But, as of late, news of a possible December match-up for Cyborg has been confirmed. Mrs. Santos will be paired with Hiroko Yamanaka for the December 17 "Masvidal vs. Melendez" event.
Cris Santos is the Mike Tyson of WMMA, and finding a Buster Douglas for the female champion has proved a great challenge. Can Yamanaka prove herself a worthy opponent for Strikeforce's biggest toughest MMA fighter?
If my opinion holds any weight, the answer to that question is no. While Yamanaka holds the second slot behind Santos in the WMMA 145 lb. rankings, her place on the world roster is based heavily on record, as she is unbeaten in her last eight outings. The two fighters do have one special opponent in common, though -- Hitomi Akano. Cyborg defeated Akano via TKO in her 2009 Strikeforce debut, while Yamanaka has traded one win and one loss to Akano. The one true advantage that Yamanaka has over Santos is height and reach. Yamanaka stands at a towering 5' 11", compared to Santos who is 5' 8". If Yamanaka can manage to keep Cyborg at bay, she might have a fighter's chance, but we must also consider that it will also be her first time fighting outside of Japan and she probably will not be used to fighting in a cage.
If anything, this bout maintains Strikeforce's sporadic recruitment of Japanese talent. At the very least, this bout should be very interesting.
In the meantime, here's some video of Hitomi Akano vs. Hiroko Yamanaka in their second meeting. Akano won their first fight in 2008 with an armbar submission. This fight ended in a split decision going to Yamanaka.
On a completely off note, how about bringing the undefeated Rin Nakai (10-0-1) to Strikeforce to challenge Cyborg? Anyways... Hitomi Akano vs. Hiroko Yamanaka II is served...