The 145lb featherweight division has fast become one of the most talked about in women’s MMA. The UFC and Bellator have both introduced belts for the division, which means several new stars will receive the opportunity to shine this year.
We take a look at three women who could be set to break out as the divisions next superstars. If you haven’t heard of them yet, by the end of this year you will have.
Helena “Pretty” Kolesnyk
(4-0-0, 1 NC)
Fighting out of Moscow, Russia – Kolesnyk has been rising up the rankings fast and is currently the number eleven ranked featherweight fighter in the world. The 27-year-old has been dominating the featherweight seen in China and has yet to taste defeat in her professional career. Before making the transition to MMA, she competed as a boxer. Her boxing has come in handy so far, as she has finished three of her four wins in the very first round by way of strikes. Make no mistake however, Kolesnyk is a well-rounded mixed martial artist, and also has a submission win via standing neck crack.
Poland’s Martyna Czech believes she has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of UFC superstars Joanna Jedrzjedczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz by representing Poland in the organization. With the introduction of the new featherweight division, that opportunity could be coming for Czech. She is undefeated as a professional and has finished her last two fights in the first round by way of strikes.
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Russia’s Mokhnatkina is currently competing for Eurasia Fight Nights which airs live on UFC Fight Pass. Before making the transition to MMA she was known as a submission specialist, her professional MMA debut was heavily hyped in Russia, due to her grappling credentials. Her skills have certainly shown in her MMA career thus far. Her two career victories are by way of round one submissions – an armbar and an achilles lock.
The UFC and Bellator will no doubt be looking to sign new featherweights as the year progresses. These three women could be in position to join one of the two organizations, if they continue to make an impact.
Cris Cyborg is currently the number one featherweight in the world and has looked unstoppable, destroying the fellow featherweights almost effortlessly. With more big victories, these three women could be set to enter the top ten by the end of the year, could one of them be the fighter to finally dethrone Cyborg?