World Atomweight Rankings (Top 20)

The Atomweight division is one of the hardest lists to compile due to many reasons. Among them are issues such as inconsistent fights at the weight and ranked fighters like Yamaguchi, Waterson and Penne leaving the division to return to Strawweight. There is also the issue of many 105 pound athletes competing on the regional circuit, not being contracted by major organizations. This makes it harder for even the most educated journalist to present an accurate picture because there is bound to be a fighter here and there that deserves to be ranked. Atomweight is not as dependent on ranked opposition as most other weight-classes. You really have to be in the know and passionate about the sport to tackle a subject such as this one.

The rankings you will find here are in no way affiliated with the Unified WMMA rankings (UWMMAR) or any other sites that hosts lists such as these. While those journalists do a solid job of putting together lists every month I feel that at times it becomes a popularity contest. MY rankings will at times look drastically different from others you may see. A perfect example would be Janaisa Morandin. You will find that she is widely considered to be a top 10 fighter in the division but the talented Brazilian is unranked in the top 20 of my Atomweight compilation, for legitimate reasons. Morandin has compiled a perfect 9-0 record in her career thus far, but has only made the atomweight limit once as a professional. Janaisa’s resume also lacks meat as “Evil Princess” has yet to face a ranked fighter from either division. She is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on, but not quite ready to be ranked.

These rankings also go a little deeper than others you may find elsewhere. In my almost ten years of doing this I have realized that fans many times like to understand the bigger picture. My goal is to keep fans informed without overwhelming them with information. Generally these lists will consist of the top 10 ranked fighters in a particular division as well as a bottom 10 contenders list. This will make a total of 20 ranked fighters, not the typical 10 you may be used to. From time to time I may extend the listing for a post or two if there is reason for it, such as a lot of movement in the weight-class or prospects I feel should be recognized. This also keeps the author honest and unlikely to rank out of emotion. Many times I’ve noticed fighters jumping all over the place in other compilations without any explanation. I hope this approach will keep my readers from feeling lost.

Top Atomweights:
1 Ayaka Hamasaki (14-2-0)
2 Mina Kurobe (10-2-0)
3 Jinh Yu Frey (5-2-0)
4 Herica Tiburcio (10-4-0)
5 Julia Jones (5-0-0)
6 Naho Sugiyama (12-5-0)
7 Tessa Simpson (5-1-0)
8 Kyra Batara (5-4-0)
9 Paulina Granados (4-2-0)
10 Silvania Monteiro (7-2-0)

AT first glance some may be wondering why Hamasaki is still at the top of the division. While she was blitzed in the first round by former Invicta FC 115 pound Queen Livia Renata Souza back in March the fight was contested at Strawweight and has no bearing on the Atomweight division. Ayaka remains the Invicta FC 105 pound champion. The most notable move thus far in 2017 was Mina Kurobe jumping to the #2 slot. One of the most active fighters in the division, Kurobe flew up the ladder of contenders on the back of a five fight win streak. Among those victories are triumphs over #21 Ishioka, #15 Maesawa and the #6 ranked Sugiyama, who handed Kurobe her last defeat.

Top Contenders:
11 Tatiane Bergamaschi (6-1-0)
12 Andy Nguyen (5-3-0)
13 Sheila Padilla (3-1-0)
14 Jenny Silverio (4-2-0)
15 Tomo Maesawa (7-6-0)
16 Ashley Cummins (5-3-0)
17 Alyssa Garcia (3-3-0)
18 Kanna Asakura (7-2-0)
19 Amber Brown (6-4-0)
20 Emi Tomimatsu (12-12-0)

The bottom half of the division is a little more chaotic as much of the contenders have been alternating wins and losses over the last year or so. Bergamaschi dropped several spots after being submitted by Bianca Sattelmayer which allowed the latter to move up to the #22 spot. Nguyen, Padilla and Cummins picked up signature wins to claim their spots on the contenders list. Once ranked as high as #6 Amber Brown has fallen on hard times as of late. The Bully is struggling to stay ranked after dropping her last three contests.

2017 May be the year of the atomweights, or at the very least the year of the return. has reported that the 105 pound Grand Prix which is expected to take place under the RIZIN banner this summer has interested many fighters. Lisa Ellis and Alyssa Garcia have both made it known that they have their sights set on participating in the tournament. Seo Hee Ham will also be making a return to the division after an unsuccessful stint in the UFC. Ham was ranked in the top 5 before vacating the weight-class for the bright lights of the octagon.

Fights To Watch:
– #2 Mina Kurobe vs Seo Hee Ham Road FC 39, May 20
– #3 Herica Tiburcio vs #7 Tessa Simpson Invicta FC 23, May 20

Author: Kristopher Crawley

I am a blind martial artist who has covered the sport of mixed martial arts for around 10 years with a focus on the women's scene and global circuit. I have made several appearances on SiriusXM Radio and hosted an Internet radio show as Mac called FightNation Radio. I have had the pleasure of interviewing such fighters as former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus. Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and many other big names within the industry.

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