For months former Strikeforce featherweight champ Cristiane Santos claimed she would be unable to meet rival Ronda Rousey at 135 pounds for reasons out of her control, citing advice from a doctor who’d stated cutting that much weight posed risks to her long-term health. However, when rumors started swirling surrounding the UFC’s creation of a bantamweight division to suit Rousey, “Cyborg” did an about face and said she might be able to drop down after all.
Though a super-fight between the two talented females has yet to materialize, Santos recently implied the UFC was already knocking on her door to make the match-up a reality. In fact, she nearly got the nod to face Rousey this coming February before Liz Carmouche was signed to the scrap.
“It was too little time to cut that much weight,” explained the Brazilian bomber in a conversation with Sherdog on why she couldn’t accept the bout. “I’m heavy, I always was. When I started fighting I weighed 154 pounds, and now I’m about 160 pounds without fighting. Dana already said he will just have the bantamweight division for now. I understand, there are not that many fighters in my division. So I’ll make the effort to cut down. Who does not want to fight in the UFC?”
Santos also made it a point to state she was eager to fight Rousey and end talk about her being intimidated by the unbeaten title-holder.
“She keeps saying that I’m running, but (anyone) who knows me knows that I never run from anyone. If it was up to 145 pounds, I would fight tomorrow,” the 10-1 Santos said confidently. “But it’s not that way, and to cut down to 135 pounds I have to follow a plan just right. It’s better for me to fight at bantamweight because the division has more fighters. I’m looking for the right diet, the best way to lose that weight. I’ll make that fight with Ronda happen. I’ll give my best.”
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/UFC