Cagewriter’s Maggie Hendricks went on an emphatic rant about Cristiane Santos, blaming her weight-cutting trouble on that time of the month.
Jordan Breen, on Sherdog’s Beatdown after the Bell, reiterated his stance the lack of fan outrage at female fighters for not making weight devalues female competition.
During Showtime’s April 11th Strikeforce telecast, Mauro Ranallo addressed the fact women ridiculously only fight three-minute rounds.
Normally, these fine journalists would have exhausted all the high profile women’s MMA post-fight editorial topics, but not this time.
By now, Santos’ trouble making weight for the April 11th event (or even coming close) has been well-documented. Not only did she have serious trouble making weight, since Hitomi Akano was moving up in weight, the size difference, presented in stunning HD on premium cable, was colossally evident.
Akano, who has previously fought at 135 pounds, was the SmackGirl champion at 128 pounds and could easily move down to the WAMMA dubbed super flyweight division (125 lbs).
In her two EliteXC fights, Santos first fought at 140 pounds, and then at a 148-pound catch weight. Anyone who has seen Akano fight did not need to see the two ladies side by side to realize there was going to be a size mismatch.
Did Strikeforce not know that Akano would be egregiously undersized? Not a chance. In fact, the promotion is only partially to blame for this situation,
When it comes to women’s MMA there is almost a heavyweight-like dearth of talent at 145 pounds. One class below, 135 pounds, is where many of the sport’s top female fighters ply their trade, such as Tara Larosa, Tonya Evinger, and Miesha Tate. The problem is everyone’s favorite American Gladiator and video game vixen, Gina Carano, is a 145-pound fighter.
Gary Shaw, with his tracksuit clad brilliance, tried to solve this problem by creating the 140-pound division. This way Gina Carano could, in theory, make weight and have a wealth of quality opponents.
However, Carano proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can’t make 140 pounds, and she had a noticeable size advantage in all of her fights under the EliteXC banner.
Strikeforce has now decided to distance themselves from the failed 140-pound project, and promote the 145-pound division. The most logical fight for them to make would have been Carano vs. Santos, but with Carano’s contract situation they were forced to give Santos a tune up fight.
The promotion could have, and probably should have, gone out and tried to track down a top fighter at the weight. However, they instead decided to go outside the weight class to bring in a smaller but still accomplished fighter.
In the end, fans received a fight that gave neither fighter the proper forum to display their skills, and in the process, depicted female MMA as an open weight romp.
In order to present women’s MMA correctly, Strikeforce needs to be proactive and sign the few top fighters out there at the weight, like Erin Toughill and Marloes Coenen. If they do not, they will be left with no other viable opponents after Carano vs. Santos, and more mismatches will be on the way.
By: Richard Mann