Top 10 Lesbian Fighters

Lesbian fighters you should know

If you ask any of my friends what one of my most defining qualities is, it’s that I’m always ready to brawl. But I’m not the only lesbian who throws hands. In fact, there’s a long list out there. But we narrowed it down to the top 10 lesbian fighters just for you.

10. Nina Ansaroff

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Still on a mission here….

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MMA fighter Nina Ansaroff starts off our list. The UFC fighter has a record of 10 wins and 6 losses. She started practicing taekwondo at the age of 6, and now has a third degree black belt. Ansaroff is engaged to fellow fighter Amanda Nunes, and has recently put her career on hold because the couple is expecting their first child.

9. Rafaela Silva

You might recognize our next fighter from the 2016 Olympics where she won gold in judo, making her a hometown hero. But didn’t she always start out as a fighter. In fact, she might have been a soccer lesbian had her parents not intervened. Concerned that playing soccer outside might make her a victim of street violence, her parents decided to sign her up for an indoor sport. And the sport just so happened to be judo. Fast forward to 2013 when she became the first Brazilian to win the world championship in judo. The same year she won her Olympic gold, she also won Brazilian Sportswoman of the Year and Brazilian Athlete of the Year.

8. Sijara “SarJ” Eubanks

Coming in at number eight is UFC fighter Sijara Eubanks. With a black belt in Brazilian jiujitsu, she ended her amateur career undefeated. She’s also won two silvers, a bronze, and gold in the World Jiujitsu Championships. Her pro MMA career has five wins, with two of them by knockout. Don’t mess with her. You can catch her next fight in September when she takes on Macy Chiasson at UFC Fight Night 177.

7. Jéssica Andrade

Andrade may only be 5’1”, but don’t underestimate her unless you’re ready to catch hands. Initially, she dreamt of becoming a pro soccer player. But when her parents forbade her from moving to São Paulo to play with a club, she stayed home and began practicing judo and jiujitsu. Her pro career saw 20 wins and 8 losses. Of those 20 wins, 7 were by knockout and 7 by submission. And in May 2019, she won the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship. That same year she married her longtime girlfriend.

6. Raquel Pennington

Pennington grew up playing almost every sport except martial arts. She started training in martial arts at the age of 19 against her parents wishes. During her two year amateur career, she won seven times and lost once. Of those seven wins, five were won by submission. Damn, okay queen. Pennington is engaged to fellow UFC fighter Tecia Torres. She also shares the record for most fights in UFC bantamweight division history with our next fighter.

5. Amanda Nunes

You might recognize our next fighter from commercials for Modelo beer. Or maybe you know her as the first openly lesbian champion in UFC history? The Brazilian fighter holds a record of 20 wins and only 4 losses. And of those 20 wins, 13 were by knockout. No wonder she became the only fighter in UFC history to hold two titles while actively defending them. She also held two titles on two different weight classes simultaneously. Nunes is married to fellow fighter Nina Ansaroff, the first woman on our list, and she credits her success to their relationship. How sweet is that?

4. Christy Martin

Her name isn’t well known, but it should be. Because she is considered to be the most successful female boxers in the US. And she is even credited to “legitimizing” women’s boxing. Of her 49 wins, 31 were won by knockout. She’s even won three consecutive tough woman contests. Martin was also the first female boxer to be inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. In 2017, Martin married her former rival in the ring, Lisa Holewyne. Now retired, she runs Christy Martin Promotions and fights for abuse survivors, having survived abuse herself.

3. Sandy Parker

Perhaps another name you haven’t heard, but should know. Parker, a black Canadian wrestler, was a trailblazer. She won the World Women’s Wrestling Association Championship in addition to winning the WWWA tag team championship eight times. Even though she retried in 1986, she was recognized by the Cauliflower Alley Club, a society of retired wrestlers, for her contributions and achievements. She no doubt paved the way for our number two pick.

2. Sonya Deville

This name better sound familiar, or maybe you might know her by her real name, Daria Berenato. Either way, AfterEllen was lucky enough to chat with her on our podcast and you should definitely check that out to see why she’s number two on our list. Not only is she the firstly openly gay WWE wrestler, but her MMA record is pretty impressive too. Of three matches, one win was by knockout and the other by submission. But she didn’t rank so high up because she’s fighting on SmackDown every week. Deville chose to use her platform to fight stigma around talking about mental illness. 

1. You

You're the ultimate lesbian fighter

You heard me. I said you. My sister, not only do you have to fight against homophobia that seems to be rebranded every year, but there’s the added stress of fighting misogyny. And to those of us having to deal with mental illness and racism, it’s a nonstop battle. We live in a world that is determined to erase our existence. But we won’t let them. We never have and we never will. Because very time you proudly say, “I’m a lesbian” you win. Every time you exist unapologetically as you are, whether you’re femme, butch, or anything in between, you win. And those of you who fight tirelessly to maintain lesbian spaces and ensure there is lesbian representation to remind us we’re not alone, you’re doing the goddess’ work. Our battles are often unseen. Most times no one cheers us on for our effort. Well, I’m cheering you on now. You deserve it. Keep fighting sis, we got your back.