Business as Usual: Cris Cyborg, World Champion, Still Can’t Get a Damn Fight

Inactive and without a fight booked since her squashing of Jan Finney last June, 145-pound Strikeforce women’s champion Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos is desperate to return to competition — so desperate that she had reportedly been negotiating for gigs with the WWE and a Brazilian fight promotion in recent months. Now she’s moved onto the public-pleading stage of her frustration. Here’s what she had to say yesterday via Twitter:

Hi My dear fans, want to fight too soon, but not dependent on me. This very difficult to renegotiate with scott. They’re not appreciating all I did for the event. I am very sad, but I will not give up. God has another purpose in my life…Maybe I fight the world jiujtsu not going to be the way you like with many punches…but I will give my best to make you guys like it.

Alright, Cris, here’s the deal…

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First off, Scott Coker has an acute case of senioritis at this point. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate you, it’s that he’s completely checked out of the job. Even in the pre-buyout era, the amount of power that Coker actually wielded to get things done was debatable. But right now? By all accounts, the UFC is running the show while Scott Coker sits alone in an office in San Jose, doing absolutely jack-shit. (And we’re not knocking jack-shit. It’s nice work if you can get it.)

The thing is, women’s MMA is simply not a priority for the people who currently run Strikeforce. There’s a good chance it never will be. But even in a perfect world for Cyborg — if Coker was calling the shots in some capacity, and wanted to book a fight for her — there’s still no logical opponent for the champ, and booking Santos in another squash match isn’t worth much from a business perspective.

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A small part of the blame for that can be put on Strikeforce for not putting more effort into finding and building up contenders at 145. The larger reality might be that the ideal candidate doesn’t exist. A true 145′er with a good record and a recognizable name who’s as dangerous as Cyborg? (Or at least fairly credible and good-looking enough to put on a poster?) Gina Carano was the last fighter who fit that description. Erin Toughill was a good option as well, but her Strikeforce debut never materialized for one reason or another.

Cris Cyborg’s prime competitive years are wasting away and there’s absolutely nothing she can do about it, which is a tragedy. I hope that one day she’s looked back on as a pioneer of the sport. Unfortunately, she exists in a moment when there’s no logical place for a 145-pound female badass in MMA.