Digging In – Women’s Bantamweight Division

The woman’s division that is often held in the highest regard is the Women’s Bantamweight Division. Once ruled with an iron fist by Ronda Rousey, the belt has shifted since Rousey lost the belt in 2015. After a few title changes (Holly Holm and Miesha Tate), Amanda Nunes has been able to keep hold of the belt since UFC 200, defending it successfully three times over the likes of Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, and Raquel Pennington.

Champion – Amanda Nunes: Nunes has been on a tear since she made her UFC debut, Going 9-1 inside the octagon. She was able to dispatch Miesha Tate in the main event of UFC 200 to make herself the Undisputed Champion of the Women’s Bantamweight Division. She followed up that performance by impressively defeating a mentally destroyed Ronda Rousey within a minute, then taking a well-fought split decision victory over Valentina Shevchenko. Recently, she dominated Raquel Pennington in the main event of UFC 224. Nunes’ only problem is the fact that she isn’t a pay-per-view draw, UFC 215 and UFC 224 sold horribly, I fully expect her to be placed as the Co-Main Event of future PPV’s.


Holly Holm: I thought Holm was done as a mixed martial artist after Cris Cyborg beat her face in. So when I saw that Holm was matched up with another big, natural Featherweight in Megan Anderson, I was expecting Anderson to do something similar. But Holm turned back the clock and beat her like she did Rousey in the first round of their fight by pushing Anderson to her limits and sticking to what she knows best. Holm is expected to take on Amanda Nunes for the belt in her next octagon visit and I believe that she will give Nunes a fight that rivals the competitiveness of her Shevchenko battle.

Ketlen Vieira: Vieira defeated Cat Zingano at UFC 222 by split decision, weirdly enough, all media members who publicise their scores had scored the fight for Vieira, mostly in the form of 30-27, so in no way was this a Split Decision victory. Anyways, Vieira is the next big thing coming out of Nova Uniao and I fully expect her to challenge for a belt sometime in the near future. Also, her win over Sara McMann was very impressive.

Julianna Pena: Pena’s been out of the octagon for a while as she has just had a baby. In her last Octagon visit, Pena lost via submission to striking expert Valentina Shevchenko, not a good look for the Submission Queen. However, I still believe that she could be eligible for title contention with one more victory inside the octagon, Possibly against Ketlen Vieira.

Raquel Pennington: After Pennington dispatched Miesha Tate at UFC 205 I fully expected Pennington to go and take the Belt From Amanda Nunes. That didn’t happen, and she got her face beaten in after a 22-hour long journey down to Rio, rather unfortunate series of events for Pennington. Anyways, Pennington is still a very skilled Mixed Martial Artist and after her medical suspension is up she should still be a player in this 135-pound division.

Other Contenders:

Sara McMann: McMann is a wrestling phenom who has recently suffered two Submission losses to Marion Reneau and Ketlen Vieira. She is also recently pregnant so I don’t expect her to be in the octagon anytime soon.

Germaine de Randamie: GDR will forever be known as the girl that refused to fight Cris Cyborg to defend her women’s featherweight belt that she probably shouldn’t have won in the first place. I do not care what she does, I do not expect her to make any moves in the 135-pound division.

Cat Zingano: Zingano has been out of the sport for a while and was on a two-fight losing streak when she took on Ketlen Vieira at UFC 222 where she was dominated by her. I feel as if her time away from the octagon had hindered her performance a tad bit and she should be much more impressive when she takes on Marion Reneau.

Marion Reneau: Marion Reneau is 4-2-1 in the UFC with two straight stoppage wins, Impressive. It’s even more impressive when you realize that she is 40 years old and has a full-time job as a Phys Ed Teacher along with it. I hope that she moves up the ladder and keeps kicking ass.


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