Cris “Cyborg” Santos will finally make her return to the cage when she meets Hiroko Yamanaka on December 17 to defend her Strikeforce featherweight title. However, according to the explosive champion, next month could be the final time she competes at 145 pounds under the promotion’s banner.
“Cyborg” recently told Tatame a recent interview Strikeforce organization has asked her about potentially dropping down to bantamweight where Miesha Tate holds the belt.
“It’s already hard for me to drop to 145 pounds, I gotta work a lot and they’re thinking about one division only, they asked me if I could do it,” Santos said. “I can try, it’s not impossible. Let’s see….I guess that, in the future, there’ll be some news. It’s hard because I got a lot of weight to lose, but it’d be good because I could fight more. I guess it’s important to keep active, it’s my job, so I’ll try it to stay here.”
Many have wondered about the future of women’s MMA since Zuffa purchased Strikeforce, but Santos believes the division will continue, saying, “I signed the contract for these four fights after UFC purchased Strikeforce, so I guess they’ll keep us, they’ll keep the female divisions and female MMA keeps growing and growing, and I guess they’re keeping the girls.”
While her comments seem to imply Strikeforce intends to keep women’s MMA on board and that the promotion may be around longer than some people have given it credit for, it also means the organization may be streamlining things to produce consistently competitive clashes.
Joining Santos on “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal” will be Gilbert Melendez who defends his lightweight title against Jorge Masvidal in the main event, while the Santos-Yamanaka bout will also be featured on the Showtime broadcast.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE
MMATraining Take: Santos is a beast inside the cage, and maybe female MMA would be better off with just one big division. UFC president Dana White’s biggest complaint about female fighters is that there isn’t enough good ones to promote, but with one class, there would be plenty of excellent fights to make.