Gina Carano was the face of women's MMA, both literally and figuratively prior to this past weekend. She'll be able to maintain a large following in regards to fans with the loss, but now there's another star on the horizon. Her name is Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. I'll admit that I thought the best case scenario for women's MMA was for Carano to win against "Cyborg". However, after watching that fight go back and forth and the crowd's response afterwards. I can't help but think Santos will be a star for Strikeforce. She doesn't have the same attributes that Carano has, but she exhibited the "it" factor when the lights came on to perform. I mean there were fans with home made posters with Cyborg's name on them in the crowd. The crowd erupted as Cyborg was carried off from the cage to the locker room by her fight team. I noticed they had to stop a couple of times for fans wanting to hug Santos. Santos has three qualities that will make her a star for Strikeforce:
- The ability to stop her opponents
- Sheer aggressiveness
- Physical appearance
Santos has finished 3 of her 4 opponents under the Strikeforce banner. That's what people want to see. It's the same reason why fans were beginning to warm up to a non-English speaking Anderson Silva before he had two lackluster wins, only to jump back on his bandwagon after he destroyed the beloved Forrest Griffin. If you noticed, as soon as the bell sounded Santos came forward, almost as if she was beginning her stalk of Gina Carano. She always moves forward with that sheer aggression that few females possess. It's almost Mike Tyson like with the way she throws strikes with bad intentions. I know you saw the last bullet and was like physical appearance? Yep, Carano would be considered the more attractive of the two and would be considered more feminine of the two. However, Santos could be marketed just as her nickname implies, she fights like a machine. Her appearance would probably cause most casual fans to put her in the 'bully' category. Which means you will have more and more fans wanting to see her fight so they can witness a mere mortal beat her. I also thought that Santos's inability to speak English would be a problem in regards to marketing her, but you can throw that out of the window. She lets her fighting speak for herself, and she'll be a star for Strikeforce.