Nearing New Strikeforce Deal, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Eyes Fall Return

By Sam Genovese Aug 2, 2011
A few months ago, as Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ hiatus from fighting neared the one-year mark, rumors emerged that female MMA’s top 145-pounder could begin using her wrestling skills not for double-leg takedowns, but for piledrivers and chokeslams in the ring of World Wrestling Entertainment.

“I like the WWE. If they had an opportunity for me, I’d do it,” Santos commented to Sherdog.com.

When her contract with Strikeforce ran out, Santos was forced to seek employment elsewhere, especially as negotiations with the fight promotion stalled and dragged on.

Rumors of a possible jump to pro-wrestling intensified when Cyborg and husband Evangelista Santos attended a February WWE event in California. According to Brazilian website Tatame.com, Santos was in negotiations to join WWE, but a champion’s clause in her Strikeforce contract -- which did not technically expire until June 2011 -- would have prevented her from actually stepping into the ring. Soon after this report, WWE officials denied that any negotiations had taken place with Santos.

Ultimately, Santos says her main focus was always on MMA, and that WWE was simply a backup plan.

“I was interested in doing [more than one event] with the WWE, but now I’m fighting again, so I’m going to do that,” said Santos.

“Since my last fight was finished, I’ve been trying to work on a new contract [with Strikeforce]. It’s almost done, almost done,” she added, smiling.
BR> Santos' current Strikeforce deal lapses in December.

Santos had no immediate word as to who she will meet upon her return, but in her absence, Cyborg has been keeping her skills sharp in hopes of meeting a worthy challenger for her Strikeforce 145-pound strap. In June, the Brazilian competed in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships and defeated Amanda Lucas to win the purple belt heavyweight final.

“I’ve been training everything: muay Thai, more jiu-jitsu, boxing, everything. I’ve been getting ready for the next fight, even without a contract,” said Santos. “I’m training for a fight, hopefully in September or October.”

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