Women’s Bantamweight Championship, 57 to 61 kg. Prior to its folding and absorption by the UFC, Ronda Rousey was the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Rousey was awarded the inaugural UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship on December 6, 2012.
#1: United States’ Ronda Rousey.
Rousey was the first U.S. woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo (Bronze), which she won at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In her autobiography, My Fight, Your Fight, Rousey revealed she assaulted an ex-boyfriend. This was two weeks before her first fight with Miesha Tate, after Rousey discovered that he had taken nude photos of her without her consent or knowledge. Rousey wrote, “I slapped him across the face so hard my hand hurt.” Although Rousey deleted the photos and erased his hard drive, fear that the pictures may still be out there influenced her to pose for ESPN’s Body Issue, so that nude pictures of her would be seen on her own terms.
Rousey held the title for 1,074 days combined and defeated;
- Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 on Feb 23, 2013
- Miesha Tate at UFC 168 on Dec 28, 2013
- Sara McMann at UFC 170 on Feb 22, 2014
- Alexis Davis at UFC 175 on Jul 5, 2014
- Cat Zingano at UFC 184 on Feb 28, 2015
- Bethe Correia at UFC 190 on Aug 1, 2015
#2: United States’ Holly Holm
Holm is the first person to win championships in both boxing and mixed martial arts. Holm has held several welterweight boxing titles, been highly regarded as one of the best female welterweights in the world, and is considered among the best of all time, by some. She also has been named Ring Magazine female Fighter of the Year, twice in consecutive years in 2005 and 2006.
Holm defeated Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 on Nov 15, 2015 and held the title for 111 days.
#3: United States’ Miesha Tate
Her fighting style, which focuses on wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has earned praise from multiple peers and media outlets. Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White has credited Tate’s fight with Ronda Rousey on March 3, 2012 as the key factor in the creation of women’s divisions in the UFC. Rousey had made her MMA debut in early 2011 and defeated all four of her opponents by first-round armbar submission. However, Tate did not believe that Rousey had earned a title shot, and felt that Rousey was largely gaining the opportunity due to being “pretty.” The two engaged in a variety of trash-talk, with Rousey stating that she was “bored” while watching Tate’s win over Coenen. Ultimately, Tate and Rousey headlined a Strikeforce show on March 3, 2012. Shortly after the fight began, Tate escaped Rousey’s first armbar attempt and retaliated with strikes. After a back-and-forth session of grappling, Tate lost the title when Rousey secured a second armbar near the end of the first round, forcing her to submit.
Tate defeated Holly Holm at UFC 196 on Mar 5, 2016 and held the title for 126 days.
#4: Brazil’s Amanda Nunes
She started training in karate at age four and pursued training in boxing at the age of sixteen. She began training in Brazilian jiujitsu after being invited to a dojo by her sister, who also trained in the sport. She has won 6 out of 8 UFC fights, where only one was lost.
Nunes defeated Miesha Tate at UFC 200 on Jul 9, 2016 and is still holding the title.