From the moment the UFC was founded in 1993 to 2012, women didn’t have the chance to compete inside the Octagon.
That all changed after the UFC acquired fight promotion Strikeforce and brought women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in and announced that the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo would be promoted to the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. The UFC Women's Bantamweight division has accumulated an elite list of champions in it's eight years of activity.
Ronda Rousey (2012-2015) After being announced as the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Rousey’s first defense would be against Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 (2/13/2013). (Watch On UFC Fight Pass) Rousey and Carmouche would make history that night by becoming the first women to ever compete in the UFC. In the first round, Rousey would hit her signature armbar, forcing Carmouche to tap out. Rousey would dominate as the champion for 1,074 days, successfully defending her title six times. Defeating each of her opponents by either submission or TKO, Rousey's title defense record of six has yet to be beaten. In 2018, Rousey also became the first woman inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Holly Holm (2015) Defeats Rousey at UFC 193 (11/15/2015) in Melbourne, Australia. Holly Holm would be the seventh woman to challenge the undefeated Rousey. Holm would become the second UFC women’s bantamweight champion and would remain on top as champion for 111 days. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass)
Miesha Tate (2016) Defeats Holm in first title defense, she took on women’s MMA pioneer and veteran Miesha Tate in the co-main event of UFC 196 (3/5/2016). Securing her hooks in, Tate threatened the champion with a rear naked choke. (Watch On UFC Fight Pass)
Amanda Nunes (2016-2021) Defeats Tate at UFC 200 (7/9/2016) (Watch On UFC Fight Pass). In the first round, Nunes would get the champion in a rear-naked-choke and force Tate to tap. With the win, Nunes began her legacy as one of the greatest to ever compete inside the Octagon, defending her title against Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Pennington, Holm, and de Randamie.
Amanda Nunes | Crowning Moment
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Amanda Nunes | Crowning Moment
Amanda Nunes (2022-2024) Defeats Peña at UFC 277 (7/30/2022) via unanimous decision (Watch On UFC Fight Pass). Defends her bantamweight title by beating Irene Aldana at UFC 289 (06/10/23) via unanimous decision.
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