After asking for her release from the UFC, Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos announced Friday at a news conference in Huntington Beach that she has reached an agreement to make her debut at Invicta FC 5.
With manager and former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz by her side, Cyborg stepped on a scale to show her current weight of 160 pounds. Part of Cyborg’s reluctance to stay with the UFC, which had its eyes on a future superfight with bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, is her insistence that she cannot make the 135-pound weight limit.
Ortiz and Cyborg have campaigned for a 140-pound catch weight against Rousey, but the UFC is sticking to its guns. And with no other women’s weight division in the UFC, Cyborg has gone elsewhere.
Cyborg (10-1, 1 no-contest) will face Ediane Gomes (10-2) at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. It will be her first fight since December 2011, after which the Strikeforce featherweight champion was suspended for a year and stripped of her title for testing positive for the steroid Stanozolol.
Invicta has indicated that the winner of the Cyborg-Gomes match will face former Strikeforce 145-pound champion Marloes Coenen, whom Cyborg dominated for a TKO victory in January 2010.
Rousey fans might recognize Gomes’ name. It was in March 2011 that Rousey, after a 3-0 amateur MMA career , made her pro debut against Gomes at King of the Cage Turning Point in Woodland Hills. The 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist needed just 25 seconds to slap an armbar on Gomes and secure the victory.