Five rising featherweight fighters to keep a serious eye on in 2018

Over the past year, the women’s featherweight division has gained significant attention thanks to the likes of the UFC and Bellator MMA introducing championship belts for the weight-class.

UFC, Bellator MMA and Invicta FC remain the dominant organizations when it comes to the 145-pound division. The number one featherweight fighter in the world, Cris Cyborg, is the reigning UFC champion. Meanwhile, Bellator MMA has seven of the top ten featherweight fighters under contract including Julia Budd and Talita Nogueira, whilst Invicta FC has two in Megan Anderson and Charmaine Tweet.

WMMA Featherweight World Rankings

WMMA Rankings introduces you to five unranked but rising female featherweight prospects who could be set to make a serious impact as we head into 2018.

Olga Rubin has finished three of her four victories by way of knockouts.

Olga Rubin (4-0-0)
Rubin (3-0) is one of the most highly-touted prospects in the 145-pound division, currently undefeated with three knockout victories to her record. The 28-year-old, who trains out of Pariente Academy, was born in Moscow, Russia, but now resides in Tell Aviv, Israel. She made her professional debut for Bellator MMA, knocking out Laurita Likker-Cibirite in the very first-round and has since followed up with knockouts over Carmel Ben Shoshan and Joana Filipa Magalhaes, as well as a unanimous decision against Tetyana Voznyuk.

In 2018, Rubin looks to challenge some of the top-ten featherweights in the world, many of which are signed to the organization she usually fights for, Bellator MMA.

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Could Spencer be the next Invicta FC featherweight champion?

Felicia “Feenom” Spencer (3-0-0)
Spencer is a 27-year-old born in Montreal, Quebec who now fights out of The Jungle MMA in Orlando, Florida. She has fought all three of her professional fights under the Invicta FC banner, finishing the likes of Rach Wiley and Amy Coleman in the very first-round, as well as earning a unanimous decision over Madison McElhaney. As an amateur she went 5-1, with the sole loss being her debut.

Spencer has by far been Invicta FC’s most impactful featherweight contender over the past year, remaining active and picking up finishes. With another victory, Spencer could potentially challenge for the Invicta FC featherweight title in 2018.

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Jamila Sandora is a fitness model turned MMA fighter.

Jamila Sandora (2-0-0)
Sandora is an accomplished fitness model and former ring card girl who is well known in her home country of Brazil. The 35-year-old has been training at the Parana Vale Tudo gym along with the likes of UFC strawweight Jessica Andrade and it seems like the hard work is paying off. She made her professional debut last December, knocking out Lilian Pereira in the first-round. She followed up this past July with another knockout win, this time against Jaqueline Ferreira.

Many members of the Brazilian media were skeptical when Sandora announced she’ll be beginning a professional MMA career. However, she has certainly been proving all her critics wrong and in 2018 looks to continue building her name by fighting internationally and eventually landing a contract with the likes of Bellator MMA or Invicta FC.

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Martyna Czech believes she could be Poland’s next MMA superstar.

Martyna Czech (3-0-1)
Czech believes she has what it takes to be Poland’s next superstar. Fighting out of Tychy, Poland, she has yet to taste defeat in her mixed martial arts careerand has  exclusively competed in the featherweight division. In her last two fights she has stopped her opponents in the very first round by way of TKO’s.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Agnieszka Niedzwiedz are just three of the Polish women who have risen to MMA superstardom over the last few years, Czech could well be the next one. It’s only a matter of time before we see her fighting for either Invicta FC or Bellator MMA.

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Cowboyzinha is a training partner of UFC veteran, “Cowboy” Alex Oliveira.

Duda Cowboyzinha (2-0-0)
Cowboyzinha is a Brazilian who trains at the Tata Fight Team in Rio de Janeiro, along with the likes of UFC star “Cowboy” Alex Oliveira. She made her professional debut in March of this year, picking up a unanimous decision win over Heloisa Azevedo. She followed up in August, with a devastating first-round knockout over Alexandra de Cassia.

Several Brazilian’s reign supreme in the featherweight world rankings, including Cris Cyborg and Talita Nogueira. Cowboyzinha looks to work her way up to joining them as we approach 2018. She battles Ana Costa at the WOCS 48 event on December 15.

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  1. Nice list, any news on Latoya Walker? Also do you believe Cindy Dandois is eventually going to sign with Bellator after her Rizin FF fight against King Reina?

  2. Hope they all get signed up quickly by one or more of the major organizations. They all need FW’s desperately if they’re serious about the division. Speaking of the status of FW’s; what’s the latest on Megan Anderson? I had heard that she signed with the UFC but Invicta’s website, which is notoriously slow to update, still shows her as their FW champ. Is she still out for “personal reasons”?

    1. I don’t think the author of the article forgot Amber Liebrock, the article is about up and coming Featherweights not signed with major MMA organizations, Amber Liebrock is signed with Bellator and was scheduled to fight the constantly missing weight Alexis Dufrense, who missed weight again for Bellator 189.

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