Home: MMA Women: Cris Cyborg


cris cyborg

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, commonly known as Cris Cyborg, came on the MMA scene like a storm.

The Brazilian live wire wasted no time in earning the reputation as being the most dominant and ferocious female fighter in the sport.

Here is her story...through victory and defeat both in and out of the ring.


Born on July 9, 1985 in Brazil, Cris Cyborg is a Black Belt in Muay Thai and holds a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Cyborg has been likened to UFC Light Heavyweight Wanderlei Silva who is also Brazilian and is considered one of the best fighters of all times and is notorious for super strong strikes and punches and is a master in Muay Thai as well.

Santos is called "Cyborg" because of her husband, MMA fighter Evangelista Santos who is nicknamed "Cyborg". The two separated in December 2011.

Cris has always been very athletic. She loves sports and while growing up, competed in many different events and excelled in every sport she played. It was at a high school handball championship that a parent attending the game took note of her athletic abilities and offered her a free Muay Thai class at the well known Chute Boxe gym. Cyborg accepted.

A standout at the gym, everyone stood up and took note when only four months after coming to the class, she had her first MMM match.

Cyborg was a hard and fast fighter. She became known for her brutal Knock Outs and after her first few initial matches, none of the girls in Brazil would fight her.

To expand her horizons...and to find someone to fight, Cris began competing in Jui Jitsu, Muay Thai and Wrestling too. She just kept winning.


Finally, Cyborg found some girls who would fight her. She joined on with EliteXC. In her first professional fight, she went up against Shayna Baszler, aka the Queen of Spades, on July 26, 2008, in a bout called EliteXC: Unfinished Business.

Cyborg fought like she had something to prove and that is exactly what she did. The aggressive Cyborg kept Baszler grounded through much of the first round except for a brief time that Baszler had a strong hold on her leg which she finally got free of.

By the second round Cyborg was wound up tight and Baszler was wearing down. The Muay Thai machine gave her fans what they wanted and layed into the despairing but determined Queen of Spades.

Cyborg did such a job on her opponent, she prematurely thought the fight was over and when she found out that it wasn't, went back into the ring and finished off the job, winning the bout by TKO.


The fight would serve to move Cyborg closer to her goal...to fight and defeat actress, model and MMA guru, the undefeated Gina Carano.

cris cyborg
Cris faced Yoko Takahashi on October 4, 2008 at EliteXC: Heat.

Yoko, Japan's first female MMA fighter also a kickboxer and former boxer and professional wrestler, promised to be a tough one.

But Yoko wasn't tough enough for Cyborg who lit up the ring with her strong Muay Thai skills, punching and striking her way to the finish. Cris won the fight by unanimous decision in the third round.

She was then set to fight Dutch submission specialist Marloes Coenen that February but instead, hoping to increase her chances to fight Gina Carano, "Cyborg" Santos signed on with Strikeforce.


On April 11, 2009, Santos went up against Japanese fighter Hitomi Akona for her first Strikeforce fight in a Showtime event. Though 5.5 pounds over weight, she managed to rule the ring with her punches which ultimately ended victorious with a TKO in the third round.

And she didn't stop there! Her real debut was against Gina Carano in a much anticipated fight for Strikeforce on August 15, 2009.

It was the first female main event with a major promotion and it is estimated 576,000 viewers tuned in. By this time it was evident that Cyborg had a way with the crowd no matter which side they were on.

In a very energetic fight, the two fought their hearts out taking turns displaying their exceptional athletic skills in a bout of power versus technique. As the going got tough, Cyborg continued to gain momentum and Carano...didn't.

Five years of training went into the moves Cris Cyborg pulled off against the tough and skilled Carano. Just when it seemed Carano would do something, Cyborg would once again dominate the fight which ended with an overwhelmed and outfought Carano. Cyborg won by TKO four minutes and fifty-nine seconds into the first round when the fight was stopped right on the bell.

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos was an overnight sensation and the first Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Champion ever..

After the fight, Cris hugged the woman she had set her sights on beating for so long. In an emotional interview following the event, she said that it was an honor to fight Carano and declared complete respect for her.

The next fight had a new goal. No longer on a quest to defeat Carano, Cyborg would set her sights on defending her new found title.

Submission artist Marloes Coenen would be her contender and on January 30, 2010 the two went at it.

At first, the two traded punches and appeared to be pretty evenly matched although Coenen stood a good inch taller than Santos. But as the spit fire Muay Thai expert layed into Coenen, she began to break down. Her only hope was to take it to the ground but once that happened, it was too little too late.

Eventually laying on her "ground and pound", Cyborg won the fight via TKO at 3:40 of the third round and successfully defending her Champion status. In a post fight interview, Santos stated that Coenen was her toughest opponent to date.

American Jan Finney made her debut on the Stikeforce scene at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum in June of 2010. She was greeted by Cris Santos.

With four knock downs in the first round, Cyborg dominated the fight although Finney amazingly withstood some atrocious beatings which made honorable mention for the tenacity Finney displayed to hang in against Cybrog who the announcers called the "toughest woman on the planet". Cyborg won by way of Knock Out in the second round.

On December 17, 2011 it took all of sixteen seconds for the Muay Thai hurricane to blow away Japanese fighter Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal.


It would seem that Cristiane Santos was at the top of her game. But...things are not always the way they seem.

On January 6, 2012, the world renoun Cyborg, noteably the best female fighter in MMA, tested positive for steroids, specifically stanozolol, an anabolic steroid.

Stanozolol is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to lose fat while retaining lean body mass but is prohibited from use in sports competition. Easily detectable, the drug is sure to show up in testing for up to ten days after use.

Although Cris defended that the stanzolol was innocently taken in an unnamed "dietary supplement", her argument was rejected.

As a result, Cyborgs's title was stripped. The win over Hiroko Yamanaka was overturned to a "no contest", her license was suspended for a year and she was subsequently fine $2,500. The Champ went from fame to shame all in the drop of a bucket, literally!


Now that her one year suspension is nearing the end, it is widely speculated that Cyborg will fight Ronda Rousey. In a recent interview, the fallen fighter confirmed that she WILL fight Rousey...one day. She said that nothing is confirmed and there is no date set but that she will fight Rousey who she referred to as a "big mouth".

Cyborg lives in San Diego where she trains and teaches at The Arena. She is a member of the Chute Boxe Academy team along with such MMA greats as Wanderlei Silva, Fabricio Werdum, Mauricio Rua and Murilo Rua. It has been said that she is their most marketable fighter.

Cris Cyborg has indeed seen the best of times and the worst of times in her MMA career. Will she get a chance to pick up where she left off? And if she does, will she continue to live up to her reputation as the best female fighter in the world?

Of course all that remains to be seen but if her aggressiveness and determination in and out of the ring have anything to do with it, we can most likely expect that the best is yet to come.



Hitman is one of Cris' favorite brands as seen on her shorts in the photo. She even wore a Hitman Fight Gear bikini top and bottom for her weigh-in before her fight with Marloes Coenen. Full Tilt Poker and Tapout are other brands she wears. Cyborg is part of Team MagnaFlow and is a spokesperson for MagnaFlows Performance Exhaust products.

Revgear is a proud sponsor for Cyborg. Watch as the Brazilian fireball demonstrates Revgear Sentinel Gel Boxing Gloves.

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