's WMMA Pound-for-Pound Top 10

By Staff Aug 2, 2015

Ahead of UFC 190, many fans and pundits decried Ronda Rousey’s latest challenger, Bethe Correia, as an unworthy contender to the throne. Rousey needed only 34 seconds to prove them right.

Rousey continued her reign as UFC women’s bantamweight champion and top pound-for-pound female fighter in the world with a clean, one-punch knockout of Correia on Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro. The result came as little surprise, considering Rousey’s previous opponents, Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis, lasted 14 and 16 seconds, respectively. The former Olympic judo medalist now has two fights on her plate: One is a sure thing, a third meeting with top contender Miesha Tate, while the other, a super fight with Cristiane Justino, remains a long shot.

Also at UFC 190, Claudia Gadelha affirmed her position as top contender to the strawweight title by outpointing former World Series of Fighting ace Jessica Aguilar in a bloody three-rounder. Gadelha, who will rematch Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the belt later this year, moves from No. 8 to No. 4 in the pound-for-pound rankings, while Aguilar falls one spot to No. 5.

Related: Sherdog Divisional Rankings

1. Ronda Rousey (12-0)

Having cleared out the bantamweight division, Rousey defended her UFC title against a lesser challenger in Bethe Correia at UFC 190. The “Rowdy” 29-year-old showed the difference in skill level and power between herself and Correia, as she blitzed the Brazilian with punches before landing a single right hand that caused Correia to land face-first on the canvas. Rousey is unbeaten through a dozen professional outings, and only one woman -- Miesha Tate -- has made it out of the first round. Talk continues to swirl about a long-discussed fight with Invicta Fighting Championships featherweight titleholder Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, but before that can happen, Rousey will have to put her belt on the line in a third meeting with Tate later this year.

2. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (10-0)

Just three years into her mixed martial arts career, Jedrzejczyk’s precise, powerful striking and thrilling aggression have taken her to the top of the 115-pound division. The burgeoning Polish star’s latest conquest came June 20 in Berlin, where she dismantled challenger Jessica Penne for a third-round stoppage, becoming the first woman to successfully defend the newly minted UFC strawweight title. In a span of six months, Jedrzejczyk has defeated Penne, Carla Esparza and Claudia Gadelha, but with her weight class still in its UFC infancy, there will be no shortage of challengers. Next up for “Joanna Champion” will be a rematch with Gadelha.

3. Cristiane Justino (14-1, 1 NC)

“Cyborg” continues to steamroll all opponents placed before her inside the cage. The Brazilian powerhouse’s latest victim was Faith Van Duin, whose July 9 bid for the Invicta featherweight title lasted a mere 45 seconds. Justino has gone unbeaten for 10 years and 15 fights, but with thin competition at 145 pounds, all anyone can talk about is a potential matchup with Ronda Rousey.

4. Claudia Gadelha (13-1)

The first defeat of Gadelha’s MMA career -- a razor-thin split decision defeat to Joanna Jedrzejczyk -- seems only to have motivated the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Gadelha was relentless in her Aug. 1 bout with Jessica Aguilar, beating and bloodying the former World Series of Fighting titlist for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision. With the win, Gadelha secured the right to rematch Jedrzejczyk later this year; this time, the Polish fighter’s UFC strawweight belt will be on the line.

5. Jessica Aguilar (19-5)

Aguilar went unbeaten for nearly five years, racking up 10 straight wins over the likes of Carla Esparza and Megumi Fujii (twice). She captured the World Series of Fighting strawweight title and was, until just recently, ranked at the top of the 115-pound division. The American Top Team fighter’s streak ended in her UFC debut on Aug. 1, when she ran up against top contender Claudia Gadelha at UFC 190. Aguilar had little answer for Gadelha’s quick hands and powerful takedowns; nonetheless, “Jag” hung tough until the end and suffered a unanimous decision defeat.

6. Cat Zingano (9-1)

Zingano’s grit and determination inside the cage helped her score come-from-behind wins against Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes to become the UFC’s top bantamweight contender. The same qualities helped the Colorado native return to action following ACL surgery and the death of her husband in 2014. However, in her long-awaited title shot against Ronda Rou sey at UFC 184, “Alpha Cat” had little chance to display her skills or resolve, as a 14-second armbar dashed Zingano’s championship hopes. The brief bout illustrated far less about Zingano -- who entered the bout unbeaten at 9-0 with eight finishes -- than it did the gap between Rousey and even the best of the rest at 135 pounds.

7. Miesha Tate (17-5)

Tate took what Jessica Eye had to offer and kept on coming, fighting her way back into their July 25 encounter with pressure on the feet and the floor. “Cupcake” controlled the later rounds to emerge from the bout with a unanimous decision and the promise of another shot at the UFC women’s bantamweight title. To capture UFC gold, however, the 28-year-old will have to overcome the seemingly unbeatable Ronda Rousey, who has twice submitted Tate via armbar.

8. Barb Honchak (10-2)

Honchak has been nothing but dominant since winning the Invicta flyweight belt -- a little too dominant, perhaps. “The Little Warrior” drew criticism with her latest title defense, a November rout of Takayo Hashi which saw Honchak outwork the Japanese vet in the clinch for the better part of five rounds. Regardless of her tactics, there can be no denying the Pat Miletich student’s results: Honchak is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak and has not suffered a loss since September 2010.

9. Carla Esparza (10-3)

Esparza’s collegiate wrestling base propelled her through “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 20 and helped her defeat Rose Namajunas to become the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight champion, but it did not help her at all against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185. Unable to bring the polish striker to the ground, Esparza suffered through an early candidate for “Beatdown of the Year” before being punched senseless in the second round. It was the 27-year-old’s first knockout loss in 13 bouts and snapped a five-fight winning streak which saw the “Cookie Monster” take out the likes of Felice Herrig and Bec Rawlings.

10. Alexis Davis (17-6)

Davis may have only lasted 16 seconds with bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey, but she remains a tough out for the rest of the division, including old rival Sarah Kaufman. The “Ally-Gator” was punched up by Kaufman in the opening round of their UFC 186 bout but persevered to secure an armbar in the second frame, winning for the first time in three meetings with her fellow Canadian. The victory was the fourth in five UFC appearances for 30-year-old Davis, who figures to hang around the 135-pound top 10 for some time.


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