When Chris Cyborg returns to MMA after her year long suspension for failing a post-fight drug test, it will be a very different landscape to the one she left. The former Strikeforce champion was used to being a big fish in a small pond, with the only other notable name fighting in her division being Gina Carano. When I say notable, I of course mean highly marketable. The prospect of women fighting in the UFC was similar to the prospects of me flying across the English channel with a jet-powered fixed wing strapped to my back.
There was no organisation interested in putting on female-only MMA. Now there is a new big fishin the women’s MMA pond, Ronda Rousey. In light of this, Chris has tweeted an indication that she plans on fighting at bantamweight when her suspension is up.
Not only are women a little more likely to appear in the UFC with the Rousey vs Tate fight opening the eyes of a lot of people on the potential marketability of female fights, but Invicta FC have come into being which gives females a whole new avenue to compete. So while it looks possible that we’ll see a bantamweight Chris Cyborg, that isn’t the only change we’ll see when she returns to MMA: she will be fighting under the name of Christiane Venancio and not the surname Santos we are used to. There is still no chance of me flying across the English Channel with a jet-powered fixed wing craft unfortunately.