Not long after Cristian “Cyborg” Santos announced that she would be participating at Strikeforce’s debut Showtime event, rumors of an impending match up with Gina Carano began flying. Carano and Santos are considered by many to be the top two female fighters in the world and a match up between the two had been in the works under the EliteXC banner before that promotions demise.
Talks of the match up picked up steam again after Santos was confirmed for the upcoming Strikeforce card and rumors had the two facing one another on April 11 on Showtime.
Today Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker informed Fightline.com that Gina Carano is currently “holding out” and will not be facing Santos on April 11.
“We’re waiting for Gina to come back to camp.” Coker told Fightline.com. “We’ve been talking to her manager and we’d love to have Gina back, she’s a great fighter. But, these fights gotta continue on and we’ve got to continue to do what we do.”
That includes putting together a solid fight card for their first of many upcoming Showtime events and Coker indicated that he expects Carano to come back to the promotion for their second Showtime event scheduled for May.
“She will not be fighting in April,” Coker said. “We’re hoping to have her back on the May card. We have a slot for her on the May card.”
Coker indicated that the fight between the two remains a top priority for the organization and that the it will likely go down sometime this fall; which coincidently happens to be around the same time that Strikeforce is rumored to hold it’s first CBS Primetime card.
In the mean time, Santos will have her hands full with Hitomi Akano. Strikeforce made the announcement earlier today.
Akano, is well known in her native Japan as a submission expert and vaunted Judo player. She’s currently riding a three fight winning streak, and is looking forward to the challenge of testing herself against the explosive Santos.
“I am really looking forward to this fight because, compared to mine, Cyborg has got almost a completely opposite style. She is a striker and I am a grappler,” said Akano. “Regardless of where I fight, I believe in myself and my ability to fight my own game.”
The ever aggressive Santos will, as always, be looking for a knockout.
“I know Hitomi Akano is the best Japanese female fighter today, but I am prepared for any situation and will always be looking for the knockout,” said Santos. “My coaches and I will study the style of Akano. My master Rafael Cordeiro is one who has helped me grow up in MMA. He is the best coach in the world.”