It’s been a long time since Cris Cyborg defended her Strikeforce women’s featherweight title. While lengthy contract negotiations are partially to blame, a lack of credible challengers in the women’s 145 lbs. weight class has also been a factor. In fact, it’s been so difficult to find Cyborg opponents, she told Tatame last month that Strikeforce asked her if she could make 135 lbs. where there are more known fighters like Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman and emerging star Rhonda Rousey.
Actually there’re still two weight divisions: 135lbs and 145lbs. It’s already hard for me to drop to 145lbs, I gotta work a lot and they’re thinking about one division only, they asked me if I could do it. I can try, it’s not impossible. Let’s see… I guess that, in the future, there’ll be some news.
There’s no real news yet, but Cyborg reiterated on a Strikeforce “Melendez vs. Masvidal” conference call earlier today that she’s definitely up for trying.
“It’s going to be difficult but I’m going to try to make the move if there’s more work for me there,” Santos said on Tuesday.
“I want to try to do both categories if possible, but I know there is more opportunity at 135,” she added.
If my memory serves me right, Cyborg had trouble cutting down to 140 lbs. at one point, but if she can do it, should would undoubtedly became a major factor in the women’s bantamweight division where a rivalry between Miesha Tate and Rhonda Rousey recently emerged.
Of course, this all becomes a moot point if Strikeforce doesn’t survive past their February deadline to extend their contract with Showtime. Dana White stated last weekend that he has a “very good feeling” about it and Scott Coker continued to express his optimism earlier this afternoon, but until a deal is actually finalized the future of women’s MMA remains in question.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com
Update: Another interesting tidbit from the conference call today. Strikeforce is now looking at a March event for the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Daniel Cormier’s injured hand is delaying the final bout with Josh Barnett. What’s interesting is the date. It seems they’re planning an event without the Showtime extension locked in.