As two-thirds of the Sherdog.com senior ranking committee, Jordan Breen and myself have decided to put our reputations on the line as we roll out these very unofficial Sherblog female pound-for-pound rankings. Associate editor Brian Knapp put his long hours in for the weekend and was unavailable for comment. Also not consulted was the diverse panel that chimes in on such pressing Sherdog.com matters.
Hey, what do you want from us? We said this list is unofficial!
With that said, the current structure of women's MMA makes it extremely difficult to tabulate a list, given the lack of uniformity and depth of its weight classes, so we're shooting from the hip with a non-divisional format.
Ladies and gentleman, in order of appearance, the "Sherblog Unofficial Female Pound-for-Pound Top Five."
Megumi Fujii: Quite simply the finest female mixed martial artist on planet Earth. "Mega Megu" sports a perfect 17-0 record with 14 submissions. With three consecutive first-round finishes, there seems to be no slowing down from the 35-year-old pride of AACC. Unfortunately, her outstanding reputation has made it hard to secure fights at either 115 or 125 pounds.
Yuka Tsuji: The "Vale Tudo Queen from Angura" owns a 22-1 portfolio and has avenged the lone loss on her résumé with a first-round knockout of BJJ black belt Ana Michelle Tavares. Tsuji has stopped nearly 80 percent of her opponents over the course of her soon to be eight-year career, most of which was spent in Smackgirl with no ground-and-pound -- save for special occasions -- and a 30-second time limit on the ground. When speaking of female MMA, Tsuji is as close as it gets to "Mega Megu," her ideal foil for a 115-pound superfight.
Tara Larosa: The American product has won 14 consecutive bouts since her loss to Jennifer Howe in 2003. After taking off 2008, Larosa (17-1) has secured two hard-fought wins in the Midwest. Larosa has beat the vast majority of the top women at 135 pounds, the deepest and best division in women's MMA. Hopefully for fans, bigger fights are on the horizon for the Stetson-wearing ring veteran.
Miku Matsumoto: Could be compared to Georges St. Pierre due to her upside accompanied with the occasional hiccup, but at the same time has cemented her status as one of the sport's brightest with her constant improvement and explosiveness. After several successful fights in Shoot Boxing to work on her striking, "Supernova" Matsumoto (20-4) is starting to show a more well-rounded game in the past 12 months with body-shot knockouts of Nicdali Calanic and Misaki Takimoto. Did we mention she owns the best MMA nickname this side of Ben “Northstar” Rothwell?
Cristiane Santos: With all due respect to “Cyborg,” this list was close to being the top four, plus one. Though not as seasoned as the ladies above her, Santos is without a doubt the most the most violent woman in MMA. The 7-1 brawler is the most athletic of the five, and could climb the list with blockbuster fights possible due to her Strikeforce affiliation.
Bubble List: Takayo Hashi, Roxanne Modafferi, Ana Michelle Tavares, Gina Carano, Sarah Kaufman, Satoko Shinashi and Rosi Sexton.
Prospect Watch: Elena Reid and Lana Stefanac.