Strikeforce champion Cyborg Santos has been waiting on the sidelines for a year now to be resigned, and with the Zuffa purchasing the Bay Area company, the biggest question remains on if the champ will be resigned and if so, when.
Officially, Cyborg’s contract obligation ran out after the Jan Finney match in June of last year, and a lot of the reason why she was not resigned was because Strikeforce simply ran out of challengers. As the rest of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 came around, challengers have come out of the woodwork. Initially that was Julia Budd, then Amanda Nunes came on the scene. Germaine de Randamie, the kickboxing phenom, has signed with the promotion and has a great shot of matching Cyborg on her feet. So, lack of challengers is no longer an excuse.
When Zuffa came in, they didn’t resign all of the Strikeforce roster and roughly 4-6 of the fighters are under a Zuffa contract rather than their original Strikeforce contract. Zuffa is still on the fence about the women’s division, despite the fact that Strikeforce head Scott Coker stated the division will continue. The purse strings still lie with Zuffa, so it’s up to them to decide to resign Cyborg.
What is taking so long? A few theories have been floating around the internet. The first is that Zuffa isn’t interested in resigning Cyborg at all, because they don’t know what to do with her. Another is that she was asking for too much money. Personally, my theory is that Zuffa is still waiting for a proper challenger to get built up to face Cyborg, and it would be a waste of money to have her on the roster until then.
With Gina Carano’s delayed comeback, and the several matches scheduled to build both the 135 and 145 pound divisions, there are no slots available for the champ to defend her title. The best case scenario would be Sept. 10 with either the winner of Carano vs. D’Alelio (which is rumored for July 30) or the winner of the Julia Budd vs. Germaine de Randamie match on the June 24 card.
Until then, the women’s MMA fans will just have to wait.
With the Strikeforce acquisition by Zuffa, Strikeforce head Scott Coker promised that the women’s division would still be a part the organization. However, when the merger happened, all the fighters needed to be resigned. There are still several Strikeforce fighters that have not been offered to sign with Zuffa that have been with the company last year.
With that in mind, these are the top five fighters we feel should be signed to Strikeforce.
5) Elaina Maxwell
Maxwell has faced some of the best in the business and held her own. Although she lost to Shayna Baszler this past November, Maxwell rebounded and got a unanimous decision over former Strikeforce competitor Shana Olsen this past April.
4) Hitomi Akano
The runner-up in the Strikefore Grand Prix last year, Akano proved her worth with current title challenger Miesha Tate in a decision and was able to sub Carina Damm on the same night. Trained by one of the top female fighters on the planet Megumi Fujii, Akano is set to face Roxanne Modafferi at the JEWELS card July 9.
3) Rin Nakai
The 10-0 phenom from Japan is looking to make the jump to the U.S. With three TKO and four submission wins Nakai has outgrown the competition overseas and is a true character when it comes to promoting herself.
2) Shayna Baszler
Ever since her decision loss to Sarah Kaufman, Baszler has been undefeated, gaining three submission wins and a close decision with Alexis Davis. Before the acquisition, Baszler had won the Freestyle Cage Fighting tournament, which offered the winner a Strikeforce contract. Her contract has yet to be picked up by Zuffa.
1) Cyborg Santos
You read that right. The Strikeforce 145 pound champion has yet to get the call from Zuffa to be resigned. Being one of the biggest stars in women’s MMA today, it’s hard not to see value in resigning the champ. Cyborg hasn’t seen action since her title win against Jan Finney a year ago. The match completed the terms of her contract, and the champ wants a match bad, as do the line of competitors who want to face her.
It looked a lot like their first fight, and the cards reflected it.
IBA champion Holly Holm gains her 30th win of her career, defeating Victoria Cisneros by unanimous decision (100-90 on all three score cards) in a rematch of their 2009 bout. The match aired locally on Terefutura, and was the first female bout to main event of the network’s Solo Boxeo series.
Holm was always one step ahead of Cisneros, keeping her from rallying at any point during the fight. Cisneros technique had improved and had a great chin, but Holm stuck to her game plan and got the decision.
It was announced that Holm would be facing French fighter and WIBA champion Anne Mattis (23-1) at the Route 66 Casino. It is not know if either or both titles will be on the line. There is speculation that Holm may take a MMA fight in the mean time.
If there is one fighter who is ready for the pros, it’s the now 10-1 Taylor Stratford.
A few weeks ago, the top ranked Stratford had announced she was turning pro after her match this past Friday and that she had gained Bud Light as a sponsor. (Ironically, the 19 year old fight cannot partake in the beverage.)
Startford, the Ultimate Reno Combat champion face Autumn Richardson for the belt Friday night, which was a lopsided win. Having dominated most of the match, Stratford gained a unanimous decision victory (49-47, 50-46, 50-46) .
It might be a mismatch, but even underdogs have their day.
The IBA Light Welterweight champion Holly Holm will rematch journey woman fighter Victoria Cisneros at the Route 66 Casino tonight near Albuquerque, NM.
Holm is on an incredible 29-1-3 record and hasn’t lost since 2004. Cisneros (5-11-2) has lost her past three fights by decision, with her last one being a split decision loss. She has only been TKOed once, lossing the other ten by decsion.
Cisneros first fought Holm in December 2009, literally getting called out of the crowd when Holm’s opponent dropped out at the last minute. Cisneros took Holms the distance, but lost all but one round. With six weeks to train, who knows?
Holm is still the odds on favorite in the match, but expect some great action as Cisneros has something to prove, and Holm wants to once again impress the hometown crowd.
Takedown Entertainment, a public traded company, as acquired UNC’s past and future fight videos and will invest in getting the promotion to gain more professional fights. Takedown sites the URC commitment to women’s MMA as a major factor in the decision. Takedown also acquired rights to several MMA promotions including Scrap Live out of North Carolina, Fight 2 Win out of Colorado, and Freedom Fights out of Canada.
URC champion Taylor Stratford is set to face Autumn Richardson this weekend in her last match as an amateur (which will be live on GoFightLive.tv), and with the new deal, it won’t be surprising if the 19 year old phenom will stick around Reno a bit longer.
Strikeforce Cyborg Santos is a powerhouse in women’s MMA, but you can’t truly appreciate it until you see it on a former UFC champ.
MMA H.E.A.T reporter Karyn Bryant posted this video today of Tito Ortiz and Cyborg sparring back in 2009 at Cleber Luciano’s gym in Huntington Beach. It sparks memories of the Sarah Kaufman slam of Roxanne Modafferi. as Cynorg slams Ortiz, but this time Ortiz holds on to get an armbar sub on her.
This past weekend, Cyborg showed her skills, throwing a few opponents around the mat at the BJJ World Championships. Cyborg is in limbo as Zuffa is still has yet to sign her back on and get her defending her title.
It’s an opportunity for the next generation of amateur female wrestlers to step up.
The 7th annual All -American Girls Wrestling Camp is set for June 26-30 at the George Burns Athletic Complex at the Mission Valley College campus in Marshall, MO.
The camp will teach these up and coming wrestlers skills they need off an on the mat to succeed, and meet some of the best collegiate and world champion caliber wrestlers. Olympic silver medalist and MMA fighter Sara McMann will be a guest to help show the girls what potential they have.
The camp is available for girls 8-18 years old and the cost is $225 for those resident Camper $225 (includes 10 meals and camp t-shirt) or $150 for commuters (Includes 4 meals and camp t‐shirt).
With the advent of social media, people have been doing their call outs through twitter and Facebook. Mia St. John decided to kick it old school.
First St. John St. John appeared on TMZ to state that she beat up champion Christy Martin in their first encounter in 2002, but due to the judges being in Martin’s back pocket she got a bum decision. (See video below.)
Then to drive her point home, St. John showed up at the press conference in Los Angeles, where it was announced that Martin would rematch Dakota Stone for the WBC title. St. John was announced to be facing the winner, and St. John gave a few verbal jabs to Martin, and visa versa. (See video below.)
This will probably be the most anticipated rematch in women’s boxing history, but St. John has to hope Martin gets by Stone.