Current Champion: Rose Namajunas

UFC Women’s Strawweight Rankings

Fighter Pro Record Last 5 Next fight
C "Thug" Rose Namajunas 10-4
Weili Zhang (2021-11-06)
1 "Magnum" Weili Zhang 21-2
Rose Namajunas (2021-11-06)
2 Joanna Jędrzejczyk 16-4
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3 "The Cookie Monster" Carla Esparza 18-6
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4 Marina Rodriguez 15-1-2
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5 "Nine" Xiaonan Yan 13-2-1 NC
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6 Mackenzie Dern 11-2
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7 Nina Nunes 10-7
Amanda Lemos (2021-12-18)
8 Cláudia "Claudinha" Gadelha 18-5
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9 "The Tiny Tornado" Tecia Torres 13-5
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10 "The Karate Hottie" Michelle Waterson 18-9
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11 Amanda Ribas 10-2
Virna Jandiroba (2021-10-30)
12 Amanda "Amandinha" Lemos 10-1-1
Nina Nunes (2021-12-18)
13 Virna "Carcará" Jandiroba 17-2
Amanda Ribas (2021-10-30)
14 Angela "Overkill" Hill 13-10
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15 Felice "The Lil Bulldog" Herrig 14-9
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History of the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division

The UFC Strawweight division officially began in 2014 and needed a way to determine a champion. The Ultimate Fighter 20 (also known as The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned ) was created to determine the inagural UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion. This was the first female-only season. Let’s take a look at the history of the UFC Strawweight title.

Carla Esparza delivers some punishment to Rose Namajunas during their Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale match at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Friday, December 12, 2014. Esparza defeated Namajunas winning the first UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship(Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

The First UFC Strawweight Champion

The first UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion was crowned at The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale. The final bout of the Women’s Strawweight Tournament took place between Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas on December 12, 2014. Carla Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas by submission (rear-naked choke) in round three to become the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.

DALLAS, TX – MARCH 14: Joanna Jedrzejczyk throws a punch at Carla Esparza during UFC 185 at the American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The Boogywoman Arrives

At UFC 185 Joanna Jędrzejczyk became the second UFC Strawweight Champion with a brutal TKO over Carla Esparza. The Polish Strawweight would go on to amass the most title defences in the UFC Women’s Strawweight Title history, defending the title 5 times against Jessica Penne, Valérie Létourneau, Cláudia Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Jéssica Andrade.

Rose Namajunas dethroned Joanna Jedrzejczyk as UFC women’s strawweight champion at UFC 217 on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
 
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Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Rose Namajunas became the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion at UFC 217 on November 14, 2017 in New York City. She defended her title in a rematch with Jędrzejczyk at UFC 223, and won by unanimous decision.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – MAY 11: Jessica Andrade of Brazil celebrates after her knockout victory over Rose Namajunas in their women’s strawweight championship bout during the UFC 237 event at Jeunesse Arena on May 11, 2019 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
 
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The brutal Jéssica Andrade

Rose Namjunas’ title reign was stopped short by Jessica Andrade at UFC 237. Namajunas seemed in control of the fight for the first 2 rounds, but while attempting a triangle choke, she was lifted in the air and slammed on her head. It wasn’t pretty, but Jéssica Andrade was now the new UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.

Aug 31, 2019; Shenzhen, China; Zhang Weili (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Andrade (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports

Zhang Weili

Chinese superstar Zhang “Magnum” Weili came into the UFC with an impressive 16-1 record. She won 3 straight fights in the UFC Strawweight division before getting a title shot against Jéssica Andrade. Zhang defeated Andrade by TKO at UFC Fight Night: Shenzhen, and became the new UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.

Apr 24, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Rose Namajunas (Blue Gloves) kicks Zhang Weili (Red Gloves) for a TKO during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Rose Returns

Rose Namajunas didn’t let the loss to Jéssica Andrade set her back. She rematched Andrade at UFC 261 and won by split decision. With that victory, “Thug” Rose earned a title shot at the current UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili. Namajunas vs Zhang took place at UFC 261. A massive pay-per-view which featured three title fights including Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal and Valentina Schevchenko vs Jéssica Andrade. Rose Namajunas shocked the world again. She knocked Zhang out with a head kick at 1:18 of the first round. Namajunas became the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion once again. She became the first ever UFC female fighter to lose and regain a UFC Championship belt.

Apr 24, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Rose Namajunas (Blue Gloves) reacts after defeating Zhang Weili (Red Gloves) during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Michael is a lifelong fight fan and martial artist. He has been in the MMA world for over a decade as an athlete and analyst. A consummate student of the game, Michael lives and breathes fight sports.

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