The ladies’s flyweight division nearly scared me off this undertaking. Given the UFC went years with out implementing the division, lots of the finest fighters who belonged within the division spent their time plying their commerce in different divisions that have been receiving extra publicity. Some, like Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche, moved as much as the bantamweight division. Others, like Joanne Calderwood and Maryna Moroz, depleted themselves to make strawweight. Both method, it left flyweight bereft of the most effective skills and tough to guage who the most effective of the remainder for the previous decade have been. Thus, I’m anticipating extra disagreement about this division than another… supplied y’all care sufficient about it to argue about it.
1. Valentina Shevchenko: Although Shevchenko spent a lot of the decade preventing at 135, she did sufficient in a short while to make herself the undisputed queen of the flyweights for the 2010’s. She laid down what might need been the beatdown of the last decade over Priscila Cachoeira, simply dealt with Joanna Jedrzejcyk to say the flyweight crown, and delivered one of many best head kick KO’s in MMA historical past to defend that crown towards Jessica Eye. The much less mentioned about her win over Liz Carmouche the higher, however Shevchenko’s skills scared her into inactivity… one thing Ronda Rousey couldn’t do to Carmouche.
2. Barb Honchak: This can be a shock to many, however Honchak was the usual of the division on the midpoint of the last decade, maybe even proudly owning the longest reign on the prime. With wins over Vanessa Porto, Leslie Smith, and Roxanne Modafferi, it isn’t like Honchank was claiming wins over a bunch of nobodies both, regardless of many trying on the division in such a method. She clearly misplaced one thing when she returned from a three-year hiatus, leaving many followers devoid of the possibility to see her when she was at her finest when she lastly got here to the UFC. Given her lack of exercise the final half of the last decade, I can perceive others score her decrease.
3. Jennifer Maia: Some might imagine I’m overrating Maia, however a case may very well be made Maia was the most effective flyweight within the girls’s division circa 2016-17 on the earth. Throughout that point interval, the previous skilled boxer secured wins over Porto, Modafferi, and Agnieszka Niedzwiedz to make a stable stake to that declare. She additionally scored wins over Jessica Andrade and Zoila Frausto earlier within the decade. I wish to say she’s nonetheless among the best, however she has since missed weight in two consecutive fights. Her days at flyweight could also be over.
4. Vanessa Porto: Talking of Porto, she has been the unsung hero of the division, one of many few who has stayed true to 125 regardless of it not being part of the UFC panorama till 2017. It’s humorous she nonetheless isn’t part of the UFC roster as she’s at the moment driving a four-fight win streak. Some would argue the Brazilian scrapper is now not at her peak, however she is the reigning Invicta flyweight champion. Nobody has ever accused Porto of being an elite fighter, however one thing must be mentioned for steadiness.
5. Jessica Eye: It’s simple to say I’m overvaluing Eye’s latest 4-1 stretch for the reason that UFC included the ladies’s flyweight division, however I’m additionally taking into consideration her run at 125 earlier within the decade. The struggle that put Eye on the map was a 58 second submission win over Zoila Frausto when the Brazilian was on the peak of her powers all the way in which again in 2012. Eye’s latest wins over Katlyn Chookagian and Viviane Araujo shouldn’t be ignored both. If something, Eye’s bantamweight run solely proves she ought to have been preventing at flyweight the whole time.
6. Katlyn Chookagian: Talking of Chookagian, she’s bought a run much like Eye’s in that she started her profession most prominently at flyweight earlier than shifting to bantamweight to get into the UFC. Her most up-to-date wins over Alexis Davis, Joanne Calderwood, and Maia are all high quality wins and her win over Sijara Eubanks in 2015 appears much better now than it did on the time. If she had ever been in a position to determine a technique to end her opponents, Chookagian in all probability would have discovered extra success.
7. Roxanne Modafferi: The sentimental favourite of the MMA world, nobody had a extra up-and-down decade than Modafferi. A six-fight dropping streak early within the decade had most believing her profession was close to the top. Nonetheless, she modified issues up along with her coaching, made flyweight her everlasting residence, and went 8-5 to shut out the last decade towards a number of the finest competitors 125 needed to provide. I wished to place her larger on the checklist, but it surely’s onerous to disregard that hideous begin to the last decade.
8. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane: Like Modafferi, there’s part of me that wished to rank Macfarlane larger. She is charismatic. She’s enjoyable to observe. She finishes her fights most of the time. She’s nonetheless undefeated too. However who’s her finest win? A washed-up Valerie Letourneau? Veta Artega? Kate Jackson? I’d say Alejandra Lara, however she doesn’t precisely have a lot on her resume both. A scary thought for future opposition: I don’t suppose we’ve seen the most effective out of the Hawaiian but. Right here’s hoping Bellator can discover her some prime competitors.
9. Andrea Lee: I hate placing Lee right here. Regardless of her accomplishments the previous decade, it nonetheless appears like she might have completed extra. Nonetheless, Lee by no means fought outdoors the division which implies her resume is buffed up greater than others who could have had extra spectacular careers total, however did so whereas splitting their time in different divisions. Amount has to rely for one thing and Lee has simply sufficient high quality with wins over Montana De la Rosa and Ashlee Evans-Smith.
10. Joanne Calderwood: JoJo spent most of her profession at strawweight, punching in solely 5 official fights at flyweight. However who else am I going to place right here? In any case, Calderwood sports activities a 4-1 document at 125, her most up-to-date win coming over Lee, spectacular sufficient within the eyes of the UFC brass to award the soft-spoken Scot the subsequent title shot towards Shevchenko. Given the dearth of girls who opted to ply their commerce at flyweight for the last decade, that’s ok for me.
Honorable Mentions: Tara LaRosa, Liz Carmouche, Nicco Montano.
LaRosa was the most effective flyweight firstly of the last decade, however nearly all of her accomplishments got here within the 2000’s. Carmouche could also be more practical at flyweight, however most of her profession was at bantamweight. Montano was the inaugural UFC girls’s flyweight champion… however that was the one vital win of her flyweight profession, to not point out the one win of her UFC profession to date.