One of the Strikeforce promotion’s most dominant champions, women’s middleweight titleholder Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, has now become a free agent.
Santos’ contract mandated an exclusive twelve-month negotiation period in which Zuffa could attempt to re-sign her, but that period has now ended and the two parties were unable to come to terms. According to CagePotato.com, the Zuffa-helmed Strikeforce promotion opted not to exercise “Cyborg’s” championship clause, which prevents a reigning champion from fighting for another promotion.
CagePotato has also learned that Santos has wasted no time in courting offers from other promotions and that she is actually very close to signing with a Zuffa competitor and could be under contract with a new promotion by weekend’s close.
Santos, widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound women’s MMA fighter on the planet, initially won the Strikeforce title by beating women’s MMA poster girl Gina Carano via first round TKO back in 2009. Since then, she has defended her belt twice, taking out the likes of Marloes Coenen (via third round TKO) and Jan Finney (via second round KO).
Since losing her first professional bout via submission, Santos has gone undefeated in ten straight fights.