For those of you who follow MMA, you probably already know who she is. But if you don’t know, you should, because this 25 year old Brazilian is the best female fighter on the planet. She is currently the Strikeforce Women’s 145 lb Champion and is the #1-ranked 145-pound female fighter according to the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings.
Always an elite athlete, she previously competed as a nationally ranked handball player in Brazil. But then she was discovered by Rudimar Fedrigo, owner and head trainer of the Chute Boxe Academy. Chute Boxe is the famous Brazilian fight gym that launched the careers of other famous Brazilian fighters, including Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, Anderson Silva, and more, including fellow Strikeforce fighter Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.
Evangelista met Cris at the Chute Boxe Academy and later married her, sharing his nickname with her as well as a wealth of experience. She turned Pro as an MMA fighter at the age of 19 and has racked up 10 straight wins for a record of 10-1. She first came on the mainstream MMA radar when she made her United States MMA debut on July 26, 2008 against Shayna Baszler, a protégé of MMA heavyweight Josh Barnett. Cris won the fight in the second round, TKO’ing Baszler in the second round.
Cris then went on to make a huge statement to the MMA world when she TKO’d the popular Gina Carano in the first round on August 15, 2009 to capture the Strikeforce Women’s World Featherwight Title. It was also a significant moment in sports history, since it was the first time a major promotion had featured a main event between women.
She then defended her title against Dutch submission specialist Marloes Coenen at Strikeforce on January 30, 2010, winning the fight via TKO at 3:40 of round 3.
On June 26 in San Jose, CA, she defended her Strikeforce title for the second time. The results were predictable. She destroyed her opponent Jan Finney, dishing out one of the worst beatings in MMA history before the fight was mercifully ended with a TKO in the 2nd round.
Besides her incredible striking, Cris is also an excellent grappler. She recently competed in the ADCC, the highest level submission grappling tournament in the world. So whether you are on your feet or on your back, once you step in that cage, you are in serious trouble either way.
Cris Santos now calls San Diego home, where she lives with her husband Evangelista in Pacific Beach. She also trains out of The Arena, the San Diego MMA gym who helped prepare her for her last two title fights.
So if you live in San Diego and happen to see her, make sure to say hi. Because as fierce as she is in the cage, she is the exact opposite outside of it, being extremely nice and friendly. Just don’t forget she is the baddest woman on the planet.
For more info on Cris, go to www.criscyborg.com