FanPost

All about Female Strawweight division - tables and graphs by SCM

Strawweight is currently the hottest division in MMA and I will here present everything that ScoreCardMMA has about Female SW division.

Let's start with the current Top 20 SW ranking:

g_FFtr_RkTbl_A15_115.0.jpg

We can see that UFC is dominant organization in F-115 division. But not as dominant as in F-135 or in male divisions. There are still plenty of good SW fighters in Invicta and other promotions.

  • In top 20 there are 8 Americans, 4 Brazilian and surprisingly (but deservingly) 2 Polish girls.
  • Almost 40% (19 of 50) of top 50 P4P females are from SW division.

Invicta is not formally owned by Zuffa and Shannon Knapp still claims that she is 100% owner. But most of their recent moves show that Zuffa is clearly in control of Invicta.

Most important UFC move was in Dec 2013 when UFC acquired almost all top SW fighters from Invicta. That transaction included then Invicta SW champion Carla Esparza. 10 more fighters were included in that move: Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas, Julianna Lima, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Alex Chambers, and Paige Van Zant. Most of them participated in the UFC Ultimate Fighter 20. That TUF series decided on who will be fighting for the first UFC SW champion.

Following shows who were recent SW champions and when each championship fight happened:

chmp_timelineMtly_2012_F115.0.jpg

Carla Esparza was inaugural Invicta SW champion and inaugural UFC SW champion. But she never defended her titles. Esparza vacated Invicta SW title in Dec 2013 and moved to UFC. In 2014 Katja Kankaanpaa captured that vacated Invicta strawweight title.

UFC and Invicta SW titles will continue existing in parallel. Question is will Invicta champions start migrating to UFC?

Jessica Aguilar is included in this graph because she was top SW fighter for a long time. She is WSOF champion and she defended that title twice. I also included Jewels/Deep champions since for a long time Japan had the best SW fighters.

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Let's see who is right now in the UFC SW division:

gF_Ftr_RkTbl_UFC_115_top25.0.jpg

  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the new UFC SW champion. She is the only SW fighter that has more than 2 fights in the UFC.
  • Claudia Gadelha is 12-1 and the only loss was a close decision with Jedrzejczyk.
  • Maryna Moroz is fighting professionally for less than 2 years and she just destroyed Joanne Calderwood.
  • Carla Esparza was dominant in the TUF 20 tournament, but looked very undersized and overmatched against Jedrzejczyk.
  • Tecia Torres is officially undefeated. But she was defeated twice in the TUF 20 "exhibition" fights. She was very successful in Invicta and has wins over Felice Herrig, Rose Namajunas and Paige VanZant.
  • Jessica Penne used to fight in the Invicta Atomweight division where she lost a title fight. Few months ago she defeated Randa Markos with a close decision.
  • Joanne Calderwood was on a 9 fight win streak before she was demolished by Maryna Moroz. She has recent wins over Seo Hee Ham and Katja Kankaanpaa.
  • Paige VanZant is the youngest and the most hyped UFC SW fighter. She already has two wins in UFC.
  • Seo Hee Ham is a multiple Atomweight champion (Jewels and DEEP). Her move to SW was unsuccessful. Her 6 win streak was stopped by Joanne Calderwood.

We are not treating TUF 20 fights as official fights. Those " exhibition" fights are in a separate table and some short term points (Recent Score) are generated from there. No All Time Points. Those short term points are around 20% of value that would be generated if they were official fights.

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Invicta is the strongest UFC rival in the WMMA. As I already mentioned, they are not actual rivals, but more like major/minor league of the same organization. Most of their 2013 SW roster migrated to UFC, but they are still able to produce some new quality fighters.

gF_Ftr_RkTbl_Invicta_115_top15.0.jpg

  • DeAnna Bennett recently moved down from 125 to 115 lb. She has a win over #4 Flyweight Jennifer Maia. She even has win over UFC TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena (BW).
  • Livia Renata Souza is a new Invicta SW champion. Prior to title win over Katja, she was exclusively fighting in Brazil and didn't have any high ranked opponent.
  • Alexa Grasso is another undefeated and exciting SW prospect. She has just 2.5 years of fighting experience and already 7 fights.
  • Katja Kankaanpaa is ex-champion, but never defended her Invicta title. Will she be the next to move to UFC?
  • Mizuki Inoue is Deep-Jewels SW champion. Moved to Invicta and has two losses in a row.

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Similar to Male MMA, America and Brazil are the main sources for the top female fighters.

Here is the list of top American SW fighters outside of UFC and Invicta:

gF_Ftr_RkTbl_USA_other115_top15.0.jpg

WSOF, ResurrctFA and LegacyFC are American organizations where you can find some good female SW fighters.

And this is the list of top Brazilian SW fighters outside of UFC and Invicta:

gF_Ftr_RkTbl_BRA_other115_top15.0.jpg

JF and MMASH are the top Brazilian organizations that have good SW fighters. XtremeFC is promotion from Florida that is now organizing events in Brazil.

Unlike male MMA, good female fighters are coming from many different countries. So, it is not just USA and Brazil.

Following is a list of other (not from USA and Brazil) SW fighters outside of UFC and Invicta:

gF_Ftr_RkTbl_other115_top20.0.jpg

Female SW division has a bright future.

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Next we have a historical view of Weight Category (Division) Scores for all Female divisions:

gCtgr_HistLn_Ctg6Fml_2008.0.jpg

How long before green line catches up red line?

My guess is that influx of fighter into SW division will continue. Who will be next from the following Flyweight list that moves down in weight?

g_FFtr_RkTbl_A15_125.0.jpg

  • Jennifer Maia looks small!? She had a close decision loss (DeAnna Bennett) and she is experienced fighter.
  • I would like to see Taila Santos moving down and finally start fighting in USA. She is fighting at 125and 135, but she is just 5'4".
  • Mariana Morais is also 5'4" , 20 years old Brazilian.

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Let's see what was situation in SW division before UFC was into smaller girls.

This is Top 15 SW ranking on Jan 1, 2014:

hF_FtrRkTbl_Ctg_115_201401.0.jpg

  • In 2014 Jessica Aguilar had 3 more wins, but now she slipped from #1 to #2 . That is the price of being in a week promotion and fighting lower ranked opponents.
  • At that time Carla Esparza already vacated her Invicta title and didn't fight for 1 full year.
  • Megumi Fujii was ready to retire after she was poked into eye real bad.

Going back one more year - ranking on Jan 1, 2013

hF_FtrRkTbl_Ctg_115_201301.0.jpg

  • Jessica Aguilar defeated Megumi Fujii (their first fight, May 2012). It was a relatively close decision and very good fight.
  • Ayaka Hamasaki defended Jewels belt for the third time (Emi Fujino). Before that she submitted Lacey Schuckman in Invicta.
  • At this time Carla Esparza have 2 wins in Invicta and is getting ready to fight for title in a few day.
  • Katja Kankaanpaa just defeated Aisling Daly in CWFC. Exciting fight.
  • Felice Herrig has 3 wins in 2012 (Simona Soukupova and Patricia Vidonic two times),
  • Joanne Calderwood started fighting this year (2012) and has 4 wins in 2012.

Moving further back to the ranking at the very end of 2011. This is the time when Invicta didn't exist and Jewels was the top all Female promotion. Girls from Japan are dominating this SW ranking. No Brazilians in top 15.

hF_FtrRkTbl_Ctg_115_201201.0.jpg
  • Megumi Fujii rebounded from her first loss with 3 dominant wins in 2011.
  • In 2011 Jessica Aguilar defeated Lisa Ellis and Carla Esparza.
  • Zoila Frausto Gurgel has win over those two, but she moved back to Flyweight.






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