Official Bloody Elbow Women's MMA Rankings: Bantamweight

USA TODAY Sports

Bloody Elbow's official rankings of the Women's Bantamweight division, featuring UFC Champion Ronda Rousey.

Bloody Elbow is creating our own Women's MMA Rankings and we start the talent and star filled Bantamweight (135 lb) Division, home of UFC star Ronda Rousey.

Our rankings panel is composed of Fraser Coffeen, a staff writer for BloodyElbow and a former editor and contributor at LiverKick.com, Zane Simon, the arbiter of Bloody Elbow's MMA promotion rosters, MMA Mania's Brian Hemminger, host of the Verbal Submission podcast and an ardent supporter of Women's MMA, and T.P. Grant, a writer for Bloody Elbow.

The rankings are created by each panel member submitting a ballot, listing their Top 10. The #1 ranked fighter on each ballot is given 10 points, the #2 is given 9 points, and so on. The rankings are then created by the total point scores.

Below are the final rankings, the individual ballots, and comments submitted by each panel member about their own rankings. Rankings will be updated after two or more fighters on the rankings list have fought matches.

135_lb_rankings_4-17-13_medium

also receiving votes: Amanda Nunes (4), Julie Kedzie (4)

T.P. Grant: Ronda is clearly number one, and Kaufman is a clear cut number two with 6-1 record against the other girls on this list. I suspect I am placing Carmouche a bit too high based on her spirited one round of defiance against Rousey, but time will correct that if it is the case. I think McMann is too untested to crack the top 5, but she clearly has to potential to reach that level.

Zane Simon: A few things of note here, the biggest of them being that I'm putting Liz Carmouche at no. 10 because, despite her gutsy performance against Rousey her record is still terribly thin, and she hasn't done anything to separate herself from the rest of the pack. In fact if she hadn't fought for the title I'd probably replace her with Elana Maxwell or Leslie Smith. Other than that Zingano looked better in her last fight than Kaufman so I'm giving her the top contender spot.

Brian Hemminger: I just can't rank Kaufman as high considering how badly she was dominated by Rousey as well as the fact that I thought Leslie Smith beat her in Invicta. I think Alexis Davis has shown incredible improvement as of late and her performances against Baszler and Akano have showed as well as her wins over Nunes and Kedzie (plus she won the third round against Kaufman). I'm ranking McMann more based on potential, but she's still undefeated and has scored some big wins in her last two fights. Lastly, I have D'Alelio number 10 because she beat Nunes in her last fight and holds a significant win over Vanessa Porto in Invicta. Nunes still has a lot to prove to me.

Fraser Coffeen: There's really nothing to say about Rousey at #1 - she's clearly the best there is. As for #2, yes Kaufman was easily defeated by Rousey, but most are, and she still holds wins over the likes of Davis and Carmouche. Right now, I see the top 5 of this division as a pretty clear step above the bottom 5. McMann has the definite potential to be a top 5 fighter - she just hasn't quite had the fights to get there yet. I'm hoping with her in the UFC, she 'll get to show what she has against the likes of Tate or Kaufman.

Announced Matches:

#1 Ronda Rousey vs #2 Cat Zingano (UFC, TBA)

Rousey and Zingano are going be coaches on the Ultimate Fighter season 18 before their championship showdown for the top slot, possibly at the end of the this year.

#4 Alexis Davis vs Rosi Sexton (UFC 161: June 15, 2013)

Daivs makes her Octagon debut against Bellator stand out Rosi Sexton in a main card fight of an event featuring the Men's Bantamweight Interim Title.

#6 Sara McMann vs Sheila Gaff (UFC 159: April 27,2013)

McMann enters the UFC with a 6-0 record to take on young, German prospect Sheila Gaff to see which promising fighter continues to climb the ladder towards a title fight.

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