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Ranking all 5 UFC women's strawweight champions

Jedrzejczyk is the longest reigning champion in the division's history
Jedrzejczyk is the longest reigning champion in the division's history
Ivan Derrick

In the history of the UFC women's strawweight division, there have only been five champions. Incredibly, they all continue to remain at the top of the division today. The champions in question are Carla Esparza, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Rose Namajunas, Jessica Andrade and Zhang Weili.

Carla Esparza defeats Rose Namajunas a second time to become the strawweight champion 🏆 #UFC274 https://t.co/kVbs5Q0JdG

Only Namajunas and Esparza have won the UFC strawweight title on two separate occasions. However, none of these champions have been able to put together a lengthy reign atop the division like the one Joanna Jedrzejczyk had while she was the champion.

Here are all five UFC women's strawweight champions ranked.


#5. Jessica Andrade - former UFC strawweight champion

Jessica Andrade first won the championship on May 11 2019
Jessica Andrade first won the championship on May 11 2019

Jessica Andrade comes in at the No.5 spot as she has only won the title once and was unable to successfully defend the belt. She first fought for the belt in 2017 when she lost to Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision. Andrade then bounced back with three straight victories to earn another title opportunity.

May11.2019Jessica Andrade slams Rose Namajunas on her head,to become the UFC Strawweight Champion https://t.co/HWHu0xgBxC

On this occasion she faced Rose Namajunas and after losing the first round, she produced a huge KO slam to win the belt in her home country of Brazil. She was then scheduled to face Zhang Weili in Shenzen, China. Zhang was able to finish Andrade in the first round to put a quick end to the Brazilian's short title reign.

Andrade later moved up to flyweight and challenged for the title but ultimately lost to the champion Valentina Shevchenko. However, she has now returned to strawweight and is looking to reclaim the title she once held. She recently submitted Amanda Lemos in the first round, but for now, she will likely need one or two more wins to earn another shot at gold.

#4. Zhang Weili - China's first UFC champion

Weili first won the championship on August 31, 2019
Weili first won the championship on August 31, 2019

Zhang Weili won the UFC strawweight title by defeating Jessica Andrade in round one of their title fight. She ranks higher because she has one more successful title defense than Andrade. This came against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in what is considered the greatest fight in women's MMA history.

"Remember me!"On this day in 2019, Zhang Weili became China's first UFC champion 🇨🇳 https://t.co/ZS95raWkaF

The split decision victory over Jedrzejczyk was incredibly close but it appeared to set Weili up for a long reign atop the division. She was on a 21-fight win streak when she faced Rose Namajunas in her second title defense. Namajunas won the fight via a first-round headkick knockout that ended the Chinese fighter's run as champion.

Weili was then granted an immediate rematch and while the second fight was much closer, she once again fell short, this time via a narrow split decision. However, if she is to win her next fight which is a rematch against Jedrzejczyk, she will likely be given another shot at winning strawweight gold.


#3. Carla Esparza - first strawweight champion in UFC history

Esparza first won the championship on December 12 2014
Esparza first won the championship on December 12 2014

Carla Esparza may not yet have a successful title defense but she comes in at the third spot due to the fact that she is currently holding the belt for the second time. Esparza's first run with the belt came on the back of season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, where she competed for the inaugural strawweight championship.

She defeated Rose Namajunas via third-round submission to become the first champion in the division's history. She then lost the belt in her next bout against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. What followed was a very lengthy journey back to the title.

December 2014: Carla Esparza defeats Rose Namajunas via submission to become the UFC women's strawweight champion. May 2022: Carla Esparza defeats Rose Namajunas to once again become the UFC women's strawweight champion.Lightning n̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ strikes twice ⚡️#UFC274 https://t.co/LFBlMfhLYd

The journey finally reached its end last month when Esparza once again defeated Namajunas to win the title for a second time. With her expected to face the winner of the upcoming Weili vs. Jedrzejczyk rematch, she will look to finally pick up her first successful title defense.

#2. Rose Namajunas

Namajunas first won the championship on November 4, 2017
Namajunas first won the championship on November 4, 2017

It may seem odd to rank Rose Namajunas ahead of the current UFC strawweight champion given that Carla Esparza has defeated her on two separate occasions. However, Namajunas has the same number of title reigns and has two more successful title defenses which secures her the No.2 spot on this list.

On this date, Rose Namajunas captured UFC strawweight gold for the first time by defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 🏆She seeks to retain her title at #UFC268 on Saturday. https://t.co/1NXKnnud1U

After falling to Esparza in her first title fight, Namajunas defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk to begin her first stint with the belt. She then successfully defended her title in the rematch before losing it to Jessica Andrade. It was a rather brutal loss for Namajunas as she suffered a vicious knockout after being slammed to the mat by Andrade.

Namajunas later defeated Andrade to earn another shot at UFC gold and went on to defeat Weili Zhang in two consecutive fights. This saw her win the belt for the second time and pick up another successful title defense. While she's now lost the championship, she still remains at the top of the strawweight division.


#1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk - UFC strawweight champion with longest reign

Jedrzejczyk first won the championship on March 14, 2015
Jedrzejczyk first won the championship on March 14, 2015

As with the previous entry, it might seem odd to place Joanna Jedrzejczyk above Rose Namajunas given that she's lost to her on two occasions. However, in a division where each of these fighters have beaten one another, Jedrzejczyk stands out as the only champion with a lengthy title reign.

March 14, 20153 years ago today, Joanna Jędrzejczyk defeated Carla Esparza via TKO due to punches at 4:17 of the 2nd round at UFC 185 to win the UFC Women’s Strawweight title. The win moved @joannamma to 9-0 & after winning the belt Joanna went on to defend the title 5 times. https://t.co/b2dOyCiZlY

Jedrzejczyk's lone run with the belt began back in March 2015 and is comfortably the longest in the division's history, spanning all the way until November 2017. She then lost two fights to Namajunas before rebounding and challenging Valentina Shevchenko for flyweight gold in a losing effort.

After returning to strawweight, she came agonizingly close to a second championship victory in her legendary split decision loss to Weili Zhang. With these two set to rematch and the winner to face Esparza, perhaps Jedrzejczyk could soon win gold again and cement her spot as the strawweight GOAT.

live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Who is the strawweight GOAT?

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Rose Namajunas

43 votes so far

Edited by Allan Mathew

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