If Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has his way, the organization will be hosting the biggest female fight in history come August. When Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos finally square off, the victor will be the first-ever female champion.
“That’s going to be the No. 1 and the No. 2 female fighting in the world,” Coker said. “It will be our first Strikeforce female title belt. We’re going to be proud to put that on, and hopefully we can put that on in August.
“That’s our date we’re shooting for, and pending some discussion with either fighter it could go further. But at some point we will have this fight. I feel very confident.”
After Cyborg annihilated Hitomi Akano at “Shamrock vs. Diaz,” there’s no doubt she is good to go. However, Coker and Carano have not been able to finalize a contract since Strikeforce acquired her rights from ProElite this past February.
“We’re currently negotiating the final touches of this contract,” Coker said of the tedious process. “Hopefully we’ll get it to bed here in the next two weeks or a week. I think we’re very close.
“We look forward to having Gina back, and I think that Showtime and CBS did a fantastic job of teeing up this fight so that it’s a relevant fight in the sport. I feel like we’re the ones that are lucky enough to get to promote it.”
Before ProElite’s demise, they had tentatively scheduled the highly anticipated Carano vs. Cyborg bout for November 8th of 2008, however due to their financial woes they were forced to scrap the show.
If Strikeforce is able to make the fight happen this August, it most likely would be a Showtime telecast. However, depending on how much longer Carano’s contract talks go, it is possible they could meet in the fall when the first CBS broadcast of 2009 is scheduled to air.
“I think the timing of that is going to be up to how fast we get that together,” Coker said. “If we can put this fight together in August, it will be on Showtime. We might even do it here. I would love to bring that fight here to San Jose. Or maybe we take it to the East Coast or down to Los Angeles.
“But that fight is a fight that I think fans around the country would want to see. I think it’s going to be a fight of epic proportions. It’s been built up. It’s been teed up real nice. It should happen. It’s one of those fights that should happen, and we’re going to do our best to make it happen very soon.”
Coker’s expectations for this title bout are so high that he is prepared to have the two female superstars headline the night’s event. That would be the first time in MMA history that a women’s match would be the featured fight for a major MMA organization.