Sherdog’s Top 10 Pound-for-Pound WMMA

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Image: Illustration by John Brannigan / Sherdog.com



By itself, Julia Budd’s last performance was not one that would qualify as pound for pound.

A split-decision triumph over undersized and under-considered Dayana Silva at the Bellator 257 on Friday didn’t do much to increase Budd’s stock, 10th, nor is he likely to accelerate him to a rematch with Cristiane Justino. However, Budd’s long streak of success – 13 wins in 14 professional appearances dating back to July 2012 – allows her to maintain her Top 10 ranking. Only time will tell if the 37-year-old’s struggles against Silva provide for. a beginning of decline, but for now, she remains one of the best in the world in women’s MMA. Note: previous classification in brackets.

Nunes extended her winning streak to 12 at UFC 259, where she crushed Megan Anderson en route to an inverted triangle armband submission at 2:03 of Round 1. The Consensus Women’s GOAT now has three wins in fighting for the title of 145 pounds. to his credit, but there don’t seem to be any worthwhile challenges in this division at the moment. With retirement fading away after the birth of her daughter, “Lioness” returns to 135 pounds to defend her bantamweight crown against Julianna Pena at UFC 265 on August 7. the adversary can claim moral victory. Although Jennifer Maia conceded the second frame in their co-main event fight at UFC 255, the rest of the contest was all Shevchenko, as “Bullet” headed for a clear unanimous decision title to retain his crown of weight. fly. Shevchenko has won six straight fights since rising to 125 pounds and is now considering a showdown against Jessica Andrade at UFC 261. Justino’s first featherweight title defense at Bellator was a snap, as she dominated Arlene. Blencowe en route to a starter victory at the back in the second round of headlining at the Bellator 249 – the first submission triumph of the Brazilian’s powerful MMA career. “Cyborg” has won three straight contests since losing to Amanda Nunes in UFC 232 and looks set for a dominating reign as the 145-pound champion in the California-based promotion. Justino will return to defend his crown in a rematch against Leslie Smith at Bellator 259. A fight pulled out of a 42-second stoppage by Jessica Andrade, Zhang showed an ability to win in a battle of attrition, as she beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the classic five-round to retain the strawweight crown in the UFC 248 co-main event. Zhang extended her winning streak to 21 with superior punching power that left a grotesque bruise on the front of Jedrzejczyk. Zhang’s victory was all the more impressive as his camp had been altered due to coronavirus concerns in his home country, China. After more than a year of hiatus, Zhang is expected to defend his crown against Rose Namajunas at UFC 261. A devastating loss to Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 caused Namajunas to consider retirement, but ultimately “Thug” Rose was decided not to call it a career. The former champion made a triumphant return to the Octagon at UFC 251, where she took an early lead on the scorecards and withstood a hard Andrade for a split-decision triumph at ‘Fight Island’ at Abu Dhabi. With the win, Namajunas earned a chance against reigning 115-pound champion Weili Zhang at UFC 261. Andrade became the first woman to achieve victories in the Octagon in three different weight classes at the. UFC Fight Night 180, as she sent out former flyweight title challenger Katlyn Chookagian with punches at 4:55 in the first round of their co-main event meet in Abu Dhabi on October 17. With an impressive victory in her 125-pound debut, the former Strawweight Queen got a chance against reiging champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 261. De Randamie introduced a new element to her game at UFC on ESPN 16, submitting Julianna Pena with a guillotine choke in the third round of their bantamweight meet at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi on October 3. It was the first submission victory for the Dutch kickboxer, who rebounded from a five-round loss to Amanda Nunes in a UFC 245 title fight last December. De Randamie has won six of his eight promotional appearances, with his only two losses at the hands of Nunes. Jedrzejczyk was wholeheartedly at UFC 248. Although she was almost unrecognizable at the end of her co-headlining bout with Weili Zhang, the Polish star never continued to press the action. in the shock of the strawweight championship. Although she passed her nemesis in important strikes, Jedrzejczyk was not as powerful as the Chinese champion in the rally and failed in a split-decision loss. Once one of the sport’s most dominant champions, Jedrzejczyk has only upped his stock despite falling to 6-4 in the UFC title bout. In an undefeated fighter’s championship game, Velasquez ended Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s flyweight reign with a clear five-round verdict in the headliner of the Bellator 254 on December 10. The Brazilian judoka has been victorious in her first six promotional appearances and looks destined for a future showdown with Liz Carmouche, Macfarlane’s training partner and former UFC title challenger. A rematch with Macfarlane is also possible. It wasn’t as dominant as the majority of his performances, but Budd added another victory to his ledger at the Bellator 257 nonetheless, releasing promotional newcomer Dayana Silva on April 16. The former featherweight queen has been victorious in 13 of her last 14 professionals. appearances, with her lone loss to current 145-pound champion Cristiane Justino in a 238 Bellator title fight. Budd’s latest win might not be enough to speed her way to a rematch with “Cyborg.”

Other suitors: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Seo Hee Ham, Ayaka Hamasaki, Holly Holm, Xiaonan Yan.

Sherdog’s Divisional and Pound-for-Pound Rankings are compiled by a panel of Sherdog.com staff and contributors: Tristen Critchfield, Mike Fridley, Brian Knapp, Ben Duffy, Jay Pettry, Edward Carbajal, Tudor Leonte, Keith Shillan, Mike Sloan, Tyler Treese and Lev Pisarsky.



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