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Fixing the ONE Women’s Atomweight MMA Rankings

When ONE Championship released the official the ONE Atomweight rankings, I made my dissatisfaction with the results known.

Not every ranking system will be perfect and most will get it wrong by some degree. But it has to take a focused effort to intentionally fail to get it wrong this badly.

In this article, I’m going to elaborate a bit more on my reasons of why these rankings are so bad by using the same criteria that ONE supposedly applied in generating these results.

I’ll also posit some fighters who I think are more deserving of a place in the ONE Atomweight rankings and provide my arguments for those as well.

The reason I just can’t get over this particular topic is because I hold rankings of any kind in high regard.

As I said in the previous article, fighters put their mind and bodies on the line whenever they compete.

A ranking system gives them a barometer of where they are in their careers relative to everyone else and if the whole fight game is worth it.

These things need to be as accurate as possible to respect the effort of the fighters that have given so much to the sport.

Padding Meng Bo and Lin Heqin

In early May, ONE released a video that listed the Top 5 of the Women’s Atomweight division and their accomplishments.

Under Meng Bo, they said she was on a 4-fight winning streak and Lin Heqin was on a seven-fight winning streak. This gives us a peek into the thinking of why ONE chose them as #2 and #3 respectively.

In my original article, I lamented the fact that both Meng and Lin had just one fight with ONE at the time of the ranking’s release. But it seems the voters took into consideration the career of the fighters before they entered the promotion.

So we’ll be doing the same.

Since 2018, Meng Bo had three fights in Glory of Heroes and one in ONE Championship.

In those three fights, she won against:

  • Mellony Geugjes (4-8)
  • Olga Vlasolva (3-3)
  • Aya Saied Saber (3-9)

Meng’s latest win was against Laura Balin, who is yet to record a win in ONE Championship.

Lin Heqin is much the same. Her eleven-fight win streak consists of victories against:

  • Yulia Litvinceva (3-2)
  • Valērija Sotčenko (2-4)
  • Hanna Yurchenkova (0-1)
  • 2x Lilya Amineva (0-5)
  • Elizabeth Rodrigues (4-2)
  • Asia Klyutova (2-3)
  • Samira Badrtdinova (0-5)
  • Ting Du (0-2)
  • Thatiane Araujo (0-4)
  • Jomary Torres (4-4)

You can make a mattress with all that padding. These women have fought nothing but cans their entire career to fool people with empty stats.

Their selections to the ONE Atomweight rankings just get worse the longer you think about it.

The Deserving

Move Mei Yamaguchi to #2

Mei Yamaguchi
Mei Yamaguchi via ONE Championship.

The first thing that needs to happen to fix these rankings is to move Mei Yamaguchi up to #2.

She’s still the best woman in the division outside the Champion and the #1 contender and nobody can dispute that.

Include Itsuki Hirata at #3

Itsuki Hirata
Itsuki Hirata via ONE Championship.

While I still think that the undefeated Hirata needs to face a legitimate striker before she challenges for a title shot, I’m not adamant that she needs it.

Both her and Angela are strongest on the ground. So there’s a case for a fight between them if Lee successfully defends against Zamboanga.

She’s currently on a three-fight win streak without a single one going to the judges.

Include Stamp Fairtex at #4

Stamp Fairtex
Stamp Fairtex via Cageside Press.

The Thai superstar has proven that she canhang in not one, not two, but three sports. She won belts in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and has a three fight win streak in MMA.

But the reason I place her at #4 is that she needs to first face a legitimate grappler.

If she doesn’t show that she can hang with the best on the ground, she won’t stand much of a chance against the Champion.

Retain Gina Iniong or Include Priscilla Thati Gaol at #5

Gina Iniong and Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol.

Gina is one of those talented fighters that fell just short of getting a title shot because Mei Yamaguchi is just too good.

She was one of the women that derailed the hypetrain for Jihin Radzuan and is currently on a two-fight win streak.

However, due to Iniong’s recent announcement of taking a hiatus from fighting, she will likely lose her spot because of inactivity.

In which case, her spot should be taken by Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol. Another fighter that’s currently on a two-fight win streak and a proven motor for activity.

Final Thoughts

That’s what the top of the Atomweight division looks like to me. These are the women that have – through multiple fights – proven themselves to be the best.

Their win streaks, quality of opponents, and the way those victories were achieved speak for themselves.

Do you agree with this list? Which fighters do you think need to be in the Top 5 of the ONE Atomweight rankings? Let us know and back them up with proper arguments.

Follow me on Twitter at @BjornPossel and follow us @OT_Heroics for more great content!

Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!

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