Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Fly is Going Off the Wall

By Staff May 22, 2017

Bellator MMA starts pushing its women's flyweight division and says it is going to crown its inaugural champion soon. Not long after that, the Ultimate Fighting Championship officially opens its doors to women at 125 pounds and announces “The Ultimate Fighter 26” will crown the UFC's first women's flyweight champion. With all this buzzing about MMA's fly women, the timing of Invicta Fighting Championships 23 could not have been better.

Invicta's return to the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 20 was built on a trio of outstanding and important flyweight contender bouts. In the main event, 22-year-old Polish prospect Agnieszka Niedzwiedz pushed her record to a perfect 10-0 by taking a decision over tough Brazilian vet Vanessa Porto, while on the undercard, Roxanne Modafferi hacked into Sarah D'Alelio's head with her elbow and Andrea Lee outstruck Liz Tracy. In wake of the event, Niedzwiedz, Modafferi and Lee are our No. 2, No. 4 and No. 8 flyweight women in the world, but which one is going to be next to challenge MMA's 125-pound queen and Invicta champ Jennifer Maia?

The card also saw our third-ranked atomweight woman, Herica Tiburcio, pick up a strong split decision over No. 6 Tessa Simpson. However, owing to Tiburcio's losses to Ayaka Hamasaki and Jinh Yu Frey, she stays put. Instead, another 105-pound woman, Satomi Takano, makes a leap in this update: “Sarami” earned her third win in a row and second career victory over Tomo Maesawa on May 20 under the Deep Jewels banner. She debuts at No. 8 in our rankings.

Elsewhere at Invicta 23, Ediane Gomes returned to the 145-pound division , notched her first win in over four years and jumps onto our featherweight list, while Bellator 179 in London saw the underrated Linton Vassell choke out former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary to earn the biggest win of his career and the chance to now rub elbows with the 205-pound elite in our top 10.

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