The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts released what it referred to as the first-ever major rankings poll for female mixed martial artists on Thursday.
The rankings, available in their on WAMMA’s official web site, consist of top ten rankings in the bantamweight (115.1-125 pounds), super bantamweight (125.1-135 pounds), and featherweight (135.1-145 pounds) weight classes.
Leading the pack in the featherweight class are two of the most recognizable fighters in all of female MMA, Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. Both Carano and Santos finished tied for the top spot at 145 pounds. The two have long been rumored for a head-to-head showdown that is now not expected to take place on the late-summer or early-fall, at the earliest.
At super bantamweight, former BodogFIGHT women’s champion Tara LaRosa finished at the top of the 135 pound top ten, which features established fighters such as Roxanne Modafferi, Shayna Baszler, and Amanda Buckner. LaRosa received votes from pollsters in every eligible weight class.
Ranked as the WAMMA number seven super bantamweight is former SmackGirl champion Hitomi Akano, who was just recently announced by the Strikeforce promotion as having signed to fight Santos. The two will meet in a 145 pound encounter during the promotion’s April 11 event in San Jose that will be televised on Showtime. The fight is currently slated to be the first-ever fight between two ranked WAMMA female fighters.
In the bantamweight division, Megumi Fuji claimed the top spot by what an official WAMMA official press released claimed was an overwhelming margin. According to the release, Fuji was ranked in the top spot on every ballot submitted by WAMMA pollsters.
WAMMA’s new female fighter poll will be conducted on a monthly basis and the organization believes its rankings could help further the growth of female MMA.
“Female MMA has experienced tremendous growth in recent years but many of the sport’s top women athletes are still being overlooked,” said WAMMA Rankings Committee Chair Sam Caplan, who is also the founding publisher of this web site. “With these rankings, WAMMA hopes to help bring greater awareness to the depth that exists in female MMA. We also hope that these rankings are used to create championships in multiple weight classes, which will in turn create bigger opportunities for female fighters.”