(Surprised they didn’t call this one “Beauty and the Beast.”)
On this day in MMA history two years ago Strikeforce held it’s first event headlined by a women’s championship fight. Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg, which featured a bout between Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos for the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s middleweight (145 pound) championship, took place on Saturday, August 15, 2009 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
While suffering through The Change-Up this weekend, I started thinking about the hypothetical situation of MMA fighters switching bodies. Obviously, one fighter would get the short end of the stick, like in all relationships, but other than that, it’s all good news from there. Imagine the man with a warrior spirit and broken body upgrading for a newer model. Imagine the heavy-duty gas-guzzler being replaced by a tiny, eco-friendly, electric car. Imagine experience and youth joining forces to reign terror on anything that steps in its way. So who most deserves a cinematic body-swap? Read on and find out…
BJ Penn and Brock Lesnar
Advantage: Baby Jay
For years, Penn has been criticized for his lack of self-discipline and willingness to stay in shape. Switching bodies would solve that problem and create what might be the best heavyweight in UFC history. A Nova Uniao Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with explosive striking and a granite chin, Penn has everything that Lesnar wishes he had. The Prodigy would be a wrecking ball at heavyweight if he had Brock’s body — as long as the viking took the diverticulitis thing with him. If he had to keep the illness during the switch, then I guess we could all agree that we’d like to see Josh Koscheck trade bodies with Brock.
If you watch MMA long enough, every fight, knockout, and submission begins to look familiar — which makes these classic bouts that much more special.
Wanderlei Silva Wins Via Choke vs. Bob Schrijber @ Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round, 1/30/00
Though he has two other submission victories on his record due to strikes, Wanderlei Silva has only ended one fight in his 15-year career with a legit, bonafide submission hold. It went down during his third PRIDE appearance against renowned kickboxer Bob Schrijber, in a reserve bout for the 2000 PRIDE GP. After some standup brawling, Wandy secures a takedown, immediately lands in mount, and slugs “Dirty Bob” until the Dutchman is forced to roll. From there, Silva sets up a rear-naked choke — you can tell that grappling’s not really his strong-suit — and eventually gets the tap.
Tito Ortiz Fights Outside of the UFC vs. Jeremy Screeton @ West Coast NHB Championships 1, 12/8/98
After going 1-1 in his Octagon debut at UFC 13, Tito Ortiz took a tune-up fight at an NHB tournament in Los Angeles. The result was a fast, gnarly, PRIDE-style victory for the future superstar. Screeton shoots in on Ortiz, but the Huntington Beach Bad Boy uses his own formidable wrestling skills to reverse his opponent onto the mat. Two brutal knees to the head later, and Screeton was tapping out the morse code to “get me the fuck out of here.” Ortiz was invited back to the UFC the following month, and has never left. Seriously, we can’t get rid of this guy.
Last Friday at Comic-Con Gina Carano made a rare media appearance to promote her upcoming starring role in the Steven Soderbergh blockbuster film “Haywire,” which is set to be released in theatres in January 2012.
The interview above with GinaCarano.org was apparently her first since losing to Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos in 2009.
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup draws to a close on Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany, as the United States meets Japan in the finals. (Kickoff is at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN, by the way.) This marks the first time since 1999 that Americans have been psyched about women’s soccer — but we admit, we’re getting caught up in the hype as well.
In honor of our ladies getting ready to run shop on the Japanese, we decided to hold our own international competition, choosing the best female MMA fighter from 10 different countries and ranking them against each other. The first few names will be very familiar — but who’s carrying the flag for Russia, South Korea, and Germany? Read on and find out…
#1. Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos (Brazil) Record: 10-1 Last fight: Third-round TKO of Jan Finney, 6/26/10
Santos’s inability to find a fight over the last year says a lot about the still-developing state of women’s MMA in this country, as well as her own undisputed position in the 145-pound division. She’s so far ahead of her peers, that no logical challengers even exist.
(Simple solution: Have Cris arm-wrestle Dana for her desired contract)
In spite of a report released yesterday that quoted Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ longtime Chuteboxe trainer Master Rudimar Fedrigo as saying that the Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight champion has re-upped with the now Zuffa-owned promotion, a source with knowledge of the situation informed CagePotato.com today that there is in fact no deal in place at this time.
Toughest fight for Crisitane Cyborg so far? Contract negotiations.
Many, many, many moons ago, movie makers were looking to make a sequel to the live action Masters of the Universe movie starring Dolph Lundgren, and film it in North Carolina. Auditions were held for childrens’ roles in Wilmington, and i was one of many (i assume) kids who tried out to be in a movie with He-Man. Alas, the film company had some financial difficulties and the project was scrapped; i never got another chance to be Macaulay Culkin before Macaulay Culkin. The film company had already spent something like 2 milllion dollars producing costumes and sets for the movie, and wanted to re-purpose them to recoup some of the cash they’d put up, so they banged out a script about a dystopian future of plague and anarchy, hired Jean-Claude Van Damme, and that’s how the movie Cyborg came about. All that is 100% true, by the way.
Well, Cris “Cyborg” Santos is officially a free agent, which either means that Strikeforce was unwilling to pay her what she felt she was worth, or that Zuffa has decided against continuing to promote women’s MMA under the SF banner. Either way, it’s a blow to the promotion’s women’s division.
A source we spoke to today received confirmation from Cyborg’s management that Zuffa’s exclusive negotiation period with the 10-1 Curitiba, Brazil fighter ended yesterday and that the parent company of Strikeforce and the UFC failed to come to terms with the Strikeforce women’s middleweight champ before she became a free agent at the stroke of midnight.
(Cyborg Santos gives Amanda Lucas a guided tour of the mat)
Since the very beginning of our sport, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been a critical component of Mixed Martial Arts competition (spoiler- Royce Gracie wins). Odds are good that unless you’re a diehard republican or an MMA judge, you share at least some appreciation for the subtle art of torquing limbs and rendering folks unconscious. Good news for you- the 2011 Mudials go down this weekend.
Competition in the lower belt rankings began on Thursday. In the video above you can check out Strikeforce’s 145lb women’s champion Cris Santos slam MMA fighter/George Lucas’s daughter Amanda Lucas in every manner possible en route to claiming a gold medal in the purple belt division. It is a little surprising that the most intimidating female fighter on the planet is competing as a purple belt, but not surprising enough that we would ask her about it to her face. ‘Grats to Cyborg for the medal and for finding a way to keep busy while her fighting career is inexplicably left to die on the vine.
Info on how to watch the event is after the break.