Women’s MMA Division

Women's MMA DivisionIn the first of many articles looking at the current state of mixed martial arts, MMARising.com examines the world of women’s MMA, which has quickly risen to become one of the sport’s most entertaining divisions.

In this article, we will take a look at each of the top females in mixed martial arts, with lists of the champions, contenders and wildcards.

Please note that this is a repost of the original article from March 13, 2008. Fights and records have since changed accordingly.


The Dominant Females:

Tara LaRosa (15-1-0): Arguably the best female fighter in the sport today, LaRosa brings a very well-rounded game to the cage. She is adept on the feet, has good takedowns and takedown defence, possesses reasonable ground and pound and has the ability to submit just about anyone by armbar. She is the current BodogFIGHT Women’s Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion, having defeated Kelly Kobald last July.

LaRosa holds victories over Ginele Marquez, Megumi Yabushita, Julie Kedzie, Amanda Buckner and Shayna Baszler, among others. Her most recent fight was a submission victory in a non-title match with reigning HOOKnSHOOT Flyweight (125 pounds) Champion Cody Welchin.

Although not quite as well known as some other female fighters, having largely shunned the spotlight, LaRosa is widely regarded as the greatest female mixed martial artist today. She has been defeated just once, by Jennifer Howe in 2003. Many fans are anxiously looking forward to a potential battle with Gina Carano in the future.


Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii (14-0-0): Quite possibly the best Japanese female fighter in MMA, Fujii is a highly-decorated submission wizard, with superb takedowns and incredible submission prowess. She has competed all over the world, in a variety of promotions, and has yet to taste defeat. In fact, she has really never come close to losing. Her specialty, though not generally her method of fight finish, is the Inazuma Toe Hold submission, which she frequently uses to transition to heel hooks.

Fujii is a black belt in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, and has many accolades outside of MMA. She has trained top fighters like Hitomi Akano and SmackGIRL Lightweight Champion Satoko Shinashi. She competes at 115 pounds, and has totalled victories over Cody Welchin, Lisa Ward and Kyoko Takabayashi.

Her most recent fight was a submission victory over Cindy Hales at SmackGIRL’s World ReMix Tournament in February. Fujii has competed in North America multiple times, but there are few competitors at 115 pounds who pose any threat to her. She may very well go undefeated throughout her career.


Satoko Shinashi (28-1-2): Unquestionably the top 105-pound female fighter today, Shinashi has torn through the competition in Japan since the end of 2001. She is a tactician, with an incredible 22 of her victories coming by way of submission. She is very versatile on the ground, having particularly nasty armbar and heel hook submissions, and is highly adept at taking her opponents to the ground.

Shinashi has truly defeated nearly everyone possible, with three victories over Misaki Takimoto, two victories over Naoko Ohmuro, two victories over Sachi Sachi and one win over former DEEP 105-pound Champion Hisae Watanabe. She has been defeated just one time, by Watanabe in 2006, and will likely look to settle the score in a rubber match with Watanabe in the near future.

In the meantime, Shinashi won two fights in one night at DEEP – 34th Impact, and seems well on her way to solidifying her spot as the best 105-pound female fighter of all time.


Sarah Kaufman (6-0-0): Though she has competed in mixed martial arts for less than two years, Kaufman has already made a significant impact in Canada, scoring all six of her victories by way of KO or TKO. She has excellent striking, both on the feet and on the ground, and is also very skilled in takedowns and submission defence. Working her way through promotions in British Columbia and Alberta, Kaufman went 4-0.

She was called by TKO Major League MMA in Quebec in 2007, and defeated Valerie Letourneau at TKO 29. Returning to Alberta, Kaufman battled Ginele Marquez at Hardcore Championship Fighting’s “Title Wave” event last October.

In one of the most entertaining female fights in recent memory, Kaufman managed to survive a number of scrambles on the ground and eventually secured a third-round TKO victory to become HCF Women’s Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion. Her first title defence is on March 29th, at HCF “Crow’s Nest” in Montreal, where she faces Molly Helsel.