Who is the world's best women's mixed martial artist, regardless of weight class? My latest top-10 ranking is listed below.
In addition, here is my men's pound-for-pound ranking.
Note: Results through Jan. 3.
Justino is now 2-0 in the UFC, to no one's surprise. The big question around Justino regards the long-term play. She's a budding star who lacks opponents, due to the fact her best fighting weight is 145, a weight division UFC doesn't promote.
Jedrzejczyk had to overcome some adversity in her title fight against Kowalkiewicz, but it was still a relatively dominant performance. She has failed to earn a finish in three straight fights, but that's the closest thing you can come to a criticism of the UFC champ.
In a matter of six months, Nunes dispatched two of the biggest stars in women's MMA -- Miesha Tate and Rousey -- and she did so in a matter of two rounds combined. Nunes is a finisher and a ferocious bantamweight champ.
Gadelha put up a good fight in her rematch against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in July, but things fell apart for her in the final two rounds. She's in that awkward spot of having two losses to the current champion of her weight class. She's clearly No. 2 ... and probably hoping another contender can knock off Jedrzejczyk and shake up the division.
After taking a full year off following an ugly loss to Jedrzejczyk in March 2015, Esparza returned to her winning ways by grinding away on Lima at UFC 197. Opponents know what's coming from Esparza, but they still can't stop it.
Pena is still putting things together, and she's only going to get better. It's a scary proposition considering she has already made her way onto this pound-for-pound list. She's still a little raw, but a win over Zingano proves she's ready for all comers now. Bring them on.
Shevchenko was brilliant in a five-round decision against former champion Holly Holm in July. Adding to her pound-for-pound appeal is the fact she should probably be fighting at 125. Her only loss in the UFC came to the lethal Amanda Nunes.
8. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
• Record: 10-1
• Div.: Strawweight (UFC)
• Last: L (UD) Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Nov. 12, 2016
• Next: TBD
Kowalkiewicz came up short in her title bid against Jedrzejczyk at UFC 205, but she may have won a bigger fan base. Although she was visibly overmatched, Kowalkiewicz had several big moments, including a huge right hand in the fourth round -- probably the biggest shot ever landed on Jedrzejczyk.
The former boxing champion is now in a bit of a tailspin. After blowing up the state of the division with a knockout of Ronda Rousey, Holm has lost two in a row. Her loss to Shevchenko in July was not all that close.
It didn't seem possible going in, but Rousey's comeback fight at UFC 207 against Nunes might have been uglier than her loss to Holly Holm in 2015. If Rousey continues to fight, she clearly needs to make adjustments to her preparations. If she never fights again, few will be surprised.