Showtime for Cyborg Santos

Written by Tom Ngo
February 9th, 2009

MMA sensation Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos has signed a four-fight contract with Srikeforce. The signing blows the doors wide open for the probability of witnessing the most anticipated female MMA bout in history, as the San Jose-based promotion is also in talks with bringing superstar Gina Carano on board.

Santos agreed to the world-exclusive deal over the weekend, just on the heels of Strikeforce’s monumental acquisition of ProElite’s assets. They parlayed that into closing a deal with Showtime to hold up to 16 live events, as well as four more with CBS.

Santos’ contract was one of 42 fighter agreements that Strikforce obtained from the ProElite deal. However the promotion was insistant on making her contract exclusive worldwide, so a little adjustment was made to it.

“I talked to — before we did the deal — the attorneys, and the attorneys feel we have a strong position to have the contracts transferable,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told Sherdog. “To me, it’s very simple; there could be a legal remedy or there could be a business remedy. I’m all about creating a business remedy.”

As part of her exclusivity clause, Santos will be forced to withdraw from her bout against Marloes Coenen at XMMA 7 “Inferno” on February 27th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

Santos won both of her bouts in ProElite last year, showing the MMA community that she deserves to sit amongst the world’s best.

“I’m very happy to again fight for the American fans. Strikeforce is now number two in the world,” Santos said.

A major selling point for Santos is that Strikeforce is at Carano’s doorstep, on the cusp of coming to terms. The Chute Boxe fighter would love nothing more than to take on MMA’s female golden child.

“We’ve invited Gina to fight on the first card, but I can’t confirm yet if she’ll be fighting,” stated Mike Afromowitz, Strikeforce’s director of communications.

Carano holds a perfect 7-0 record, with her face becoming synonymous with women MMA along the way. The two EliteXC primtime promotions in which she competed were ratings bonanzas for CBS. Bringing in Carano is a significant deal for Strikeforce, as they need to stage this highly anticipated showdown to gain momentum for their organization.

Caranos’ agrement is also needing some fine tuning, with both sides making concessions.

She earned a meager $25,000 for her impressive win over Kelly Kobold at “EliteXC: Heat” last October. Rest assured she is demanding a raise.

Negotiations are scheduled to continue this week, however Afromowitz did confirm that regardless of when they are able to sign Carano, the matchup with Santos will not take place at their first event of 2009 on April 11th at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, CA.

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