After watching the Gina Carano/Cyborg Santos fight, and seeing the electricity in the air afterwards, I said that Cris "Cyborg" Santos could be a star for Strikeforce. Here's a snippet of what I said:
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.
The first thing that pops out to me is that Cyborg Santos can and does speak English. In fact, she did just her very first interview without the aid of a translator. So that's another barrier she's been able to kick down. Of course Herschel Walker is probably the biggest name out of everyone on the card in regards to reaching casual fans, so why not have Cyborg at least accompany him on the media blitz they us for him?
SBN coverage of Strikeforce: Miami
It's been quite a while since the Carano fight and Santos could use a little boost to get her name out there. After all, she is THE only women's champion that Strikeforce has. Why would you not want to market your champion? I wrote earlier this week that women's MMA was a chance for Strikeforce to compete with the UFC, simply because they are offering something that the UFC doesn't right now. There is a market for women's MMA, but that market will never catch on if you don't promote it. Now, if Carano would have beaten Santos, you can bet your bottom dollar that she would have been plastered up everywhere leading up to her next fight.
At the end of the day I'm sure Strikeforce have their reasons for the lack of promoting Santos. However, I think they missed a key opportunity to capitalize on Santos. I do think she could become a star for them if they promoted her. If they would have done decent promotion with her for this card, and say she runs through Coenen on tomorrow night? Well, they could have possibly set her up on the CBS card giving more exposure to her and women's MMA. Or if Coenen beats Santos, then she would have benefited from the promotional efforts and more fans would be aware of her if she were to fight on the next CBS card as the Strikeforce women's 145lb champion. A win/win situation, it's too bad Strikeforce didn't capitalize on this opportunity.