On Thursday afternoon, Strikeforce announced that female sensation Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will be taking on Hitomi Akano at their April 11th “Shamrock vs. Diaz” event. The 145-pound contest will be one of the main bouts on the Showtime broadcast.
“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,” Santos stated in the announcement.
Akano made her professional debut in 2004 and has compiled an impressive 14-5 record, with 11 finishes. The Japanese fighter is currently riding a three-fight winning streak.
“I am really looking forward to this fight because, compared to mine, Cyborg has got almost a completely opposite style,” Akano stated. “She is a striker, and I am a grappler.”
Santos’ contract was one of 40 fighter agreements that Strikeforce obtained from the ProElite deal. She won both of her bouts in ProElite last year, showing the MMA community that she deserves to sit amongst the world’s best.
A major selling point for Santos signing with Strikeforce was that they are on the cusp of signing top female superstar Gina Carano. The Chute Boxe fighter would love nothing more than to take on MMA’s female golden child.
Strikeforce and Carano are hopeful that they can come to terms for their next event in May. If Santos were to win her bout against Akano, it is likely that MMA fans will finally be treated to the highly anticipated Cyborg vs. Carano matchup come spring.