ByKel Dansby, writer at Creators.co
Kel Dansby

Women's MMA is finally getting the platform it deserves, but a still under-publicized weight class is the atomweight division. This group of talented 105-pounders are small in stature only. These women produce entertaining fights and more eyes are gravitating toward the division.

Take a look at our Top 10 atomweight fighters in the world.


10. Janaisa Morandin

Janaisa Morandin / Instagram
Janaisa Morandin / Instagram
  • MMA Record: 9-0
  • Promotion: Invicta
  • Notable Wins: Paula Vieira (TKO), Lavinia Ione (TKO)

Janaisa Morandin is up and coming in the atomweight division, but her professional record in Brazil speaks for itself. At 9-0, Morandin has shown a propensity to finish opponents; six of her wins have come by way of TKO or submission. Morandin will see a huge step up in competition when she fights Jinh Yu at Invicta FC 22.


9. Mina Kurobe

Mina Kurobe / Facebook
Mina Kurobe / Facebook
  • MMA Record: 9-2
  • Promotion: Deep Jewels
  • Notable Wins: Renju Date (TKO)

Kurobe Mina is arguably the most active atomweight fighter in the world. She's had seven fights since 2015, 5-2 in that span, and she shows no signs of slowing down.


8. Julia Jones

Julia Jones / Twitter
Julia Jones / Twitter
  • MMA Record: 5-0
  • Promotion: Invicta
  • Notable Wins: Diana Rael (Sub), Stephanie Skinner (Sub)

Julia Jones may not have many professional fights, but she has shown that a larger stage didn't affect her performance. Jones not only won her Invicta debut, but did so by submission in the 1st round. Expect to see her climb the rankings with a few more statement performances.


7. Satoko Shinashi

@AdammmmmXD / Twitter
@AdammmmmXD / Twitter
  • MMA Record: 35-2-2
  • Promotion: Independent
  • Notable Wins: Jissho Date (TKO), Hee Da Choi (Sub)

There's no such thing as a boring fight for Shinashi. She's the most experienced fighter on our list with 39 professional fights to her credit, but the 40-year-old is still exciting MMA crowds. She's currently riding a seven-fight winning streak, with all of her wins being finished.


6. Herica Tiburcio

Herica Tiburcio / Instagram
Herica Tiburcio / Instagram
  • MMA Record: 10-4
  • Promotion: Invicta
  • Notable Wins: Michelle Waterson (Sub), Simona Soukupova (Dec)

Herica Tiburcio bounced back from two difficult losses to Jinh Yu and Ayaka Hamasaki with a victory over Simona Soukupova. Her biggest win to date came over current UFC fighter Michelle Waterson at Invicta FC 10. On that night she was crowned the Invicta atomweight champion but couldn't successfully defend her title. She is now working to climb back into title contention.


5. Naho Sugiyama

@_sugi2009 / Twitter
@_sugi2009 / Twitter
  • MMA Record: 12-4
  • Promotion: Deep Jewels
  • Notable Wins: Mina Kurobe (Dec)

Naho Sugiyama lost by TKO to Ayaka Hamasaki in 2014, but since she's refocused and looks like one of the best atomweight fighters in the world. Her inactivity, one fight per year since 2014, leaves her at #5 on our list but a few fights in 2017 can see her improve her ranking.


4. Tessa Simpson

Tessa Simpson / Instagram
Tessa Simpson / Instagram
  • MMA Record: 5-1
  • Promotion: Invicta
  • Notable Wins: Simona Soukupova (Dec)

Simpson has endured some tough luck the past few years. She's had 4 of her 6 scheduled fights canceled but looked impressive in her Invicta debut against Simona Soukupova. Invicta's atomweight division has plenty of talent, so there's plenty of opportunity for Simpson in 2017.


3. Jinh Yu Frey

Jinh Yu Frey / Twitter
Jinh Yu Frey / Twitter
  • MMA Record: 5-2
  • Promotion: Invicta
  • Notable Wins: Herica Tiburcio (Dec), Cassie Robb (Dec)

Jinh Yu Frey has fought the who's who of Invicta's atomweight division. She lost her last fight by TKO, a title shot vs. Ayaka Hamasaki, but before then she was on a tear through the division. There's no shame in losing to Hamasaki, which is why she still holds the third spot in the rankings. Her next fight against rising prospect Janaisa Morandin will say a lot about the trajectory of her career.


2. Angela Lee

Angela Lee / Instagram
Angela Lee / Instagram
  • MMA Record: 6-0
  • Promotion: ONE Championship
  • Notable Wins: Mei Yamaguchi (Dec), Rebecca Heintzman (Sub)

The 20-year-old Angela Lee is on the fast track to MMA stardom. She's already 6-0, with a 2016 fight of the year candidate fight with Mei Yamaguchi under her belt. Lee became one of the youngest champions the sport has ever seen with her defeat of Yamaguchi and has the potential to propel herself into the #1 spot.


1. Ayaka Hamasaki

Ayaka Hamasaki / Twitter
Ayaka Hamasaki / Twitter
  • MMA Record: 14-1
  • Promotion: Invicta
  • Notable Wins: Jinh Yu (TKO), Herica Tiburcio (Dec)

It's hard to put anyone other than Ayaka Hamasaki atop the atomweight rankings. Hamasaki is 14-1 and her lone loss was at the hands of current UFC strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha. She's also the current Invicta atomweight champion. She'll have her hands full in her fight as she moves up a division to challenge former Invicta strawweight champion, Livia Renata Souza.

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