WO-MAN POWER

Strikeforce, Bellator, and Jewels are going strong in the women’s MMA movement. Will the UFC eventually follow suit? Only time will tell. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of the fiercest femme fatales in the fight game.

Featheweight: 145 lbs

Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (10-1)

Coenen v SantosAlthough she hasn’t fought in more than a year, Cyborg is the consensus pound-for-pound female fighter on the planet. Included in her 10-fight win streak are (T)KO destructions of Gina Carano, Marloes Coenen, and Jan Finney. The Strikeforce Featherweight Champion makes her long-awaited return to the cage on Dec. 17 against top prospect Hiroko Yamanaka.

OTHER PLAYERS

Hiroko Yamanaka (12-1)

Amanda Nunes (6-2)

Ronda Rousey (4-0)

Bantamweight: 135 lbs.

Miesha Tate (12-2)

The Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion is riding a six-fight win streak, including victories over Marloes Coenen and Zoila Gurgel. The grappling-savy Tate prefers to take the fight to the canvas—like her Team Alpha Male teammates—where she can slap on her arsenal of armbars and triangles.

OTHER PLAYERS

Marloes Coenen (19-5)

Sarah Kaufman (14-1)

Super Flyweight: 125 lbs.

Tara LaRosa (20-2)

The Philadelphia Fight Factory member ran her record to 20-2 this year with a textbook heal hook of Carina Damm at Shark Fights 14. Having fought professionally since 2002, LaRosa is regarded as one of the all-time best female fighters to enter the cage—securing wins over Roxanne Modafferi, Alexis Davis, and Takayo Hashi in her 10-year career.

OTHER PLAYERS

Zoila Gurgel (11-1)

Rosi Sexton (12-2)

Flyweight: 115 lbs.

Megumi Fujii (24-1)

In 25 fights, Fujii has only fallen short once, a controversial split-decision loss to Zoila Gurgel for the Bellator Flyweight Championship in 2010. The Josh Barnett pupil is a submission expert, having won 18 of her pro fights by forcing her opponent to tap.

OTHER PLAYERS

Jessica Aguilar (11-4)

Ayaka Hamasaki (5-0)

Lisa Ward-Ellis (14-6)

Strawweight: 106 lbs.

Naho Sugiyama (5-0)

Only five fights into her two-year career, the undefeated “Sugi Rock” sits atop the female featherweight division. Adept at mixing it up on both her feet and the mat, Sugiyama takes on Kikuyo Ishikawa in the semifinals of the Jewels Featherweight Tournament on Dec. 17 in Tokyo, Japan.

OTHER PLAYERS

Kikuyo Ishikawa (6-2)

Misaki Takimoto (14-12-4)

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