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Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight Champ Cris Cyborg in Contract Limbo

(“Don’t move, Gina. This is how we’ll get mainstream acceptance.”)

Strikeforce hasn’t announced when  Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will next defend her belt, and according to the dominant women’s middleweight champion, it’s not because she isn’t ready. It’s because she doesn’t have a contract.

Cyborg told Tatame recently that her contract ran out after her last fight with Jan Finney last June and she hasn’t spoken with Scott Coker and company about re-signing with the recently Zuffa-acquired promotion in the nine months since the bout.

“Currently I don’t have a contract signed, but on my former contract there was something saying that for a year I’m connected to the [promotion] but we might sign a new one.  I believe the fact that the UFC bought Strikeforce is a good thing for women, because we have two years to do a good job and prove them our value —  to prove it to Dana White,” she explains. “I’m not anxious and I’m not worried. I’m happy and I keep on training.”

Cyborg’s agent, Ken Pavia, says that the “one-year term” Santos is referring to is a standard champions clause Strikeforce adds to its contracts to ensure its belt holders don’t fly the coop after winning a title. Former Strikeforce middleweight  champion Jake Shields had a similar proviso on his expired deal with the San Jose organization, but was granted his full release by the promotion when the two sides realized they were unlikely to come to terms and that that Shields was willing to sit out the negotiation period so he could move on the the UFC. Although he says that there haven’t been any discussions about Santos’ future with the promotion, Pavia tells us that he’s confident that Cyborg will come to terms with Strikeforce in the coming weeks.

Cyborg isn’t the first female Strikeforce champion to have a contract expire. Former welterweight champ Sarah Kaufmann revealed prior to her July 2010 fight with Roxanne Modafferi that her contract expired after her win over Takayo Hashi five months earlier. Strikeforce director of communications, Mike Afromowitz told that by winning the title against Hashi, Kaufman was essentially locked into a deal via her contract’s champions clause.

Though she says she is letting Pavia and his MMAAgents team handle her contract negotiations, Santos points out that the key to securing a home for women’s MMA if and when Strikeforce’s anticipated merger with the UFC happens after its broadcasting deal with Showtime and current batch of fighter contracts expire in around  2013, will be to keep on putting on exciting fights, something she’s never had a problem doing.

“I believe we have to put on good shows. We need more women to come and fight. Our market is small when compared to men, but I believe we’ve been proving ourselves to be good at [fighting]. Lately Strikeforce has been supporting female MMA a lot,” Cyborg says. “My fight with Gina [Carano] was a good one, and there are lots of other good female fighters in MMA.

She also points to her former foe and ally, Carano as being a person who will play an important role in ensuring WMMA’s longevity.

“I believe it’s pretty important [for Gina to come back to the sport] because she’s always been there and people got to know it better because of her. There are many fans that enjoy watching her fighting and I believe that, for us to grow on the sport, we can’t think only about ourselves,” Santos says. “We have take one for the team. I cheer for her and for all women on the sport. I think we must get together and make the sport grow.”

Cagepotato Comments

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andersonsyourmom- March 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm
the ladys throw down everytime. hope they get to stick around.
Chromium- March 29, 2011 at 5:29 am
Also I see spam bots are getting closer to passing the Turing test.
Chromium- March 29, 2011 at 5:28 am
I'd love it if the UFC kept women's MMA around, there are some really entertaining fighters, even if the depth still has a long way to go. It also makes sense to keep a monopoly on top female talent, to keep any upstart promotion looking to challenge the UFC from having access to that.
uzithrasha- March 29, 2011 at 4:51 am
i can live without womens mma
Gorgzilla- March 29, 2011 at 2:33 am
Quote Scumbag:
"@ upper cut.
Why are you so topical and sterotypical. Me rikey rice? are you having a stroke? How predictable! Are you next going to say I don’t shut up I throw up and when I look at you I throw up."

Because putting "va" infront of Gina has NEVER been done before.
Uppercut Magnet- March 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm
"Poo poo platter on you"
Mofo- March 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm
Holy shit. I just got stupider by reading this comments. WHERE THE FUCK AM I?

Is this cagepotato? Who the fuck are you people? Rex help me out man!

Anyway, what I was gonna write before I read these bizarro world comments - complete with FUCKING SPAM TRACKBACKS THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SWITCH TO WORDPRESS -

"“I’m not anxious and I’m not worried. I’m happy and I keep on training.”"

Oh. Poor Cyborg. That's the most depressing thing I've ever heard. This is like reading Flowers For Algernon.

Tho, after reading this comments page, I doubt anyone reading my comment has any idea what I'm talking about. Oh that fancy 5th grade reading level of mine.
Susan B. Sandwiches- March 28, 2011 at 10:40 pm
I remember after the Carano fight the look of pure joy on Cyborgs face and the sincerity of the whole moment really made me a fan of hers.

Also when did people start to do Charlie sheen impressions on this site?
PERPATRAITOR- March 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm
They should make them win by forced entry into their vaginal openings. The winner obviously has the stronger kegels. Hey I'm just trying to make it entertaining.
intercept440- March 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm
i bet we could totally get chandella to play aunty em.. maybe even masterblaster LMFAO
intercept440- March 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm
dont have much thoughts about womans MMA. But it would be more entertaining if the winner got to fuck the loser... plus that falls right into cyborgs realm, all she has to do is beat the shit out of some random mma chick then pull out her cock an fuckem, the crowd goes wild.... it would be like thunderdome...

2 cunts enter (one with a cock i.e. cyborg) one gets fucked lol
hell they could even dress it up as a post apocalyptic mad max spin off.... hell ide watch it
ReX13- March 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm
ReX13- March 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm
+1 to you both. if you can dig that.
scumbag- March 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm
@ upper
Now with all the irony involved your comments are getting funny. I chuckled at that last one.
Uppercut Magnet- March 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

You can't handle the truth because stone cold said so.
scumbag- March 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Ok upper you lose. You proved my point with yet another played out saying that has been said a thousand times before. We are obviously on differing planes so head on back to originality school and hit me up when you graduate.
Uppercut Magnet- March 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm
i pray for you, my child
scumbag- March 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm
*grow up
scumbag- March 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm
@ upper cut.
Why are you so topical and sterotypical. Me rikey rice? are you having a stroke? How predictable! Are you next going to say I don't shut up I throw up and when I look at you I throw up.
RwilsonR- March 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm
I have to say I have never really thought much of women's MMA, and I have never thought of Cyborg as much of a woman, but (s)he comes across very well in this interview. No complaints. Just intelligently says they have to prove themselves, and she sets about ways to do that, even complimenting a rival to do so. I'll probably never like women's MMA, but I appreciate this kind of coherent response from a fighter.
Uppercut Magnet- March 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

are you having a stroke? I don't understand what you're trying to say.
scumbag- March 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm
I love that pic is that vagina c.
I will bring it up now to rub it in. Check your comment history folks I told all you fools who put the pussy on the pedestal back when they made vagina (and everyone else to play it off and make it seem legit)strip at her weigh in. I knew she would never fight again any time soon.
Vagina was like the one other chick at the dungeons and dragons party. Of course she is going to seem hot compared to Cyborg.
Poor fighter. Worse gladiator. Rotten actress.
Uppercut Magnet- March 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm
"Now we'll be together forever"