by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com

worked her way up the ranks to eventually be considered the top female fighter
in all of Brazil, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos was well on her way to
accomplishing the same feat in the United States when, after back-to-back wins
in the promotion, EliteXC shuttered its doors.


nearly made the move to Canada earlier this year, but a shoulder injury and
subsequent offer from Strikeforce kept her in the States and now puts her in
the biggest fight of her career.


Cyborg faces Gina Carano on Saturday night’s Strikeforce “Carano vs. Cyborg,”
not only will the winner be considered tops on the U.S. scene, but the world.


bout marks the first time that a women’s bout will headline a major promotion.
The two are slated for five, five-minute rounds to crown the first Strikeforce
women’s 145-pound champion.


Carano has thus far been fighting in rounds that were three-minutes in
duration, Cyborg says this is nothing new to her.


been training my butt off for a long time. In Brazil, all my fights were fives;
it was something new to fight three minutes here. I prefer to fight five-minute
(rounds); it’s way better.”


the experience of lengthier rounds could play heavily into the outcome, that’s
not to say Cyborg is in any way discounting Carano’s
skills. “Gina is an incredible fighter, she is a very good Muay Thai fighter,”
she told MMAWeekly.com. “Therefore, I believe she will stand up and brawl.”


also been no secret that besides training at his gym in Las Vegas, Carano has
enlisted former UFC champion Randy Couture as her main trainer for this fight
and will have him in her corner come Saturday night.


believe she is looking for him because she knows that this fight is the fight
of her life, just like I know,” commented Cyborg. “Couture is one the best MMA
coaches in the world; he knows how to put a strategy together. It was a very
smart move.”


does little, however, to shake the Brazilian’s confidence, “In the end of the
day, it won’t change for me. I will be there seeking the knockout anyway.”


most of the attention drawn to the Carano vs. Cyborg fight has been positive,
most expecting a tremendous stand-up battle, there are detractors. One big
criticism has been the struggles of both fighters to make weight. Carano has
struggled through several weigh-ins, often having the weight limit adjusted at
the last minute to stave off cancellation.


Cyborg’s weight-making struggle hasn’t been as pronounced,
though she missed weight in her last fight, against Hitomi Akano, coming in
seven pounds above the prescribed 145-pound weight.


struggles in the Akano weigh-in had to do with complications from Cyborg’s menstrual cycle. She says it was a one-time issue.
It isn’t a concern.


can really make 145 pounds. Last time was an accident and it is what it is; it
won’t happen again.”

from concerns over making weight, there are yet others questioning whether or
not a women’s bout is ready to carry a major promotion’s event. Those concerns
will be answered easily enough after the fight when Showtime’s ratings come in,
and tickets and money are counted.


again, Cyborg has no worries.


know some of the guys are not that happy with it, but believe it guys,
it’s going to be an awesome fight!”


“Cyborg” Santos would like to express thanks to, “Master Rudimar
Fedrigo and my friends at Chute Boxe, my fans,
the company that runs my career outside the cage, ICCMMA, that put me in
contact with Hitman Fight gear. I am telling you this because the sponsor
support when you’re not fighting is very important.”)