The decision to bring women into the UFC wasn’t made until November 2012, and they debuted in February 2013. In three short years, the fighting ladies have made their mark in sports. Sports Illustrated released their list of the top 50 fittest female athletes in the world and four UFC fighters were among them.
Reigning women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate was ranked in the 30th position by SI’s selection panel.
“Tate officially joined the UFC in 2013 and is the current UFC women’s bantamweight champion after defeating former titleholder Holly Holm at UFC 196 in March. The 29-year old is training for her first title defense against Amanda Nunes, at UFC 200 which, if anything like her last pre-fight camp, will feature sparring sessions, footwork drills with a ladder and more,” wrote SI about “Cupcake.”
Former Invicta FC atomweight champion and current UFC strawweight contender Michelle Waterson made the list in the 26th spot.
“Mixed martial artist Waterson trains with Team Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., and has also trained in WuShu, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling. Waters fits in her workouts – a mixed of MMA sparring, kickboxing and cardiovascular work – between caring or her daughter as a self-described “full-time mommy,” read “The Karate Hottie’s” SI description.
Former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey made the list of the top 50 fittest female athletes in the 19th position.
“Even after her shocking defeat vs. Holly Holm, Rousey is still in fighting form and vows to return to reclaim her UFC women’s bantamweight champion belt. As she recovers from injuries she sustained against Holm, Rousey is training to get back in the ring by lifting weights, swimming, and working with her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, and Glendale Fighting Club in California,” SI wrote about “Rowdy.”
Former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm was the highest-ranking female UFC fighter on the list, breaking into the top 10 in the ninth slot.
“Known as The Preacher’s Daughter, Holm is the first person, female or male, to win titles in both boxing and mixed martial arts. The 5’8”, 135-pound southpaw, twice Ring’s Female Fighter of the Year, has devoted countless hours of training to transforming herself into a UFC champion, producing a fearsome blend of power, speed, endurance and agility,” SI wrote about Holm.
Topping the list was British track and field star, Jessica Ennis-Hill. The 30-year-old Olympic champion competes in the heptathlon.