Typically, the term “fight” makes most of us think of two men charging at each other with balled up fists, either drunk at a bar or arguing over who knows what. For centuries, physical altercations mainly only took place between the male sex and women were viewed as the more subdued and less aggressive of the two genders. However, a relatively new sport has challenged the stereotype and has set the stage for women to show just how fierce they truly can be. Female MMA fighting was documented as far back as the mid-nineties in Japan. However, prior to the early 2000s, there was almost no coverage for female fighting in America. From that point forward, more and more of the male dominated championships in the sport began to invite females to compete – and the rest was history.
While male MMA fighting is still more popular and more prominent than its female counterpart, the latter is steadily accumulating a sizeable following. Even though we’re living in the 21st century, audiences still seem to treat female MMA fighting as a spectacle and don’t take the women competing seriously – even though they’re strong, ruthless and capable. There are also different rules than those found in male MMA fights put in place to make sure women don’t get hurt, and protective gear is required to be worn on the top and chest, while men don’t have to wear either. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the hottest, most talented chicks in the game. They’re solid masses of muscle and spend years training for their craft – which we’re here to celebrate them for, whether or not the rest of the world feels the same way.
15. Angela Hill
Angela Hill was a Muay Thai fighter before jumping into the world of MMA. Her fierce body, beautiful face and signature hair-do have landed her on our list and have helped her accumulate a pool of admirers. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, she stands at a petite 5 feet and three inches tall and weighs just 115 pounds. Hill eats horse meat for breakfast everyday and originally started training as a workout with her husband. Then she got hooked on the lifestyle, and the rest, they say, is history.
14. Rachael Cummins
Willowy Rachael Cummins is 5’9″ and doubles as a model when she’s not fighting. The brunette beauty is of German, Swedish and Russian descent and has had almost a completely equal amount of losses and wins throughout her career so far. She was sidelined for almost a year in September of 2014 because of fights being constantly cancelled for various reasons. She made a comeback this summer and was victorious in her first fight of 2015 against Slavka Vitaly.
13. Tiffany Van Soest
Tiffany Van Soest was a tomboy growing up and loved sports, playing on a football team in high school and going on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. She was always an avid karate practitioner, earning a second degree black belt by the time she was seventeen and becoming an instructor of the sport. Her long, brunette hair and girl next door appeal make her one of the best looking female fighters in the MMA – where she also happens to be a super talented fighter.
12. Michelle Waterson
At just 105 pounds, Michelle Waterson proves that big things can come in tiny packages. She is of Thai descent and began modelling after high school, during which time she earned a black belt in karate and trained in Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, boxing and wrestling. She’s made appearances on several reality TV shows and was the #1 ranked Atomweight champion in the world in 2013. Waterson also happens to be just as good-looking as she is talented, being featured in a music video by the band Megadeth.
11. Jordan Nicole Gaza
Jordan Nicole Gaza is a former high school cheerleader who turned straight to fighting after school. She was raised in Texas and was an avid basketball player and track and field runner growing up. She discovered Jiu Jitsu at age thirteen and fell in love with martial arts from there, ultimately going on to compete in MMA professionally once she got over her fear of being hit in the face. While this 5’4″ beauty is a stunner, she’s off the market – Gaza is married and recently welcomed her first child.
10. Rin Nakai
Coming in at number 10 on our list of the hottest female MMA fighters is Rin Nakai, mostly because we’re just so fascinated by her. The Japanese fighter is a beast when it comes to throwing down, but she’s surrounded by controversy because she is routinely allowed to compete despite being underweight. This gives her opponents a serious disadvantage because they’re banned from using knees or chokeholds against her, often making it almost impossible to beat her. She also loves to upload sexually bizarre and sometimes explicit photos and videos to social media, banking on her petite Japanese appeal.
9. Miesha Tate
Miesha Tate got her start in the fighting world by wrestling on the boys’ team in high school. She credits the experience as having toughened her up and acting as a bridge to her career in MMA. The exotic brunette also goes by “Cupcake”, although there’s nothing soft about her. To get her incredible physique, she trains twice a day and credits the Matefit beverage for ramping up her metabolism. She’s vocal about loving what you do, and says the only reason she’s in such great shape is because she’s passionate about Ju Jitsu.
8. Rachel Wray
Formerly an NFL cheerleader, Rachel Wray is a gorgeous blonde who began competitively fighting in 2012. She achieved a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after taking a brief break from MMA and has since taken home 10 gold medal in tournaments over the past eighteen months. Now that she’s got that accomplishment under her belt, she’s ready to get back to MMA fighting after a concussion and ankle injury. She claims that she still needs to lose more weight before getting back into the game, but we think she looks great as is.
7. Bec Rawlings
If you’re into punk girls, Bec Rawlings will definitely tickle your fancy. Covered in tattoos and rocking brightly dyed hair, she’s known as a particularly scrappy fighter who stops at nothing to get the job done and win a match. Formerly known as Bec Hyatt, she’s since divorced her husband and now goes by her maiden name. In an interview with Sirius XM radio, she addressed the correlation between sex appeal and female athletes, saying that looking good plays a huge role in accumulating a fan base.
6. Maegan Goodwin
Maegan initially got into MMA fighting in an effort to lose weight, before falling in love with the sport altogether and training professionally. She’s a 5″11″ blonde and a complete badass – she once persevered through a fight with a broken hand and goes to school as well as works full time besides her training. The hardest part about dedicating herself to her craft is the dieting and the time taken away from friends and family. She’s been vocal about how promoters tend to favor pretty fighters and about how sex sells.
5. Kyra Gracie
Kyra Gracie is the niece of infamous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master Renzo Gracie and was the first female of the family to actively compete in the sport. Besides that, she’s practiced wrestling and judo and is currently training for her debut in the MMA. The leggy brunette shouldn’t have any trouble breaking into the world of competitive fighting, considering she’s placed first and second numerous times in world Jiu Jitsu championships.
4. Paige VanZant
Paige VanZant is taking the MMA world by storm, both for her fighting and her all-American good looks. At just 21, the former dancer was drawn to the sport because of how competitive it is. She grew up as a tomboy surrounded by brothers and says that fighting completely fit her adrenaline-loving personality. Initially, she was in culinary school when she first started training but had to drop out because it was impossible to keep her weight down while always being in the kitchen.
3. Jordan McDonald
At 5’4″ and 110 pounds, Jordan McDonald is not only a successful fighter but also a part-time model. She spent her youth as a competitive athlete, practicing gymnastics as well as surfing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She began MMA training in 2007 and decided to put off going to law school in order to focus on a professional fighting career. She currently lives in Las Vegas, where she has to juggle offers from photographers wanting to capture her good looks and a hectic training schedule.
2. Ronda Rousey
Nicknamed “Rowdy”, Ronda Rousey is widely considered the best female fighter in the UFC. She’s had a streak of 11 wins throughout her career and also dabbles in modelling, acting, television appearances and writing. The 5’7″ looker hails from California and was an Olympic Bronze medalist in judo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She was the recipient of the Best Female Athlete and Best Fighter titles at the ESPY awards and has been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
1. Gina Carano
Gina Carano is a former fighter who retired from the sport in 2009 after being named the Face of Women’s MMA. She was formerly the third best in her class in the world and has since gone on to become an actress, television personality and fitness model. She’s a gorgeous brunette who accumulated a serious fan base during her three years of fighting. Since then, she’s appeared in several movies and consistently ranks as one of the most Googled athletes on Yahoo and Google.
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