UFC President Dana White never hinted at the possibility of creating a separate division to cater to former Strikeforce champion Cristiane Santos’ weight-related demands but rather required “Cyborg” to drop to 135 pounds and join the company’s bantamweight pool if hoping to fight inside the Octagon. That being said, White even went so far as to say the UFC would hire a nutritionist to help the shredded Santos slim down in hopes of helping facilitate her inking.
With Santos deciding the move wasn’t feasible her camp requested she be released from her Zuffa contract in order to explore other options, ultimately signing with Invicta FC for an April debut. However, according to White, the UFC had already ironed out an agreement with the all-female promotion to let the explosive Brazilian compete under its banner until something could be brokered regarding a few rumbles on the sport’s biggest stage, leaving the outspoken executive scratching his head as to why Santos’ management wanted out of the deal only to still end up in Invicta FC.
“We don’t have a 145 pound division so we’re going back and forth with these guys and this deal, so I called the girl Shannon Knapp who owns Invicta and said look if I do this deal with ‘Cyborg’ and you give her fights over there, I’ll pay the bills you put on the fights over there till I can figure out how this whole thing’s going to go down. She goes absolutely no problem, we’d love to do it,” revealed White to media after UFC on Fuel 7. “The next thing I know they want out of the contract and then they sign with them.”
Fighters Only Magazine was on the scene and able to capture the conversation.
“We were going to sign her to a contract and we were going to have her fight in Invicta, which means we pay all the bills for her to fight in Invicta. She’d be under a UFC contract with all the perks and benefits of being a UFC fighter and would fight in Invicta. So instead of doing that they chose to not do that and fight in Invicta,” White continued, summing things up. “If you can make logic out of that whole f*cking situation, you’re a better man than I am.”
Santos’ is scheduled for action on April 5 at Invicta FC 5 in Kansas City where she’ll face submission-specialist Ediane Gomes. The bout will mark her first fight since December 2011 after sitting out for a year due to a drug-related suspension.
PHOTO CREDIT: UFC/STRIKEFORCE