Is outrage over Cyborg really over aesthetics?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Despite a record of 11-1 (9 knockouts) and an intensity that rejects all adjectives, the mixed martial arts community often seems to revile the presence of Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos. In their defense, Santos did test positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, after her vicious TKO win over Hiroko Yamanaka in 2011.

However, consider the countless other fighters who have tested positive for banned substances:
•Josh Barnett
•Phil Baroni
•Vitor Belfort
•Stephan Bonnar
•Royce Gracie
•Muhammad Lawal
•Chris Leben
•Nate Marquardt
•Alistair Overeem
•Ken Shamrock
•Sean Sherk
•Antonio Silva
•Thiago Silva
•Chael Sonnen
•Tim Sylvia

The list includes several of UFC’s most popular current fighters, former champions of UFC, Pride and Strikeforce, as well as three UFC Hall of Famers. None of these men are vilified in the same undignified light as Santos.

So why can’t the general MMA population forgive Santos? The most obvious theory rests simply on one word: aesthetics.

Gina Carano was the face of women’s mixed martial arts:

Until this:

Was done by:

Over the next two fights, Cyborg eviscerated Marloes Coenen and Jan Finney. The declarations of beauty had been replaced with adjectives such as “vicious,” frightening” and “scary.” The modeling gigs were replaced with short YouTube videos displaying Cyborg’s strength.

Then there, on the horizon, like a fair maiden of violence, Ronda Rousey emerged onto the scene. She was brash, talented, and hot. Fans begged for a showdown with Cyborg.

Then followed steroid bust, weight disparity, trash talk, contract issues, UFC introduces women, Rousey announced as UFC bantamweight champion, more weight issues, contract negotiations, and Cyborg signs with Invicta FC.

Saturday night Cris Cyborg fights Marloes Coenen for Invicta FC’s inaugural Featherweight title.

Who do you think is going to win?

And do you think Cyborg’s looks are the cause of such deep enmity over a rules violation that so many other highly respected male fighters have been guilty of?

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