Strikeforce recently was unable to come to a new agreement with Cristiane Santos, their 145-pound Women’s champion.
In releasing Cristiane Santos, Strikeforce not only shot itself in the foot, but it let go of its best chance at making women’s MMA a respectable, marketable aspect of their promotion.
What do MMA fans like the most? You can say it’s the ground game, or the technical stand-up, or all the many nuances that make this sport so multi-faceted. But I know and you know what most people like the most about MMA: they like seeing someone get destroyed. Everyone likes seeing people get KTFO’d, or pummeled, or beaten down. We pay to see an MMA event, but what we really want are the dramatic finishes that we never forget.
And you know what Cristiane Santos is? Cristiane Santos is a destroyer.
I always say two things when I talk about Cristiane Santos. I believe in these sayings now more than ever. The first is that Santos is so good right now that she can basically just sit out as long as she wants to, waiting for the day until women’s MMA catches up to her. The second is a saying I believe wholeheartedly: “Gina Carano may be the face of women’s MMA, but Cristiane Santos is it’s soul”.
And when they let Cristiane Santos walk out the door as an unbeaten champion and the best, most marketable woman’s MMA fighter in the world… they removed the heart and soul of their women’s division. And that’s a loss I don’t think Strikeforce’s women’s division will ever fully recuperate from.
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