Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is an intense combat sport that involves full-contact fights within an enclosed cage and combines elements from diverse combat disciplines.
In 1997, the United States of America (USA) witnessed a historic event when the first official female MMA fight occurred, signaling the dawn of a new era in the sporting world.
However, it was the highly anticipated headliner battle in 2009 between Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano, hosted by Strikeforce, that brought about a transformative shift in the sport.
The emergence of Ronda Rousey in the UFC further propelled Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream, solidifying its presence in the sporting world.
Here are the top five MMA fighters of all time:
Ronda Rousey, an American professional wrestler, and mixed martial artist, made a significant impact in the realms of Mixed Martial Arts and wrestling from 2010 to 2016.
Recognizing her extraordinary skills in the sport, ESPN ranked her as the greatest female competitor in history in 2015.
The achievements of the 36-year-old athlete left an indelible mark in history as she became the first woman to win both the WWE and UFC titles.
The California-born fighter holds the distinction of being the first female fighter to clinch the UFC championship and earned a rightful place in the UFC Hall of Fame.
Holly Holm, an accomplished American MMA fighter, has been actively competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2011 and has achieved numerous victories.
The 41-year-old boasts an impressive boxing background, having won 18 titles, and has been named the Ring magazine fighter of the year for two consecutive years.
Holm holds the distinction of being the sole fighter in history to capture both the UFC and boxing titles and is ranked by BoxRec as the best female boxer of all time.
A momentous event occurred in 2015 when she achieved a significant triumph by defeating Ronda Rousey which was rated by ESPN as the biggest upset in history.
Marloes Coenen, a former Dutch MMA fighter, had a remarkable career spanning from 2000 to 2017 and is widely recognized as a pioneer of female Mixed Martial Arts.
Throughout her 17-year professional journey, the 42-year-old MMA fighter competed in prestigious promotions such as Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator MMA.
At the young age of 19, Marloes embarked on her professional career, displaying immense talent and becoming the first woman to clinch the first MMA championship.
Marloes continued to elevate her status in the MMA world by capturing the Strike Women Bantamweight champion title in 2010.
Miesha Tate, a prominent figure in the realm of professional MMA, has left an indelible mark on the sport throughout her enduring career spanning over 16 years.
Tate, who once graced the Ultimate Fighting Championship arena, had a brief hiatus in 2016, only to make a triumphant return to the octagon in 2021.
The name Tate resonates deeply in the annals of MMA history, largely due to her riveting rivalry with none other than the iconic Ronda Rousey.
Despite her reign as the Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight champion, the formidable athlete faced difficulties in successfully defending her hard-earned titles.
Renowned Brazilian mixed martial artist, Amanda Nunes has undeniably solidified her position as an indomitable force within the world of MMA.
Since beginning her professional career in 2008, Nunes has ceaselessly showcased her skills in the octagon, firmly establishing herself as the epitome of dominance.
Her current status as the foremost figure in MMA is unequivocally confirmed by her esteemed rank at the top of the UFC’s women’s pound-for-pound rankings.
Amanda Nunes holds both the UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight titles, making her the first ever to achieve such an extraordinary dual distinction.