Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos is one of the elite female fighters in the entire world. In December, she will return to Strikeforce when she defends her featherweight title against Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal.
Many are saying that the event could be the final one for Strikeforce, as Showtime has not decided if they will continue broadcasting events yet. Many top fighters from Strikeforce are also moving to the UFC, which now owns both companies under the Zuffa banner.
For Santos, however, there are no women’s divisions in the UFC. She still believes that, regardless of what happens between Zuffa, Showtime and Strikeforce, her sport will continue to thrive.
“I guess female MMA won’t be extinct,” said Santos, in a recent interview with Tatame.com. “I don’t know if we will fight in the UFC or not. Everybody’s dream is that it keeps opened, but I guess MMA won’t end if UFC doesn’t want us. Girls will keep on fighting it, training and then will come up an event that will want to give us a chance.”
Santos has been out of action for an extended period of time due to contract negotiations with Strikeforce after her deal expired. She has not fought since knocking out Jan Finney in June of 2010, but never stopped training during her time away from competition.
“I was training, but not that committed, but I tried to get better and better on striking, boxing,” Santos said. “Each day I look for something to inspire me so I become better and better. Now, for this fight, we’ll set a goal.”