Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos has not fought since June 2010. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Current Strikeforce women’s middleweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos finds herself in an uncommon situation, as she has not fought in more than a year.
Largely because of the extended inactivity, Santos opted to exercise an option in her contract that allows her to fight outside of Strikeforce after one year without a title defense. However, when she agreed to a bout in Brazil in August and another in Singapore in September, she claims representatives from Strikeforce parent company Zuffa, LLC, called to inform her that they had agreed to her demands and wanted her to keep fighting for the promotion.
“Originally, we weren’t coming to contract terms,” Santos told Sherdog.com. “One year had passed since my last fight, and it made me free to fight for any other promotion. I was talking to a promotion in Singapore and packing my stuff to fight in Brazil on Aug. 6, but Strikeforce called me to sign a new contract.”
According to Santos (10-1), the lack of activity was of more concern than the money to be made in a new deal with Strikeforce.
“They weren’t able to find a girl to fight me for the belt,” she said. “To fight for the title, you have to have a lot of fights, and many of the featherweight girls are beginners. So I told them I would agree to give everyone a rematch and that I wanted to fight every two or three months. Then Zuffa bought Strikeforce, and a lot of stuff got mixed up and complicated my situation.”
On a 10-fight winning streak, Santos last fought in June 2010, when she stopped Jan Finney on a second-round knockout. She turns 26 on Saturday and already knows what she wants for her birthday.
“It’s a dream of every fighter to fight for the biggest promotion in the world, and now it is the UFC,” Santos said. “I hope someday I can fight for them, but if I don’t, I hope my daughter or a student of mine can have the chance. We have to start today to make good fights at Strikeforce to convince [UFC President] Dana White [of the value in women’s MMA]. Strikeforce is a promotion that always gave a huge opportunity to women, and it would be a great gift to make a deal with them on my birthday.”
Colin Foster contributed to this report.