MCGRATH: Ranking the top ten strawweights in MMA

By David McGrath, MMATORCH contributor

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Rose Namajunas celebrates her victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland in their UFC women's strawweight championship bout during the UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

1. Rose Namajuanas (UFC champion)

Rose Namajunas (photo credit Gary A. Vasquez © USA Today Sports)

The champion is coming off back to back impressive victories. She’s been off for almost a year and has the biggest test of her career coming up in Brazil at UFC 237 against Jessica Andrade.

2. Jessica Andrade

Jessica Andrade vs. Angelia Hill (photo credit Mark J. Rebilas © USA Today)

Andrade is going to be a tough test for Namajuanas and I could easily see her walking away as champion come May.

3. Tatiana Suarez

Sep 8, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Carla Esparza (red gloves) fights Tatiana Suarez (blue gloves) during UFC 228 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Suarez is undefeated, coming off of a dominant win against Carla Esparza, she will surely be calling out the next champion with a win against Nina Ansaroff, if she can do it come UFC 237

4. Nina Ansaroff

If Ansaroff can somehow derail Suarez she will likely become the number 1 contender, the veteran will look to pull the upset in May.

5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Kowalkiewicz is a veteran in the UFC and has won 2 out of her last 3 fights, I expect Karolina to remain relevant in the rankings for a long time.

6. Claudia Gadelha

Gadelha has had tough hard fights with top competition in the past, she’s an excellent ground fighter and always turns in fight of the night performances. Gadelha has the talent to be a future champion.

7. Michele Waterson

Michelle Waterson (photo credit Kyle Terada © USA Today Sports)

The “Karate Hottie” certainly is a fan favorite and has won two fights in a row, let’s Look for Waterson to take a top 5 contender on soon and move into title contention.

8. Tecia Torres

Torres has a test on the main card Saturday night vs Weili Zhang. It’s a very losable fight for Torres, she must come up big to stay in the rankings.

9. Cynthia Calvillo

Nov 17, 2018; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cynthia Calvillo (red gloves) defeats Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Parque Roca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Winning 8 out of your last 9 fights is enough for you to crack the top 10, Calvillo needs to just keep winning, which I believe she could do, in a deep division she’s a future top contender.

10. Weili Zhang

Nov 24, 2018; Beijing, China; Weili Zhang (red gloves) defeats Jessica Aguilar (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Cadillac Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Not many know Zhang quite well, that will change on Saturday. She’s got a good matchup against a Top 10 fighter ahead of her, Zhang is going to make some noise in the strawweight division.

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