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The Best Women's Fights in UFC History

Wed 15 September 2021 | 19:29

Although male fighters dominate the sport of MMA, women athletes have also taken part in this intimidating sport. So let's see what have been The Best Women's Fights in UFC History.

As soon as women fighters started to play a role in MMA, their contribution was treated as spectacle and a taboo topic by some observers and is still open to debate.

But hopefully, in the light of the presence of some giant female prospects as the likes of Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm and Joanna Jędrzejczyk among others, the popularity of women's fights has been raising.

Although one of the Professional mixed martial arts organizations in the United States that has invited women to fight is industry leader Ultimate Fighting Championship, it was not among the pioneers to do so.

On the contrary, they were not that much eager to pick up women's MMA, as UFC President Dana White once said: "There is not enough depth to create a women's division."

Yet he warmed up the idea of women's inclusion in the UFC while Ronda Rousey proved to be the underlying reason why women are fighting in the UFC.

So she became the first woman fighter who got contracted with them in November 2012 and thereby it is of little surprise to see her be the main cause of the popularity of

women's mixed martial arts

among the general public.

This was a gist of how women's fights got inducted in the UFC, but undoubtoudely since their inclusion, the championship has observed some spectacular women fights.

This amazement is primarily due to their professionality, not to mention that their appearance is what has made watching their fight a true joy to behold. You can also check into the

30 Hottest UFC Female Fighters.

The Best Women's Fights in UFC History

Here we would take you through some of The Best Women's Fights in UFC History.

Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche (UFC 157-2013)

The first women’s fight in UFC history took place in the main event of UFC 157 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

With the arrival of Ronda Rousey to the biggest stage of MMA, a cultural moment was etched in history as it was a turning point in the development of the organization taking them to new heights.

As a strong woman who was able to reach a mainstream audience, Ronda Rousey successfully managed to defend her title against Liz Carmouche by the way of armbar in the first round while she previously held the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship.

But much to the consternation of the fans, Carmouche entered the octagon fully prepared to push Rousey to her limits, as in the opening minutes of the fight, it seemed that Rousey might not enjoy a long reign at the top.

That is to say, Carmouche took Rousey’s back and clamped on a neck crank, choking her out and putting her on the defensive, but she managed to escape and finally ended up her first fight as the same way she had each of her previous five fights with a submission win via her signature armbar, prior to the passage of opening five minutes.

With this victory which was the seventh straight for Rousey and her second overall title defence, she proved that as a former Judo Olympic medalist, she was born for the MMA game.

This game was not only considered as a huge step for women’s MMA but also it is assumed to be one of The Best Women's Fights in UFC History.

Cat Zingano vs. Miesha Tate (The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale- 2013)

As the first women’s bantamweight bout would always be regarded of high praise for its historic importance, the second also has a special place at the heart of UFC history due to its mere impressive nature.

That is to say, the bout between Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate that occurred on April 13, 2013, in the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center is considered to be one of

The Best women's Fights in UFC History

.

While before the start of the fight, Zingano was a bit emotional since she cried on her way to the cage as the panic of the Octagon had caught her, on the other side of the coin, Tate was all reserved and determined.

Although in the opening two rounds, the former Strikeforce fighter, Tate was taking advantage of the bout as there was a chunk of near-submissions by her side, in the third round, Zingano managed to be in command of herself and with a special aggression and ferocity took over the fight grabbing a triumph with a third-round TKO.

More specifically, she exercised her knees in the clinch and with the use of standing elbows, she battered the bloodied and stunned Tate a lot to the end of bringing the bout to an abrupt, tense halt when the referee Kim Winslow called a stop to the fight at the 2:55 mark of the final frame.

In this way, one of The Best Women's Fights in UFC History was carved as the second women bout of the organization.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha 1(UFC on Fox 13,  Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale- 2014)

In one of The Best Women's Fights in UFC History, two of the smallest fighters, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and No. 1 contender Claudia Gadelha confronted in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale in December 2014.

They went toe-to-toe in a miserably hard-fought battle where the result is still open to debate. Jedrzejczyk proved she is no one’s stage of progress in the very first round as she successfully defended four of five takedown efforts and scored a knockdown of Gadelha.

It was self-evident who was in charge of the initial five minutes and, from there, Claudinha was fighting from a deficit. The second and third rounds were much tighter, therefore they were resulted in a murky split decision ending.

Gadelha landed six takedowns across the final ten minutes, but she could not manage to keep Jedrzejczyk down to exercise her trading move of ground-and-pound.

While Jedrzejczyk went on to throw more firm strikes on the feet, in any case, she did not manage to topple her decisively as she was unable to overwhelm or drop Gadelha in those two rounds.

As Gadelha did throw a punch to Jedrzejczyk’s face just after the final bell, the referee quickly came in and Gadelha apologized right away, yet, in re-examination, there came a conspicuous intensity even preceding to the reading of the controversial decision.

Two referees saw the first and the second for Jedrzejczyk, and the third for Gadelha, while one referee saw the first for Jedrzejczyk and the second and third for Gadelha. Eventually, Jedrzejczyk was announced as the winner while the controversial loss never finds Gadelha well.

Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey (UFC 193- 2015)

The thrilling encounter between the undisputed UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and undefeated former boxing world champion Holly Holm which took place at the UFC 193 in the United States and emanated from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia; is undoubtedly one of

The Best Women's Fights in UFC History

.

While Rousey had anchored 12 successive triumphs and six straight successful title defences to her name, she was considered to be the MMA biggest shining light and a breakthrough mainstream celebrity; being heavy betting favourites in the fight.

On the flip side, Holm was a world champion boxer who had won all her MMA bouts back then; therefore as soon as she entered the sport, she was assumed to be a big challenge to any fighter owing to her boxing pedigree and more importantly in the light of her expertise in knocking rivals out with head kicks.

But she had not been taken that much serious in MMA until this fight, where she proved that all the original hopes that had been expected from her had their basis in reality.

In front of the largest crowd in UFC history, Rousey entered the cage as she expected to add Holm to her list of conquered opponents, while at the same time Holm had been turned into more of a matador who sidestepped and countered Rousey’s aggressive clinches with precision, as she led her into sheer frustration.

As Holm brushed off her clinches, she managed to throw some hard punches leaving Rousey bloodied in the nose. Even Rousey went on to take Holm down after a successful clinch but she was unable to eventually get the armbar.

Thereby the first round was finished as they clinched and exchanged knees to the body in Holm favour. While less than a minute of the second frame had elapsed that Holm amazingly blasted Rousey with a high kick to knock her out.

Miesha Tate vs. Holly Holm (UFC 196- 2016)

One of the most improbable comeback victories in UFC history occurred in 2016 in Las Vegas as Miesha Tate claimed to be the champion when she beat Holly Holm via fifth-round submission in the co-main event at UFC 196.

In the first round, Holm was assumed to be the better option for the referees, as she landed a couple of combinations. As the bout was heating up in the Second Round, Tate went on to take the charge of the game, taking advantage of her position to land elbows and punches at Holm's face.

Moreover, Tate challenged Holm's unbeaten defence as she ended up taking her back and threatening a rear-naked choke. Yet Holm managed to survive to go through the third round with taking a defensive style almost in the entire of the second.

The third round bore a striking resemblance to the first when Holm's attacks were more meticulous while Tate's takedown efforts proved futile.

Then Holm's strengthened takedown defence was effective again in the fourth Round as she brushed off all of Tate's combinations to get the bout to the mat as she soon settled into a regular rhythm on her feet throwing constant kicks.

Yet with just 90 seconds until the end of the fifth and final round, Tate managed to secure a takedown with her persistency, leaving Holm scrambling to her feet, so as to lock her onto a standing rear-naked choke that ended up Tate's grabbing one of the most implausible come-from-behind triumphs in UFC history.

As per ESPN, it was the first time that anyone had taken down Holm in her illustrious UFC career yet no one cast any doubts on her athleticism as she incredibly carved one of The Best Women's Fights in UFC History.

Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko I (UFC 196- 2016)

The terrific back-and-forth encounter between Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko in the women’s bantamweight division that took place in the main event of UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas is undoubtedly one of

The Best Women's Fights in UFC History

.

In the first round, Nunes really took over early in the second as she controlled the fight with her grabbling and depending on her low kicks while Shevchenko was a bit slower as she conceded Nunes striking combinations.

Following a takedown, Nunes throw a chunk of hard elbows from half-guard which exposed a number of Shevchenko weaknesses on the mat.

That is to say, a great deal of the second round was elapsed as Nunes beat Shevchenko up from the top position until she managed to pass and take Shevchenko back so as to lock in a body triangle that might have been led to the rear-naked choke.

But Shevchenko managed to survive and succeeded to get the top position until the second round horn sounded. In the third round, it was crystal clear that Nunes was a little bit exhausted as she had tried her utmost to finish the fight in the previous round.

On the other side of the coin, Shevchenko could turn the tables as she continued the attack constantly for the first time in the bout so as to control Nunes on the mat following Nunes failed takedown effort.

As Shevchenko even managed to batter her opponent on the feet, Nunes miserably survived until the final horn as her attempts in the first two rounds saw her make all three judges satisfied to give her the fight and carry her to a unanimous decision triumph over Shevchenko with scores of 29-28, 29-27, and 29-27.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha II (The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale)

In one of the 16 best women's title fights in UFC history, Joanna Jedrzejczyk coped with Claudia Gadelha for the second time in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the U.S. Airways Center on December 13, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona.

In the first two rounds, Claudia dominated the fights with her sharp boxing and strong wrestling abilities so as to put her opponent under intensified pressure. That is to say, the encounter had turned out to be the battle of Cardio, striking and speed.

Yet, after she went through a gruelling first two rounds dropping by a left hand and stifling on the ground, Jedrzejczyk amazingly took the charge of the game without any exhaustion.

In essence, she distanced herself from Gadelha down the stretch en route to a unanimous decision victory with the scores of 48-46, 48-46 and 48-45 to the end of gaining 2-0 advantage in their head-to-head competition, etching her name as one of the Top 5 Female MMA Fighters Of All-Time.

Jessica Andrade vs. Angela Hill (UFC Fight Night 104- 2017)

Jessica Andrade fought against Angela Hill in 15 minutes non-stop battle in the women's mixed martial arts division of strawweight during the UFC Fight Night event at the Toyota Center on February 4, 2017, in Houston, Texas.

Following that Andrade had gone through a solid run in the bantamweight ranks, she had established herself as a dominant force in the 115-pound category grabbing successive stoppage triumphs over Jessica Penne and Joanne Calderwood.

On the other hand, Hill had come back to the Octagon after a 4-0 run under the Invicta FC banner in 2016 that was ended up in her victory as she defended the company’s strawweight title.

Right from the onset, they battered together without any hiatus in between as Andrade often came forward continuously with serious determined eyes. Yet Hill resisted yielding quite easily so as to prove that she was not the kind of untroubling opponent.

Therefore it is no wonder to see that this hard-fought battle became so much entertaining that eventually turned out to be one of The Best Women's Fights in UFC History as Andrade earned the victory by the unanimous decision.

Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko II (UFC 215- 2017)

Amanda Nunes punched Valentina Shevchenko in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC 215 event inside the Rogers Place on September 9, 2017, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as it is considered to be one of the 16 best women's title fights in UFC history.

It was a close, tight and controversial fight that took long for 25 minutes, as Nunes managed to defend her 135-pound crown in a five-round split decision for the second time repeating her 2016 triumph over Shevchenko, which was earned during a competitive three-round decision.

This bout was different from their first confront, in as much as both of them tended to be less decisive in the opening rounds when they traded kicks in the fight.

In the second round, Shevchenko tried her utmost to intensify her work as she managed to throw more strikes, 104-84 and at a higher percentage (48 percent to 43 percent), after all, she is considered to be one of the

Top 5 Female MMA Fighters Of All-Time.

Then in the third round, none of them could pull ahead that much strikingly as Nunes strived to march forward, while Shevchenko handled to fire back counters.

Afterwards, in the fourth round, Nunes turned out to be charged up as she rapidly started to throw kicks to the leg and quick punches upstairs. But Shevchenko went on just to get her shots in, without drawing Nunes attention for a sustained period.

Finally, in the fifth round, Nunes landed two of her three takedowns to the end of clinching a super close split decision, 47-48, 48-47, 48-47 that saw her keep the women’s mixed martial arts bantamweight title against Valentina Shevchenko.

Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha (UFC Fight Night 117- 2017)

In the encounter between Jessica Andrade and Claudia Gadelha in the strawweight division of women's mixed martial arts that was held during the co-main event of  UFC Fight Night 117 event at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo, Andrade grabbed a unanimous decision triumph.

While Andrade peppered her ultra fierce opponent with more than 350 strikes, she succeeded to be the dominant force almost throughout the fight that saw both fighters get bloodied in the face from the opening minutes of the game.

Andrade’s physicality was always a true privilege for her however it was too obvious to be noticed until she earned this victory.

While the scores were 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27 in Andrade’s favourite, she made the game as competitive as possible by turning Gadelha's takedown efforts into her own offence as well as throwing big slams to the end of making the fight a true joy to behold for the fans.

As Claudia Gadelha only had lost to strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk before this fight, she was unable to reach Andrade’s pace and thereby fell behind just exactly the way she performed in her previous loss.

In fact, she tried her utmost to wrestle and grapple in vain exhausting herself in the failed takedowns. Let alone her jumping on a guillotine choke that wasn’t successful, as it just burned her arms out very quickly. Yet there is no denying the fact that Gadelha is still a top fighter.

Marion Reneau vs. Sara McMann (UFC FOX 28- 2018)

In the women’s bantamweight fight between Marion Reneau and Sara McMann during the UFC FOX 28 event at Amway Center in Orlando, Reneau went through a hard first round, while she managed to turn the tables in the second.

That is to say, in the first round, Sara McMann who is the Olympic silver medal winner and the former title challenger, succeeded to establish dominance in the game. More specifically, after the passage of just one minute, she took the bout to the canvas and kept it there in the remainder, as she even advanced to a mounted crucifix, dominating the combination for around three full minutes.

But in the second, Reneau battered her opponent with a clean right hand that was led to a takedown effort from her stunned rival.

When McMann finally put Reneau on her back, Reneau threw up her legs right away so as to attack with a triangle while McMann tried to defend a chunk of elbows coming her way until Reneau tightened her choke securing the tap to complete her comeback at the 3:40 mark of the second.

Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg (UFC 232- 2018)

Amanda Nunes stopped Cris Cyborg in less than a minute knockout in the co-main event of UFC 232 that was held at The Forum of Inglewood in 2018.

Nunes who was already the UFC women’s bantamweight champion became the UFC women’s featherweight champion as well so as to be the third fighter to hold two consecutive titles.

Not to mention that The Lioness had anchored toppling the giants like Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko in her rich pedigree.

Right from the onset, the fighters exchanged a series of combinations, while Nunes turned out to be a more agile and more precise striker, producing a number of flash knockdowns with her right hands until a final right hand knocked out Cyborg when referee Marc Goddard stepped in to stop the game as just 51 seconds of the fight was elapsed.

With this victory, Nunes become the first female two-division champion in UFC history and that is one of the reasons why she is assumed to be one of The Top 5 Female MMA Fighters Of All-Time.

But shortly after this loss Cyborg’s seven-fight UFC career finished when she had a nasty dispute and split with UFC president Dana White in the summer of 2019 so as to end up getting contracted with Bellator.

Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (UFC 223- 2018)

The encounter between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the women’s strawweight division that took place at the co-main event of UFC 223 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. is still considered to be one of the

 16 best women's title fights in UFC history

.

Rose Namajunas tried her utmost in a 25 minutes hard-fought battle against one of the best strikers in the world, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and still ended up becoming the champion.

That is to say, Namajunas took a unanimous decision from Jedrzejczyk as Namajunas earned the victory with a trio of 49-46 scores. While Jedrzejczyk seemed to be more ready for this bout with her pushing the pace and controlling the cage, Namajunas prefered to stay calmed providing herself with counter-strike opportunities.

Yet it does not mean that she was not fast as she had a good pace too but he tended to take action as precisely as possible to the end of gauging Jedrzejczyk's counter strikes.

This made Namjunas strong in the first 10 minutes, while she did not perform that much strikingly in the third and fourth rounds, yet she succeeded to gain her potent in the final round so as to retain her title.

Precisely as saying, in the closing moments of the fight, Namajunas threw her first takedown of the fight in just her second effort so as to steal the deal as the referees' scorecards all read 49-46 for Namajunas.

Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (UFC 248- 2020)

The encounter between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk during the UFC 248 event that took place in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is considered to be one of the greatest fights in women’s MMA history.

In this fight, Zhang succeeded to retain her UFC strawweight title for the first time via a five-round split decision as it attracted a huge fan crowd.

After the passage of a minute in the first round, Jedrzejczyk threw a hard right hand upstairs and her combinations at close range resulted in her lead.

But Zhang started developing her rhythm in the middle of the round as she threw fiercely to grab Jedrzejczyk’s attention.

In the second round, they went on to pepper each other with their strikes until the second minute in which they locked up against the fence, taking control of the fight one after the other, as Zhang threw elbows and Jedrzejczyk landed knees in response.

As soon as the third round began, Zhang quickly got in some hard shots until Jedrzejczyk managed to settle back in and went on to unleash her combination as she eventually finished the round with strength so as to make the judgement difficult for the referees.

The fierce battle continued in the fourth round, as both of them battered each other one after the other. Then at the end of the fight, both fighters were left with an awful lot of damages in the form of swelling and cuts.

While Jedrzejczyk miserably underwent one of the worst hematomas in MMA history that was swelling of her forehead, finally, Zhang grabbed a split-decision victory (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) to end up retaining the UFC women's strawweight title in the co-main event.

Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade II (UFC 251- 2020)

In the second encounter between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade in their strawweight fight during the UFC 251 event that occurred on July 12, 2020, on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Rose Namajunas got revenge for her previous defeat.

That is to say, the result of their rematch, was very different as Namajunas went toe-to-toe with Andrade for three rounds that took long for around 15 minutes.

With Andrade's meticulous efforts, she was able to land more head movements that led her to even dodge a lot of incoming fire and threw some hard shots as well. But Namajunas was busy with insane striking so as to lead the first round.

Namajunas preferred to remain calm to prepare herself to employ a very sharp jab, which was a strike landed to the head, that saw her build a big lead in the first two rounds of the fight.

Then in the final round, Andrade appeared to turn the table as she landed her frequent intimidating shots that incurred damages to Namajuas when her nose started bleeding, and her legs began buckling, not to mention that her left eye swelled very gast.

Yet Andrade did not manage to finish the final round, as Namajunas had already built up enough of a lead to the end of stealing the attention of the judges.

Therefore the final scorecards read 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28, which saw Namajunas grabbing the split decision victory and put her in a spot for a possible title fight against UFC women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili.

Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Hill (UFC Fight Night- 2020)

Michelle Waterson confronted Angela in a five-round hard-fought battle of women's strawweight division during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX that occurred on September 12, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada and took long for around 25 minutes.

In the first two rounds, although both fighters tried to exchange big shots with a great deal of determination, it was Hill that succeeded to establish dominance with powerful punches that even incurred a large hematoma to Waterson's forehead and some swelling to her face under her right eye.

But despite bleeding heavily from the nose in the third round, Waterson managed to turn the table and develop dominance in the fight, as she kept Hill from scrambling to her feet and got some ground and pound as well.

Likewise, in the fourth round, Waterson managed to push the pace and took the charge of the game by employing her signature kicks to the body and face of Hill.

Then in Round five, both fighters tried their utmost to take the lead as Hill landed heavy punching combinations and Waterson threw hard kicks and unloaded several other combinations yelling with each strike.

Yet, in response Hill pinned Waterson to the cage and threw a raft of knees and a few punches all of her own. After such a competitive five-round bout, the judges' scorecards read 48-47, 49-46, 47-48 in favour of Waterson, winning the fight with a split decision.

 

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