If Strikeforce women’s middleweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (10-1 MMA, 4-0 SF) has signed a new deal with the promotion, company officials aren’t saying so.
A representative told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Strikeforce “doesn’t have any official word on the contract status of ‘Cyborg’ at this time.”
The update comes after Santos’ manager, Rudimar Fedrigo, told fcfighter.com on Thursday that a contract renewal has been completed.
MMAjunkie.com could not reach Santos or her reps for comment.
In this case, uncertainty seems to be the norm.
Santos’ contract with the promotion expired with her most recent appearance, a one-sided TKO championship win over Jan Finney in June 2010 at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum.” It marked the former EliteXC fighter’s 10th straight victory.
Since then, Santos has sat on the shelf and, at one point, considered a career in professional wrestling. One report this past month stated that talks between Strikeforce and Santos had broken down over money and that the champion was leaving the promotion as a free agent.
Fedrigo, Santos’ longtime trainer and manager, didn’t reveal any contract specifics to fcfighter.com.
One of the most dominant fighters today in women’s MMA, Santos knocked out Gina Carano in August 2009 to secure the Strikeforce title, and the Brazilian defended it three months later with another stoppage win over current women’s welterweight titleholder Marloes Coenen.
For nearly two years, Santos and Carano held the Strikeforce-Showtime ratings record. As the first-ever female headliners of a nationally televised show in the U.S., “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” scored 576,000 viewers. The night’s broadcast peaked with a staggering 856,000 viewers for the actual Santos vs. Carano fight. (Only February’s Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva fight, which peaked with 1.1 million viewers, has done better.)
Following the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce in March, many questioned the MMA powerhouse’s commitment to women’s MMA. However, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has continually reiterated that the promotion will continue promoting female fighters. In fact, a major title fight between Coenen and top contender Miesha Tate co-headliners this month’s “Strikeforce/M-1: Fedor vs. Henderson” event, and recent signees have included U.S. Olympian Ronda Rousey, veteran Julie Kedzie and Sarah D’Alelio, among others.