de Randamie
The Iron Lady is one of the most respected WMMA pioneers and an undefeated kickboxer. The first fighter in the promotion to become the UFC Women's Featherweight Champion early in 2017, she was controversially stripped of the belt for refusing to fight Cris Cyborg due to the Brazilian fighter's performance-enhancing past.
With a pro-MMA record of 11-4, de Randamie's most notable victories include featuring Holly Holm, Raquel Pennington and Julianna Pena.
Rose Namajunas is a former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion and one of the most skilled fighters in the sport. 'Thug' Namajunas' striking is a sight to behold, and her combinations and footwork typically leave her opponents stunned. Currently holding a record of 11-5, Namajunas has faced the best of the best in the 115-lb division, including Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade and Weili Zhang.
Weili Zhang burst onto the scene in 2019 when she defeated Jessica Andrade to become the UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. Since then, Zhang has defended her title against some of the toughest fighters in the division, wither her powerful striking often causing significant damage to her opponents. The current and two-time Strawweight champion is also the first-ever Chinese champion in the history of the UFC and holds a record of 23-3.
Valentina Shevchenko is the former UFC Women's Flyweight Champion and has been on a tear since moving down to the 125-pound division. Shevchenko's striking skills are unmatched, with her precise kicks and punches often leaving her opponents dazed and confused. She also holds one of the best pro records in the entire UFC promotion at 21-4, with her only losses coming by way of Liz Carmouche, Amanda Nunes and, more recently, Tatiana Suarez at UFC 285. The title may currently be out of her hands, but given her past form, it won't be long before Schevchenko is re-crowned.
The Lioness herself has been one of the most dominant forces in the UFC for several years now. The current UFC Women's Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion, Nunes has defeated some of the toughest competition in the sport, including the seemingly impenetrable Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm and, of course, Rhonda Rousey. In fact, it was her textbook defeat of Rousey at UFC 207 that called time on the former Bantamweight champion's career.
Nunes' striking is absolutely devastating; no less than 13 of her wins have come by way of knockout. We'll next see The Lioness go up against Julianna Pena once more for round 3 of their now iconic rivalry. With both fighters now having one win apiece and the Bantamweight belt back in Nunes' hands, the bout is one of the most anticipated of the year.