Women Fighters who could follow Ronda Rousey and Cyborg Santos into the octagon

1 of 10

Ronda Rousey set to be the first woman to fight inside of the octagon

Ronda Rousey
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

When UFC President Dana White pursues a vision it often becomes a reality.

In an interview with Sports Illustratrated.com, White said that a women’s division in the UFC is “absolutely going to happen.”

White had originally been initially a critic of women competing in MMA and said a women’s division would not likely happen in MMA due a lack of depth of women’s fighters around the world.

This changed after Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, had bought out Strikeforce as well as the rise of Ronda Rousey, the current Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion, who is one of the most, if not the most popular MMA fighter, male or female.

White has said that Rousey would be the first female fighter to compete in the UFC. He has also said that he is working making the dream match between Rousey and former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos a reality.

Rousey called out Santos after her successful title defense against Sarah Kaufman in August.

Santos said she would gladly accept a match with the bantamweight champion, however she would have to take it at catchweight fight as she is unable to make a drop to 135 pounds without ruining her health.

No doubt Rousey and Cyborg will fit right in the UFC. In addition to these two champions, there are several other fighters who could be brought into help develop a UFC women’s 135 pound division.

Note: This list is restricted to women fighters currently fighting at 135 pounds.

2 of 10

Miesha "Cupcake" Tate

Tate
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Miesha Tate is the one who Ronda Rousey defeated to win the Strikeforce title. Although she won her last fight against Julie Kedzie, Tate is taking some time away from MMA to refine her skills and hopefully regain passion in for the sport.

Tate’s performance against Kedzie earned her acclaim from fans and UFC President Dana White. If the UFC did bring in a women’s bantamweight division, Tate would one of the first fighters to get the call to come to the octagon.

3 of 10

Sarah Kaufman

Kaufman
MMAJunkie.com

Although she is coming off of a 54-second submission loss to Ronda Rousey, Sarah Kaufman is still recognized as one of the top fighters in the women’s 135-pound division. While her submission defense may need some work, Kaufman is one of a kind when it comes to striking and power.

Kaufman also trains with Greg Jackson, who could help develop her ground skills even further by the time the UFC establishes the women’s division.

She was originally set to face Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 3 until an injury forced her to pull out of the fight. A match between Kaufman and Young could be a co-headliner on an event that features Rousey and “Cyborg” Santos.

4 of 10

Julie "Fireball" Kedzie

Kedzie
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

While Miesha Tate did submit her in round three of their fight, Julie Kedzie was in control for most of the match. After the fight against Tate, UFC President Dana White tweeted “Now I know who Julie Kedzie is!”

Kedzie, a former HOOKnSHOOT champion, has eight years of experience, a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo and trains with Greg Jackson. These factors could make Kedzie a force in the UFC.

5 of 10

Sara McMann

McMann
Tracy Lee-Invicta FC

Sara McMann recently signed with Strikeforce, which is owned by Zuffa. She was scheduled to make her debut at the Nov. 3 fight card against Liz Carmouche, until she had to pull out of injury.

An Olympic Silver medalist in Women’s Freestyle wrestling, McMann is currently 6-0 in MMA and has improved her skill set with every fight. When she began her MMA career, there were talks of her facing Ronda Rousey, who won a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing

If McMann came to the UFC, it would be one step closer to making a match between the two medalists, a reality.

6 of 10

Liz "Girl-Rilla" Carmouche

Carmouche
Esther Lin-Invicta FC

Liz Carmouche is a rising star in women’s MMA. She is currently 7-2, with her only two losses coming at the hands of former Strikeforce champions. Being a former United States marine, Carmouche has developed resilience when it to fighting in the cage.She also has a killer instinct, power and impressive grappling skill that would be dangerous to any opponent.

Carmouche, who is also the first openly gay fighter to compete under the Zuffa banner, was originally supposed to face undefeated Sara McMann on Nov. 3 until McMann pulled out of the fight due to injury. The event would later be scrapped.

Strikeforce women’s champion Ronda Rousey has said she would be open to fighting Carmouche.

7 of 10

Shayna "Queen of Spades" Baszler

Baszler
Tracy Lee-Invicta FC

Shayna Baszler is one of the best submission fighters in women’s MMA with 14 of her 15 victories coming by way of tapout. While she has used a variety of submission techniques, Baszler is known for using a pseudo-chicken wing which she calls the “Shwing.”

Baszler trains under former UFC Heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, who taught her how to implement catch wrestling into her training and convinced her to carry a guitar to the cage.

If Baszler were to come to the UFC, her grappling and submission skills would be a good test any fighter, including Ronda Rousey.

8 of 10

Kaitlin Young

Young
Esther Lin-Invicta FC

Like Julie Kedzie, Kaitlin Young is a former HOOKnSHOOT champion who has fought greats like Gina Carano, Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche. Although her record of 7-7-1 may not help her case for fighting in the octagon, Young’s striking and toughness can make her a “must-see” fighter in the UFC.

There are several opponents who compete at 135 pounds that would be a good match for Young. She also has trilogies to finish with Kedzie, who is 1-1 against Young and Leslie Smith, who defeated Young at Invicta FC 3

9 of 10

Alexis Davis

Davis
MMAJunkie.com

Canadian fighter Alexis Davis has fought some top women’s fighters in the world and has only been stopped once in her career.

Although she has been in 17 fights in her career, her last two bouts have been some of her best work.

In July, she defeated Hitomi Akano at Invicta FC 2 by submission in the second-round, which earned her a Submission of the Night bonus. Prior to the Akano fight, she lost a majority decision to Sarah Kaufman in a bout that could be considered a Fight of the Year candidate.

Davis’ toughness and experience in Brazilian Jiu-jistu could make her a welcome addition to the UFC.

10 of 10

Leslie "Peacemaker" Smith

Smith
Esther Lin-Invicta FC

Leslie Smith is a fighter who is finding her niche in MMA. She is coming off an impressive TKO victory over Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 3.

While she is proficient in the stand up and striking, Smith also trains with Cesar Gracie and has a background in jiu-jitsu. Fighting in the UFC would give her a chance to move up to the next level in her career.

Besides the fighters on this list, who would you like to see come the UFC? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA.

1 of 10

Ronda Rousey set to be the first woman to fight inside of the octagon

Ronda Rousey
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

When UFC President Dana White pursues a vision it often becomes a reality.

In an interview with Sports Illustratrated.com, White said that a women’s division in the UFC is “absolutely going to happen.”

White had originally been initially a critic of women competing in MMA and said a women’s division would not likely happen in MMA due a lack of depth of women’s fighters around the world.

This changed after Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, had bought out Strikeforce as well as the rise of Ronda Rousey, the current Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion, who is one of the most, if not the most popular MMA fighter, male or female.

White has said that Rousey would be the first female fighter to compete in the UFC. He has also said that he is working making the dream match between Rousey and former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos a reality.

Rousey called out Santos after her successful title defense against Sarah Kaufman in August.

Santos said she would gladly accept a match with the bantamweight champion, however she would have to take it at catchweight fight as she is unable to make a drop to 135 pounds without ruining her health.

No doubt Rousey and Cyborg will fit right in the UFC. In addition to these two champions, there are several other fighters who could be brought into help develop a UFC women’s 135 pound division.

Note: This list is restricted to women fighters currently fighting at 135 pounds.

2 of 10

Miesha "Cupcake" Tate

Tate
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Miesha Tate is the one who Ronda Rousey defeated to win the Strikeforce title. Although she won her last fight against Julie Kedzie, Tate is taking some time away from MMA to refine her skills and hopefully regain passion in for the sport.

Tate’s performance against Kedzie earned her acclaim from fans and UFC President Dana White. If the UFC did bring in a women’s bantamweight division, Tate would one of the first fighters to get the call to come to the octagon.

3 of 10

Sarah Kaufman

Kaufman
MMAJunkie.com

Although she is coming off of a 54-second submission loss to Ronda Rousey, Sarah Kaufman is still recognized as one of the top fighters in the women’s 135-pound division. While her submission defense may need some work, Kaufman is one of a kind when it comes to striking and power.

Kaufman also trains with Greg Jackson, who could help develop her ground skills even further by the time the UFC establishes the women’s division.

She was originally set to face Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 3 until an injury forced her to pull out of the fight. A match between Kaufman and Young could be a co-headliner on an event that features Rousey and “Cyborg” Santos.

4 of 10

Julie "Fireball" Kedzie

Kedzie
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

While Miesha Tate did submit her in round three of their fight, Julie Kedzie was in control for most of the match. After the fight against Tate, UFC President Dana White tweeted “Now I know who Julie Kedzie is!”

Kedzie, a former HOOKnSHOOT champion, has eight years of experience, a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo and trains with Greg Jackson. These factors could make Kedzie a force in the UFC.

5 of 10

Sara McMann

McMann
Tracy Lee-Invicta FC

Sara McMann recently signed with Strikeforce, which is owned by Zuffa. She was scheduled to make her debut at the Nov. 3 fight card against Liz Carmouche, until she had to pull out of injury.

An Olympic Silver medalist in Women’s Freestyle wrestling, McMann is currently 6-0 in MMA and has improved her skill set with every fight. When she began her MMA career, there were talks of her facing Ronda Rousey, who won a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing

If McMann came to the UFC, it would be one step closer to making a match between the two medalists, a reality.

6 of 10

Liz "Girl-Rilla" Carmouche

Carmouche
Esther Lin-Invicta FC

Liz Carmouche is a rising star in women’s MMA. She is currently 7-2, with her only two losses coming at the hands of former Strikeforce champions. Being a former United States marine, Carmouche has developed resilience when it to fighting in the cage.She also has a killer instinct, power and impressive grappling skill that would be dangerous to any opponent.

Carmouche, who is also the first openly gay fighter to compete under the Zuffa banner, was originally supposed to face undefeated Sara McMann on Nov. 3 until McMann pulled out of the fight due to injury. The event would later be scrapped.

Strikeforce women’s champion Ronda Rousey has said she would be open to fighting Carmouche.

7 of 10

Shayna "Queen of Spades" Baszler

Baszler
Tracy Lee-Invicta FC

Shayna Baszler is one of the best submission fighters in women’s MMA with 14 of her 15 victories coming by way of tapout. While she has used a variety of submission techniques, Baszler is known for using a pseudo-chicken wing which she calls the “Shwing.”

Baszler trains under former UFC Heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, who taught her how to implement catch wrestling into her training and convinced her to carry a guitar to the cage.

If Baszler were to come to the UFC, her grappling and submission skills would be a good test any fighter, including Ronda Rousey.

8 of 10

Kaitlin Young

Young
Esther Lin-Invicta FC

Like Julie Kedzie, Kaitlin Young is a former HOOKnSHOOT champion who has fought greats like Gina Carano, Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche. Although her record of 7-7-1 may not help her case for fighting in the octagon, Young’s striking and toughness can make her a “must-see” fighter in the UFC.

There are several opponents who compete at 135 pounds that would be a good match for Young. She also has trilogies to finish with Kedzie, who is 1-1 against Young and Leslie Smith, who defeated Young at Invicta FC 3

9 of 10

Alexis Davis

Davis
MMAJunkie.com

Canadian fighter Alexis Davis has fought some top women’s fighters in the world and has only been stopped once in her career.

Although she has been in 17 fights in her career, her last two bouts have been some of her best work.

In July, she defeated Hitomi Akano at Invicta FC 2 by submission in the second-round, which earned her a Submission of the Night bonus. Prior to the Akano fight, she lost a majority decision to Sarah Kaufman in a bout that could be considered a Fight of the Year candidate.

Davis’ toughness and experience in Brazilian Jiu-jistu could make her a welcome addition to the UFC.

10 of 10

Leslie "Peacemaker" Smith

Smith
Esther Lin-Invicta FC

Leslie Smith is a fighter who is finding her niche in MMA. She is coming off an impressive TKO victory over Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 3.

While she is proficient in the stand up and striking, Smith also trains with Cesar Gracie and has a background in jiu-jitsu. Fighting in the UFC would give her a chance to move up to the next level in her career.

Besides the fighters on this list, who would you like to see come the UFC? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA.


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