Mixed martial arts has come a long way since its rule-less beginnings in the 90s.
Today, women worldwide aspire to reach the height of the UFC’s weight class divisions.
These are the four UFC women’s weight classes in order:
- Strawweight (115 lbs / 52.2 kg)
- Flyweight (125 lbs / 56.7 kg)
- Bantamweight (135 lbs / 61.2 kg)
- Featherweight* (145 lbs / 65.78 kg)
*Women’s Featherweight typically doesn’t have enough active fighters for rankings, but sometimes Amanda Nunes and others will compete in this division.
Here’s an easy-to-understand infographic of the female weight divisions in the UFC:
Continue reading to learn more about the female weight divisions at the UFC!
Table of Contents
Women’s UFC weight classes in order
This is the list of four weight classes for the women in the UFC, including their upper weight limit in pounds and kilograms:
|Weight Class (Division)||Weight (lbs)||Weight (kg)|
|Strawweight||115 lbs||52.2 kg|
|Flyweight||125 lbs||56.7 kg|
|Bantamweight||135 lbs||61.2 kg|
|Featherweight||145 lbs||65.8 kg|
Currently, there are only four weight divisions for UFC women’s matchups.
Three (Flyweight, Bantamweight, and Featherweight) match up with the men’s UFC weight classes. But Strawweight is exclusively added for women’s matchups.
Women generally are different than men as they are smaller in size, frame, and weight. So the divisions represent that, along with the currently available pool of most female MMA fighters.
While there is a Featherweight division that exists for women, there are rarely any fights that take place in that division because most fighters aren’t able to make this weight of 145 lbs.
The women’s roster is only between a third to a half the size of the men’s, so there haven’t yet been any additional weight classes added.
Potentially, an Atomweight or other similar weight class could be added in the future. But there needs to be enough fighters and enough demand to support it.
Women’s UFC weight classes rankings
The UFC rankings in the women’s divisions will occasionally change, mainly after fighters compete against each other in a top fifteen-ranked position.
For example, the fighter in rank three might fight the fighter in rank five. If the former lost, then the opponent might move up to take their spot. But it could depend on many factors, such as a winning streak, but likely only Dana White knows the true reasoning for rankings changes!
I’ve pulled together a dynamically updated ranking for each women’s UFC weight class. These are below and updated daily!
Women’s Strawweight Division RankingsName: womens_strawweight
Women’s Flyweight Division RankingsName: womens_flyweight
Women’s Bantamweight Division RankingsName: womens_bantamweight
|10||Bueno Silva, Mayra|
|13||Dumont Viana, Norma|
Women’s Featherweight Division RankingsName: womens_featherweight
There aren’t enough female fighters who can match the weight of 145 lbs/65.8 kg regularly enough for women to have an active Featherweight division.
That’s why you’ll likely only see the champion in this ranking. But it’s still possible for women to compete in this weight class, and perhaps in the future, this division will expand as more women fighters enter the UFC.
History of UFC’s women’s weight classes
Let’s cover some of the unique history of women’s involvement in the UFC.
Introduction of women’s weight classes
More than a decade ago, Dana White (the CEO of the UFC) confirmed that the company would introduce its first weight class for women.
The UFC signed the then-Strikeforce women’s Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, in November 2012.
Ronda was awarded the Bantamweight title and was given her first title defense against Liz Carmouche at the first UFC event to feature women’s MMA, UFC 157, in February 2013.
Female fighters continued to be introduced into the UFC in 2013.
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, in April 2013, saw a Women’s Bantamweight clash between Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate. Zingano won by TKO. This was another great step in building the popularity of women’s MMA.
Launch of the Strawweight division
In late 2013, the UFC signed contracts with eleven female fighters from Invicta FC to launch the Strawweight division.
Most of those fighters were introduced to the world in the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter (TV show), where the winner would be awarded the first Strawweight championship belt.
Some of those female warriors included were:
- Rose Namajunas
- Felice Herrig
- Tecia Torres
- Joanne Calderwood
- Bec Hyatt
- Randa Markos
- Jessica Penne
- Claudia Gadelha
- Joanna Jędrzejczyk
- Carla Esparza
In the tournament rounds of that historic season for women’s MMA, Rose Namajunas won three fights in a row by submission to face Carla Esparza in the finale.
Rose’s submission streak ended as Carla won the fight by submitting Namajunas and became the first Women’s Strawweight champion in UFC history.
Over a decade of women’s UFC matchups
Women’s fights grew over the next few years, reaching another milestone as Carla Esparza lost her title against Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 185 in 2015.
Since then, women’s UFC has only gone from strength to strength. Women’s matchups appear on almost every fight card, whether preliminary or main.
And all of these fights have spanned over a decade of competition at the elite level with the UFC.
We’ve benefitted from the era of fighters like Cris Cyborg, Amanda Nunes, Zhang Weili, and more, who continue to push the boundaries of what was once thought possible.
Questions about UFC women’s weight classes
Lots of questions come up about women’s divisions in the UFC, and I’ll answer those below:
How many women’s divisions in UFC?
The UFC has four women’s divisions or weight classes. These are Strawweight, Flyweight, Bantamweight, and Featherweight. Although Featherweight rarely has enough participants for there to be a consistent ranking.
What is the heaviest weight class in women’s UFC?
The heaviest weight class in women’s UFC is the Bantamweight division. There is also a weight class above that, the Featherweight division, but it rarely has enough fighters at that weight to compete.
Who is the heaviest female UFC fighter?
The heaviest female UFC fighter on record is Megan Anderson, weighing in at 145 lbs/66kg. She is also one of the tallest at 6ft tall.
What is the lightest UFC women’s weight class?
The lightest UFC women’s weight class is Strawweight at 115lbs/52.2kg.
What weight is UFC Flyweight women’s?
UFC Flyweight women’s weight is 125lbs/56.7kg. It’s the same weight as the men’s weight class.
Who is the toughest female fighter?
The toughest female fighter is often said to be Amanda Nunes for the level of competition she has faced in her career, accepting challenges from just about any fighter.
Who is the number 1 female fighter?
The number one female fighter is still likely to be Amanda Nunes, despite recently losing her belt to Carla Esparza. In the past, Cris Cyborg or Ronda Rousey could have been considered number one, too.
What are female UFC categories?
The female UFC categories are in fact UFC weight classes or weight divisions. Those are Strawweight, Flyweight, Bantamweight, and Featherweight.
Final thoughts on women’s divisions in the UFC
It’s been great to see the expansion of WMMA over the years.
Now that women fighters have been in the UFC for over a decade, we can hope to see the divisions fill out with even more competition and skills.
This will only breed more epic matchups between fighters and spawn inspiration for the next generations of professional mixed martial artists.
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