ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
Senior Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

The UFC didn't even have a women's division before 2013, but after UFC president Dana White changed his mind about never having women in his promotion, the divisions flourished.

Check out a history of each division's champions below.

Strawweight Champions

Carla Esparza

December 12, 2014: Carla Esparza was the first ever women's strawweight champion after winning her bout against Rose Namajunas at The Ultimate Fighter Finale. She achieved UFC gold by defeating Namajunas via third round submission (rear-naked choke). Unfortunately, Esparza would be unsuccessful in her first title defense and lost the belt to the current champion.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk (Current Champion)

March 14, 2015: After gaining the belt from her second round TKO at UFC 185, Jędrzejczyk would defend her title four more times. She is set to face Jessica Andrade at UFC 211 in May. Jędrzejczyk is currently undefeated in her professional MMA career.

Bantamweight Champions

Ronda Rousey

2013: Ronda Rousey is arguably the most well-known female fighter in UFC history, and also the only champion to ever be handed the belt (before fighting for it). Rousey was the Strikeforce champion before the UFC established the division specifically for her. UFC president Dana White announced at the UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz pre-fight press conference that Rousey was the first UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. She defended her title for the first time when she faced Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. She would go on to defend her belt successfully five more times before losing her title in the biggest upset in UFC history to Holly Holm at UFC 193.

Holly Holm

November 15, 2015: Holly Holm was expected to be the next big thing after doing what no other woman could — beat Ronda Rousey. Unfortunately, after her second round KO of the bantamweight queen, Holly was unsuccessful in defending the belt.

Miesha Tate

March 5, 2016: Miesha Tate finally got the UFC gold she'd been gunning for over the years, but not by beating her longtime rival Ronda Rousey. She got the belt by defeating Holly Holm via fifth round rear-naked choke. However, the curse of the bantamweight champions continued after she failed to defend her belt. She would lose a second time after that, and then announced her retirement from the sport.

Amanda Nunes (Current Champion)

July 9, 2016: Amanda Nunes shocked the world when she became the fourth bantamweight champion in one year when she defeated Miesha Tate at UFC 200 via first round rear-naked choke. With this win, she became the first ever openly gay UFC champion. She was also the first woman to defend the title successfully after she knocked out former champ Ronda Rousey in just :48.

Featherweight Champions

Germaine de Randamie

February 11, 2017: Controversy surrounded the women's featherweight division even before it was established after the UFC refused to wait for featherweight phenom Cris Cyborg to heal from her previous bout. The promotion went ahead without her and hosted Germaine de Randamie vs. Holly Holm for the inaugural featherweight title. After a five round war that had its own controversy, de Randamie was crowned the first featherweight champion.


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