With former Strikeforce featherweight champ Cristiane Santos sticking to her guns regarding an inability to slim down ten pounds for a run in the Octagon, the UFC has decided to grant “Cyborg” a release from her Zuffa deal. Rather than flirt with free agency, the hard-hitting Brazilian has already inked a deal with all-female promotion Invicta FC.
Santos will be unveiled at Invicta FC 5 on April 5 and face Ediane Gomes. The winner of the bout will then see action against Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6, presumably for the company’s still-to-be-created featherweight belt.
“I am excited to finally get back in the cage and to have the opportunity to fight for Invicta Fighting Championships, which has shown a tremendous amount of commitment to furthering the growth of women’s MMA,” explained the 27-year old in a press conference broadcast on Inside MMA. “I will be ready on April 5 for Ediane and I plan to dominate my competition as I’ve done in the past.”
The 10-1 Santos has won eight fights via strike-based stoppage. However, she hasn’t seen action since December 2011 when she beat Hiroko Yamanaka and subsequently tested positive for PED use, resulting in the bout being changed to a No Contest and a twelve-month suspension.
Gomes makes for an excellent foil to Santos’ fierce fists, holding an overall record of 10-2 including seven submissions. She has come out with her hand raised in a quartet of consecutive clashes including two wins under the Invicta FC banner.
Invicta FC 5 is slated for Kansas City, Kansas with two title-fights at the top of the card. In one, 105-pound queen Jessica Penne (10-1) will mix it up with Michelle Waterson (10-3), while the other features Vanessa Porto (15-5) and Barb Honchak (7-2) battling for the company’s inaugural flyweight strap.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/INVICTA FC