Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (Pictured) makes her highly-anticipated return to the hexagon this Saturday when she defends her Strikeforce featherweight crown against Hiroko Yamanaka. Much has changed in the female MMA landscape during her 18-month sabbatical, most notably the budding stars developing in the bantamweight division.
With more box office challengers blossoming in the weight class below, Cyborg says she’s more than willing to dabble in the 135-pound division. However, it may be easier said than done.
“It’s going to be difficult, but I’m going to try to make the move if there’s more work for me there,” Cyborg stated. “I want to try to do both [weight classes] if possible because there are more opportunities at 135.”
Miesha Tate currently dons Strikeforce’s bantamweight crown, and following last month’s vicious victory over Julia Budd, Ronda Rousey professed she intends to transition to the division to challenge Tate. Sarah Kaufman is also a capable competitor in the class.
If Cyborg is able to collect her 11th straight victory this weekend, there will be no viable threats to her 145-pound throne in sight and a move to bantamweight would only make sense. However, keep in mind that women hopping divisions is much different than when their male counterparts do it.
Their frames are simply smaller, so losing 10 pounds for a female is a drastic change. Furthermore, Cyborg had issues on the scale once before. The Brazilian was 5.5 pounds over the limit for her featherweight contest against Hitomi Akano in April 2009.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he would have no qualms with Cyborg fighting in both divisions.