Home Lists 10 Female Fighters Who Could Be The Next Ronda Rousey

10 Female Fighters Who Could Be The Next Ronda Rousey


It’s been almost six months since Ronda Rousey suffered her second crushing defeat in the UFC, and by all accounts we may have seen her fight for the last time in the Octagon.

Now the hunt is on to find the next female superstar in the sport, and in this article we’ll be looking at 10 women who are best placed to fill the void left by Rousey, from existing stars with the potential to take their fame to the next level, to up-and-coming prospects who have shown promising signs they could be the next big thing in WMMA.

To be clear, what we’re looking for here are not just talented fighters, but rather those who, like Rousey or indeed Gina Carano before her, also have that elusive ‘it factor’ that could enable them to gain mainstream recognition and become a major draw on pay-per-view.

Before we begin though, here’s a few honorable mentions to these talented ladies who just missed out on making the list but are worthy of recognition: Michelle Waterson, Ilima Macfarlane, Alexa Grasso, Julianna Pena, Holly Holm, Megan Anderson and Kayla Harrison.

10. Anastasia Yankova

In some circles, Anastasia Yankova is already being touted as the ‘Russian Ronda Rousey’.

The 26 year-old has gained considerable attention for her stunning looks and has over 180,000 followers on Instagram, but she has been training in martial arts since she was six and is a former Russian Muay Thai champion.

Her star potential was quickly recognized when she transitioned to MMA and with just two wins under her belt, Bellator jumped at the chance to sign Yankova in 2016.

She’s since improved to 5-0 and demonstrated that she’s more than just a striker by claiming three victories by way of submission.

There’s no doubt Yankova is a marketer’s dream and she’s already struck up sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike and Reebok, been featured in the Russian edition of Vogue, and speaks English fluently enough to have been interviewed by TMZ.

The caveat here is that though she remains unbeaten her performances in the cage so far suggest she’s still a work in progress, and so doubts remains as to how she’ll cope when the level of competition increases, with another rising Bellator star, Ilima Macfarlane being among those eager to derail her hype train.

  • Juan Diablo

    Wouldn’t it be BJJ practitioner as opposed to “BJJ player”?

  • ProCannonFodder

    Dern at number 1? LOL

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    Shevchenko is kinda cute

    • Juchi

      And kicks butt as well. Win or lose against Nunes, I see Val taking on JJ at 125 and coming out victorious. At such a point, the order will have to be revised. In the meantime, ranking Dern as #1 when she can’t even make weight is rather ludicrous. I was hoping to see her in TUF 26, but I guess they didn’t give enough notice.

  • jess fenchley

    Well Ronda already brought womens mma to the ufc so none of these can do it and they wont create the buzz she did either…So the answer is no one…????

    • Jamie Eyles

      You forget that she was exposed as a farce twice and ran into hiding twice. You are simply a pathetic fan boy that cannot accept he was fooled, like a moron.

      • jess fenchley

        You are so filled with jealousy and hatred that you cant even spell the word “she” correctly. The whole world knows you are meatcrusher and you are the biggest joke on these forums and always will be. 12 and 6 and brought womens mma to the UFC and there is not 1 thing you can do about it!!!!!!!
        Keep crying thinking what you post will change anything….

        • Jessica fenchley

          Well said 🙂

      • Jessica fenchley

        You forgot that she was 12 and 6 and all the crying from you wont ever erase those FACTS….
        Keep on trying though. Your useless attempts at criticism is laughable and humiliating for you and embarrassing for your country.
        Nice spelling too moron. Ronda g upsetting you YET AGAIN???
        Damn I love how she destroys you without even trying LMFAO!!!!

    • Jessica fenchley

      Well said jess. You are clearly the smartest one around. Certainly smarter than meatcrusher who needs assistance to wipe his own butt :):):):)

  • I would say Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She is much much more talented and definitely cuter than Ronda

  • HowardMac58

    Not a woman out there who could be the next RR. Nobody could possibly put on a phony tough chick act like she could. Nobody would mentally fall apart like she did. Not a woman out there who would get the UFC and Dana White hype she got. Furthermore, who would want to be the wmma fraud we all know as Ronda Rousey?

    • Juchi

      So which of the women champs and top contenders are talentless beauty contestants?

      • HowardMac58

        Rousey. Sure, she had talent and was believed to be the greatest at one time, but only with the help of Dana and the UFC. Not a fighter alive got more coddling and hype than Ronda and she only proved herself to be a fraud in the octagon. If WMMA were truly about talent, Cyborg would be a priority promotion. Not a woman in the fight today who could touch her, but her personal life and that ‘manly’ look will never draw anyone’s attention. The true litmus test is whether or not some new fighter gives Dana a har don. If she does, then she will get all the help she needs.

        • Juchi

          If WMMA was truly about steroid abuse, Cyborg would be their poster child. It’s a pity , as she probably could have been a gifted fighter without it , but now, unless someone’s desperate for a paycheck, none are willing to take her on because of her unfair advantage. As far as Rousey goes, how does she owe her talent in Judo and resulting success in Strikeforce to Dana and the UFC?

          • HowardMac58

            She can’t, but I challenge you to name one other female bantamweight who received as much hype and promotion by Dana and the UFC. The UFC said little if anything about Nunes leading up to her 48 second destruction of Rousey. Rousey didn’t deserve that fight, but Dana had a har don, so she got 3 million to get KTFO. It will be interesting to see who the next UFC’s “greatest” fighter will be. Hopefully, she will be a legitimate and genuine fighter.

          • Juchi

            You’re right about the UFC’s promotion of Rousey. I still think that the UFC featherweight division was simply created as a means for a super fight between Rousey and Holm, with the hopes that they would have each won their respective title fights. Obviously that didn’t work out well for them but you might also notice that they have done nothing to bring in additional FW’s since Holm lost. I’ll be surprised if the FW division lasts until 2018.

            As far as who the next UFC’s “greatest” fighter will be, I see Shevchenko moving down and JJ moving up for a super-fight at 125. Val will probably move down, win or lose against Nunes, but the fight will carry a lot more significance if Val wins and the resulting Val/JJ fight is to determine the first dual title holder in WMMA.

  • jess fenchley

    Well Ronda already brought womens mma to the ufc so none of these can do it and they wont create the buzz she did either…So the answer is no one…????

  • jess fenchley

    Not a woman out there that is worthy to carry Ronda’s draws….
    Statistics dont lie and neither do PPv numbers. The sound of fans losing interest in womens mma is getting louder by the day. With roided up man chicks everywhere its easy to see why

  • Jessica fenchley

    Pretty clear they are desperately trying to fill the void left by Ronda. Womens mma will go back underground from here on. Especially with drugged up man-chicks carrying on like neanderthals

    • Juchi

      With a couple of notable exceptions, not many of those mentioned look like man-chicks to me. I guess to each their own.

      • meatcrusher destroyer

        Well there wasnt any actually mentioned so………….

  • Headrush

    No one will be the next RR. All these girls have a great career opportunity thanks to Ronda. All they have to do is fight. Ronda laid the ground work for them so they wont have to do what she did. She’s irreplacable