The long layoff meant very little once the cage door slammed behind Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. After an 18 month layoff, “Cyborg” returned to action with a vengeance, brutally dispatching Hiroko Yamanaka in just 16 seconds.
After insisting that she would stand with the champion, Yamanaka remained true to her word, meeting “Cyborg” in the middle of the cage and standing toe-to-toe with the champion. “Cyborg” obliged, landing back-to-back right hands that dropped the challenger in the opening seconds of the bout.
As “Cyborg” closed the distance, Yamanaka scrambled to her feet, but got caught with a looping left hand that backed her into the cage. Santos followed up with a flurry of punches, including a right hand that put Yamanaka right back on the mat. The champion continued to flurry, forcing the referee to step in and stop the onslaught.
With very little competition left at featherweight, a drop to 135 pounds may be in the champion’s future. Fast-rising Ronda Rousey has been outspoken about the possibility of facing the champion, and could be a viable option at 135 pounds should the champion make the move. Santos shared her thoughts about Rousey after the fight, and insisted that she is ready for anything.
“I think she speaks too much,” Santos said. “I’m ready, anytime, anywhere.”
The win moves Santos to 11-1 (5-0 SF) and extends here winning streak to 11. All five of her Strikeforce wins have been by knockout.