Don’t call it catfighting. You’re liable to get your ass kicked.
Women’s mixed martial arts has come a long way in a short time, and the female fighters who throw down in the cage are highly trained and dangerous individuals.
Women are now doing battle in the genre-leading Ultimate Fighting Championship, and there’s an entire MMA league, Invicta, dedicated to nothing but female ferocity.
Make no mistake, these women could hurt you. But they’re also awfully nice to look at.
Here are 10 women who are as vicious inside the cage as they are vivacious outside it.
10. Ronda Rousey
Hotness factor: Howdy!
Fierceness Factor: Could break your arm, and maybe your heart. But definitely your arm.
Bio: Ronda Rousey is widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world today. As the first female star of UFC, she is the face of female mixed martial arts. And what a lovely face it is. She tends to win her matches by armbar, which is surely the least enjoyable embrace one could hope to have with her.
9. Jessica Penne
Nickname: She doesn’t officially have one, but let’s go with Al Dente.
Hotness factor: Hotter than a pot of salted boiling water.
Fierceness factor: With her record of 10 wins and only two losses, are you going to make a pasta pun to her face? Us neither.
Bio: One of the top-ranked atomweight females in the fight game, this lifelong tomboy from California was turned down to compete on her high school wrestling team. It’s almost a certainty that she could now easily trounce most of the guys who made the team. Take that, sexist high school coach! She never planned on going into pro fighting, but just finds it “really fun.” Her opponents might not feel the same.
8. Miesha Tate
Hotness factor: Hotcakes
Fierceness factor: Pound cake
Bio: Cupcake wrestled on the boys’ wrestling team in high school, and we doubt any of the boys really minded getting pinned to the mat by her. She won the high school women’s state championship and went on to win nationals at the World Team Trials in her division. Just days ago, the former women’s Strikeforce bantamweight champion lost a UFC bout to Cat Zingano due to referee stoppage. Cupcake’s reaction: “I’m pissed.”
7. Rachael Cummins
Age: A girl never tells, apparently
Nickname: The Panther
Hotness factor: Purrrrrrr….
Fierceness factor: So far, her meow is worse than her scratch, given her professional record of 0-1.
Bio: The Panther has not yet clawed her way to the top of the MMA world, but she has shown great promise — and captured the attention of many male fans thanks to her slinky feline allure. “People are drawn to different types of MMA girls, ones that are girly and some that aren’t,” she said in an interview. She’s clearly the former.
6. Paige Van Zant
Nickname: 12 Gauge
Hotness factor: Ka-boom!
Fierceness factor: Like a double-barreled blast of buckshot.
Bio: Fighter. Model. Cheerleader. Aspiring gourmet chef. She is absolutely adorable, and thankfully not the least bit camera shy. What’s not to love, aside from her willingness to break your nose for the sake of competition?
5. Felice Herrig
Nickname: Lil Bulldog
Hotness factor: The best looking bulldog you’ve ever seen.
Fierceness factor: Her bite is much worse than her bark.
Bio: A longtime kickboxer and a veteran of the reality TV show Fight Girls, this beauty is known for her nasty kicks, which she has said can be party attributed to her “tree trunk legs.” When she’s not kicking people, she likes reading in a coffee shop and scrapbooking. Adorable.
5. Jordan Nicole Gaza
Nickname: Ninja Princess
Hotness factor: This ninja should never, ever wear a black mask. And, thank goodness, she’s not invisible.
Fierceness factor: As dangerous as Shinobi, but without the throwing stars. And way cuter.
Bio: She was a high school cheerleader, which is hardly surprising given her athletic build, bubbly personality and willingness to have her picture taken. But cheerleading wasn’t quite violent enough, apparently, because she later took up Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Once she overcame her fear of getting hit in the face, she started taking great delight in doing that to others.
4. Jordan McDonald
Nickname: She doesn’t officially have one, so let’s go with Goddess.
Hotness factor: Anyone who punches her in the face should be charged with a crime against humanity.
Fierceness factor: She hasn’t yet racked up a lot of professional wins, but she has left a trail of aching amateurs in her wake. As for the torn achilles tendon and broken nose she has suffered along the way? No big whoop, she says.
Bio: This former surfer chick from South Carolina was destined for law school until she caught the beating-up-other-women bug and relocated to Las Vegas for training. Aside from fighting and training, she also likes doing yoga, which we assume is a lovely sight to behold.
3. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc
Nickname: The Night Queen
Hotness factor: Plenty of guys wish they could be her Night King.
Fierceness factor: She won her first pro fight by TKO within two minutes of the first round. Any questions?
Bio: She is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, and is way cuter than those yappy Taco Bell dogs. She routinely beat up her male cousins, and realized she wanted to be a professional clobberer after watching an Oscar De La Hoya fight. She calls herself the “biggest nerd ever,” which makes her even more attractive.
2. Laura Sanko
Hotness factor: We fancy her.
Fierceness factor: A talented connoisseur of the rear-naked choke. Don’t get too excited about the word “naked” in there — it’s just the name of the hold, not her attire.
Bio: Though she has only had one professional fight, it was an impressive second-round win via choke against Cassie Robb at an Invicta event earlier this year. As an amateur, this Kansas City girl proved she knows how to dismantle her opponents. “I want to be an exciting fighter,” she has said. We’re certainly excited to see more of her.
1. Michelle Waterson
Nickname: The Karate Hottie
Hotness factor: Beauty that will knock you out faster than a Crane Kick.
Fierceness factor: The current top-ranked female atomweight in the world, with 11 pro wins and only three losses. In a recent fight with Jessica Penne, she refused to tap out to a nasty armbar, proving she’s probably tougher than you.
Bio: She started training in martial arts at age 10, then took up modelling after high school. Both careers suit her perfectly. She gained notoriety as a contestant on the reality TV show Fight Girls, and has also appeared on the revenge reality show Bully Beatdown. Oh, and she was in a Megadeth video. Yeah, she’s awesome.