In a recent conference call with mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who are appearing on the Strikeforce Miami fight card on Jan.30, the female MMA fighter and current Strikeforce 145-pound Women’s Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, 24, set the record straight about the offer she received from Playboy magazine last December and any issues related to her fight against Gina Carano last August.
After reports about the offer to pose for Playboy magazine were published on Sherdog as well as other MMA news sites, Santos never openly discussed her reaction and final decision in the matter. When the issue came up during the conference call yesterday, she stated that she was ‘horrified’ when everyone found out about it.
Apparently, this is not the kind of attention Santos wants as a fighter. Although she did not want to discuss her decision in regards to Playboy it was clear that no money in the world could convince Santos to pose for Playboy, very unlike fellow MMA fighter Carano who posed for Maxim and was also rumored to pose for Playboy.
Carano was also hyped up as the ‘face of women’s MMA‘ prior to the bout against Santos, which was based on her then spotless fight record of 7-0 as well as her good looks. When she lost to Santos via TKO (watch the complete fight video here!) at the Strikeforce event that was headlined by the two ladies, it seemed like everyone expected the winner to take on the role of being the ‘face of women’s MMA.’ Only Santos does not care about looks–good or bad.
“I wasn’t thinking about who is the face of MMA when I fought Gina, said Santos during the Strkeforce conference call. “Gina was just another opponent like anyone else. With me being the face of women’s MMA or not, I’m just going over there and doing my job, making sure I’m training hard and leading up the pack for all women in MMA.”
Although Santos is well aware of the trend to put attractive female athletes in the spotlight, she would much rather just showcase her talent as a fighter, in- and outside the cage. Her next opponent, Marloes Coenen, agrees and adds:
“I think it’s because it’s just a young sport and people don’t understand it’s a sport that everyone can do. Women can do it, men can do it and you can start at a young age. With women, we’re always judged by our appearance, and you see that in tennis with (Anna) Kournikova. It’s almost like Gina is the Kournikova of MMA. I hope there will be girls out there and our level of fighting will increase that much where people talk about our fighting skills instead of the beauty that we do or do not have.”
Santos will face Coenen in the Strikeforce Women’s Championship bout on Jan. 30 at the Strikeforce Miami event which takes place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. The main card bouts will air live on Showtime® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Complete Strikeforce Miami fight card:
- Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis —Strikeforce Welterweight Championship
- Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Marloes Coenen —Strikeforce Women’s Championship
- Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef
- Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy
- Jay Hieron vs. Joe Riggs
- Pablo Alfonso vs. Marcos da Matta
- Michael Byrnes Jr. vs. David Zitnik
- Sanah Homasi vs. John Kelly
- Craig Oxley vs. David Gomez
For more info on Cyborg:
- check out her professional MMA fight record on Sherdog
- add her on MySpace
- watch the fight video of Santos vs. against Gina Carano
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- 16-year-old Caydee Denney makes U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team 2010 (video)
- Williams sisters advance to third round at Australian Open 2010 (video)
Watch Santos at her MMA training in the video below: