As mixed martial arts (MMA) continues to gain momentum as the fastest growing sport in history, the action is heating up nowadays with the ladies pounding it out alongside the men. No longer considered to be just another “guy’s sport,” MMA is attracting both male and female fight fans from all around the world, with both parties joining in on the action inside the cage. Sure, watching two guys go toe-to-toe is a real treat, but seeing a couple of lovely ladies battle it out is equally impressive.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 7 of today’s top female fighters.
7. Erin Toughill
A product of Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, Erin Toughill is a rising star in the world of women’s MMA. As a professional boxer, Toughill duked it out with some of the toughest females inside the ring, including a notable match against Laila Ali, the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Thus far in her mixed martial arts career, Erin has earned a record of 13-2, fighting for promotions including Smackgirl and Palace Fighting Championships. Along with her boxing and MMA career, Toughill also appeared as “Steel” on American Gladiators. Not impressed yet? This Xtreme Couture team member also serves as one of Randy Couture’s primary grappling coaches, having cornered “The Natural” in a few of his fights.
6. Roxanne Modafferi
Scheduled to face Sarah Kaufman for the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship on July 23, 2010, Roxanne Modafferi is an American mixed martial artist who’s racked up a pro record of 15-5, having fought for a variety of organizations including Strikeforce, Moosin, King of the Cage, bodogFight, and more. With notable battles against Tara LaRosa and Marloes Coenen under her belt, Modafferi has climbed her way to the top of the women’s bantamweight heap while racking up a string of impressive victories over some of the toughest female competitors out there.
5. Tara LaRosa
Holding bragging rights as the first and final BodogFIGHT women’s bantamweight champion, Tara LaRosa’s professional record includes a total of 20 fights, with 18 wins and just 2 losses. With an arsenal that includes a combination of Muay Thai, karate, judo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, LaRosa has made her mark on the women’s MMA scene with noteworthy victories over top fighters including Amanda Buckner and Kelly Kobold.
4. Sarah Kaufman
An undefeated knockout artist who also happens to be the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, Sarah Kaufman is one of the fiercest female fighters in the 135-pound division. Holding an impressive record of 11-0, this Canadian fighter won her first seven pro fights by way of knockout and has competed in several promotions including ShoMMA, Palace Fighting Championships and Hardcore Fighting Championships. With her undefeated win streak, it comes as no surprise that Kaufman is currently ranked as one of the best female bantamweight fighters in the world.
3. Megumi Fujii
Regarded as the top women’s mixed martial artist in Japan, as well as one of the pound-for-pound best female fighters on the planet, Megumi Fujii is a force to be reckoned with in women’s MMA. A popular fighter in promotions including Smackgirl and Shooto, Fujii was recently added to the Bellator roster, as a competitor in the season three women’s tournament. Currently undefeated in her pro career, Megumi has earned a reputation in the ring as an elite submission specialist known for her quick takedowns and brutal submissions.
2. Gina Carano
Often referred to as the “face of women’s MMA,” Gina Carano possesses a killer combination of talent and natural beauty. In addition to being one of the world’s elite female fighters, Carano is an aspiring model and actress who’s been crushing ladies in the ring with a professional record of 8-1. Originally starting her fight career as a Muay Thai specialist, Carano delivered multiple beat-downs as “Crush” on American Gladiators prior to kicking her professional MMA fight career into overdrive. Her only loss inside the cage comes at the hands of the current Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.
1. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos
Holding the crown as the most lethal fighter in women’s MMA, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos is widely considered to be the pound-for-pound best female fighter in the world. Currently the Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion, this Brazilian wrecking machine has demolished all competition inside the cage, including a notable victory over former champ Gina Carano. Most recently, Santos defended her title for the second time with an impressive victory over Jan Finney at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum, winning by knockout in the event, further solidifying her status as one of the top fighters in the world.
Source: Ask Men