Weekend Action Puts WMMA Lineal Titles One Step Closer to Total Unification

Hello there lineal title fans! This past weekend featured a high level display of Women's Mixed Martial Arts. Two of the best in the world performed just one night apart in Los Angeles, CA with Cyborg defending her Invicta FC Featherweight title and Ronda Rousey defending her UFC Bantamweight title. Also featured on the UFC card was the UFC debut of Holly Holm, an accomplished boxer and undefeated MMA competitor.

But, chance are, you already knew all of this. What you might not have realized is that, in a single weekend, 27 of a possible 32 lineal titles in the women's Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions were on the line. That's a hefty 84% share of the total lineal pie between the two divisions. The reason I'm talking about them as a single group of titles is that the possible match up between Cyborg and Rousey seems to have heated up as of late. And, if you follow my lineal title posts, you know that I allow women's lineal titles to migrate to different weight classes over time. What this means is that regardless of what weight class Rousey and Cyborg decide to meet at, their respective titles would be unified.

Before we dive into the details, here's a quick reminder of the rules that I follow when tracing these lineal titles.


1. All titles trace back to the given promotion's inaugural championship, unless specifically noted

2. Only bouts contested within the weight class for which the belt was created are counted in the lineage. (See Rule 3 for exceptions)

3. WMMA belts will be allowed to "migrate" to different weight classes due to more frequent weight class changes by female fighters

4. If a title dead ends due to change of weight class or retirement, the next title issued by the promotion will be considered. I will refer to each issued title as an "iteration" of the belt (1st iteration, 2nd iterations, etc.)

5. No Contest rulings will always be respected (i.e. Diaz vs Gomi: Diaz tested positive for marijuana, so the fight does not effect the lineage)

6. TUF fights are exhibitions and will generally not count in the lineage of a title. TUF 20 for the Strawweight title is an exception to this rule considering the stakes

The Lineal Titles of Ronda Rousey (20):

As you'll see below, Ronda just added Cat Zingano's lineal Fight To Win and Ring of Fire titles to her collection. The win pushes Rousey to a tie for 8th on the Career All Time Lineal Title list with Jose Aldo and Alistair Overeem. She also widens her lead on the Career WMMA list. Tate remains in 2nd place with 15 career lineal WMMA titles. Perhaps most impressively, the win puts Rousey at 4th on the list of Unification Bouts Won with 4. She is currently tied with Fedor, Aoki, Hioki, Faber, and Mighty Mouse in this regard. She has personally added 9 lineal titles to the unification through these champion versus champion victories (Tate, Davis, McMann, Zingano).

1. Extreme Challenge

Lineal History: Jennifer Howe (1999) → Roxanne Modafferi Megumi YabushitaTara LaRosa → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah KaufmanMarloes CoenenMiesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

2. Remix World Cup

Lineal History: Marloes Coenen (2000) → Erin Toughill → Megumi Yabushita → Tara LaRosa → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

3. Japan Cup 2002 (SW)

Lineal History: Yuka Tsuj (WSW 2002: Migrated 2013) → Ana Michelle Tavares → Megumi Fujii → Zoila Frausto Gurgel → Jessica EyeAlexis Davis → Ronda Rousey

4. IFC

Lineal History: Jennifer Howe (2003) → Roxanne Modafferi → Megumi Yabushita → Tara LaRosa → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey


Lineal History: Jennifer Howe (2003) → Roxanne Modafferi → Megumi Yabushita → Tara LaRosa → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

  • Traces back to first HOOKnSHOOT women's champion Jennifer Howe, crowned in 2003 with her win over Tara Larosa. The first tournament was held in 2005 and won by Julie Kedzie. The next tournament was held in 2007 and won by Kaitlin Young. Each of these titles lead to Ronda Rousey

6. Ring of Fire (Openweight)

Lineal History: Kelly Kobold (WFW 2003: Migrated 2007) → Tara LaRosa → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

  • Traces back to the first women's title won by Kelly Kobold in 2003. It's not exactly clear what weight class the title was created for, but the title migrates to the BW division when Kelly loses to Tara LaRosa

7. Smackgirl (Openweight)

Lineal History: Megumi Yabushita (2004) → Tara LaRosa → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

8. Ring of Fire (BW)

Lineal History: Amanda Buckner (2005) → Tara LaRosa → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

9. Smackgirl (BW)

Lineal History: Hitomi Akano (2006) → Amanda Buckner → Takayo Hashi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

  • Traces back to the 2nd iteration of Smackgirl Middleweight Queen tournament won by Hitomi Akano in 2006. The 1st iteration of the title was won by Laura D'Auguste in 2005, but she retired from MMA undefeated

10. Bodog

Lineal History: Tara LaRosa (2007) → Roxanne Modafferi → Sarah Kaufman → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

11. Fatal Femmes (FLYW)

Lineal History: Lisa Ellis (WFLYW 2007: Migrated 2013) → Megumi Fujii → Zoila Frausto Gurgel → Jessica Eye → Alexis Davis → Ronda Rousey

12. Hardcore Fighting Championship

Lineal History: Sarah Kaufman (2007) → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

13. Fight To Win

Lineal History: Cat Zingano (WBW 2008: Migrated to WFLYW 2010: Migrated to WBW 2011) → Ronda Rousey

14. Bellator MMA

Lineal History: Zoila Frausto Gurgel (WSW 2010: Migrated 2013) → Jessica Eye → Alexis Davis → Ronda Rousey

15. Strikeforce

Lineal History: Sarah Kaufman (2010) → Marloes Coenen → Miesha Tate → Ronda Rousey

16. Freestyle Cage Fighting

Lineal History: Shanya Baszler (2010) → Sara McMann → Ronda Rousey

  • The inaugural title was won by Meisha Tate at FCF 30, but beginning at FCF 39 the promotion held a BW Grand Prix which included many top women's fighters. It was eventually won by Shanya Bazsler and this lineage also leads to Ronda Rousey. I don't list these as 2 separate titles because the Grandprix, though it did not include Tate, feels more like the true FCF title.

17. Ring of Fire (FLYW)

Lineal History: Cat Zingano (WFLYW 2010: Migrated 2011) → Ronda Rousey

18. Ring of Combat

Lineal History: Jessica Eye (2011) → Aisling DalyRosi Sexton → Alexis Davis → Ronda Rousey

  • Traces back to inaugural 130 lb title won by Jessica "Evil" Eye in 2011

19. UFC

Lineal History: Ronda Rousey (2012 Last Strikeforce Champion)

20. Pink Fight

Lineal History: Vanessa Porto (2012) → Sarah D'Alelio Shayna Baszler → Alexis Davis → Ronda Rousey

The Lineal Titles of Cyborg Justino (5):

Cyborg put 5 lineal titles up for grabs this past weekend against Tweet in the Main Event of Invicta FC 11. She even won a few of them from Gina Carano, the original poster girl for WMMA. Cyborg has the distinction of being the only MMA fighter to currently hold 100% of all active titles in her division. She became Lineal Queen of the FW division in 2009 and has defended her crown 5 times since with 1 No Contest.

1. Cage Warriors

Lineal History: Rosi Sexton (WBW 2005: Migrated 2006) → Gina Carano → Cyborg Justino

2. Fatal Femmes (BW)

Lineal History: Roxanne Modafferi (2007) → Marloes Coenen → Cyborg Justino

  • Fatal Femmes Fighting was an all female promotion that, in it's short existence, featured notable female fighters such as Roxanne Modaferri, Venessa Porto, Carina Damm, Alexis Davis, Jessica Penne, Lisa Ellis, and Megumi Yabushita. This title migrated from the modern day WBW division, but Jen Case was the first and only modern day WFW champion before retiring in 2007


Lineal History: Roxanne Modafferi (2007) → Marloes Coenen → Cyborg Justino

  • This was a one-time event featuring a one night 8-women tournament. Participants included Marloes Coenen and Megumi Yabushita and was won by Roxanne Modefferi in 2007

4. Strikeforce

Lineal History: Cyborg Justino (2009)

5. Invicta FC

Lineal History: Cyborg Justino (2013)

The Lineal Titles of Miesha Tate (4):

As mentioned above, Tate sits at #2 All Time with 15 career lineal titles. While she lost her original collection of belts in her first meeting with Rousey, Tate has recently started a new collection of lineal titles with wins over Rin Nakai and Sara McMann. Maybe a 3rd fight with Rousey isn't such a bad idea after all.

1. Valkyrie

Lineal History: Rin Nakai (2010 Tournament Champion) → Miesha Tate

2. Pancrase

Lineal History: Rin Nakai (2012 Queen of Pancrase) → Miesha Tate

3. King of the Cage (FLYW)

Lineal History: Brenda Gonzales (2012) → Rin Nakai → Miesha Tate

4. Invicta FC

Lineal History: Lauren Murphy (2013) → Sara McMann → Miesha Tate

The Lineal Titles of Holly Holm (2):

Holly Holm entered Saturday's co-main event with the Legacy FC lineal title and she walked away with the CFA Featherweight Tournament title as well.

1. CFA (FW Tournament Title)

Lineal History: Ashlee Evans-Smith (2013 WFW Tournament Champion: Migrated 2014) → Raquel Pennington Holly Holm

2. Legacy FC

Lineal History: Holly Holm (2014)

The Lineal Titles of Marion Reneau (1):

Marion is included here to round out this list of lineal title holders in the women's FW and BW divisions. Her recent win over Jessica Andrade puts her in some elite company.

1. Jungle Fight

Lineal History: Larissa Pacheco (2013) → Jessica Andrade → Marion Reneau

Lineal History Lesson:

History of Bantamweight Lineal Queens
Champion Titles % Unify
Ronda Rousey 20 74% 2015
Ronda Rousey 18 67% 2014
Ronda Rousey 13 46% 2014
Ronda Rousey 12 52% 2012
Miesha Tate 11 58% 2011
Marloes Coenen 11 69% 2010
Sarah Kaufman 11 69% 2010
Roxanne Modafferi 8 50% 2010
Tara Larosa 8 67% 2007
Tara Larosa 7 58% 2007
Tara Larosa 6 67% 2006
Tara Larosa 5 63% 2005
Megumi Yabushita 5 83% 2004
Roxanne Modafferi 3 50% 2004
Jennifer Howe 3 60% 2003
Jennifer Howe 2 40% 2003
Jennifer Howe EC - 1999 (Earliest Active)

History of Featherweight Lineal Queens
Champion Titles % Unify
Cyborg Justino 5 100% 2014
Cyborg Justino 5 83% 2013
Cyborg Justino 4 80% 2010
Cyborg Justino 2 50% 2009
Marloes Coenen 2 67% 2008
Roxanne Modafferi 2 67% 2007
Megumi Yabushita Smackgirl - 2004 (Earliest Active)

Women's All-time Lineal Title Holders

Champion # of Titles
1 Ronda Rousey 20
2 Miesha Tate 15
3 Marloes Coenen 13
3 Roxanne Modafferi 13
4 Sarah Kaufman 11
5 Tara LaRosa 8
6 Cyborg Justino 5
6 Megumi Yabushita 5
6 Claudia Gadelha 5
6 Joanna Jędrzejczyk 5
6 Ayaka Hamasaki 5
6 Alexis Davis 5
6 Seo Hee Ham 5
7 Jessica Aguilar 4
7 Jessica Eye 4
8 Jennifer Howe 3
8 Rin Nakai 3
8 Zoila Frausto Gurgel 3
8 Kalindra Faria 3
8 Michelle Waterson 3
8 Jessica Penne 3
8 Herica Tiburcio 3
8 Carla Esparza 3

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.