Cyborg Still a Work in Progress

By Jordan Breen Sep 26, 2009
Although Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos' vicious in-cage fighting style has already made her a fan favorite, and her August smashing of Gina Carano gained her plenty of additional attention (plus this trip to Barcelona), the 24-year-old's ground game still has a ways to go.

Though she holds a jiu-jitsu purple belt under Cristiano Marcello, Cyborg's opening round bout in the over-60-kilogram category against Ida Hansson, the weakest competitor in the bracket, showed the obvious room for improvement in her grappling game. Despite being far physically superior to Hansson, and Hansson being forced to hold a lukewarm half guard, Santos failed to pass guard cleanly during the 10-minute regulation period, even after her size and strength had all but evaporated her opponent.

After the 0-0 score sent them to overtime, Hansson was too physically spent to deal with Santos' top game any longer and gave up the guard pass and full mount, allowing for an easy Santos victory. However, given her overwhelming athletic advantages and the fact she spent nearly all of the opening period in top, Santos should've done the job much earlier.

It is not entirely a negative, however. In fact, it is rather exciting to think what may become of Mrs. Cyborg as an MMA fighter should she shore up her ground game and become a more formidible force in terms of techincal grappling. However, unless that happens literally overnight, she will be in trouble on Sunday as she's the weakest remaining competitor in her division, and set to face off with former Mundials and ADCC champion Penny Thomas in the semi-finals.
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