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Girl (won't) fight Monster: Hitomi Akano withdraws from April 11 Strikeforce bout against Cristiane Santos and then agrees to compete (UPDATE)


Hitomi Akano late last night withdrew from her April 11 Strikeforce bout against Cristiane Santos after "Cyborg" failed to make her contracted weight of 145-pounds. However, the Japanese import has since had a change of heart, agreeing to step inside the cage despite giving up several pounds to her overweight counterpart.

Santos originally tipped the scales at a whopping 152 pounds -- seven pounds over the set limit. The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) currently enforces a six-pound rule, which does not allow a fighter to compete who weighs in over six pounds in any division save for heavyweight.

Santos was given until 8 p.m. PT to make the cut to a minimum of 149.5 pounds -- a mark she missed by one pound at the deadline. The CSAC opted to let her fight, so long as both camps were in agreement.

They weren't.

Akano was reportedly very upset that Cyborg was so far off the mark. Strikeforce officials and "Girlfight Monster" representatives apparently stayed up until 2 a.m. local time to hammer out a deal, offering her a "very reasonable" win bonus (whether she won or lost), as well as two guaranteed future fights, to change her mind.

It apparently worked, according to Akano's manager, Shu Hirata, :

""All I can say is that Strikeforce and Mr. Coker offered her something very reasonable and we appreciate his effort as well. Of course as a fighter she always wants to fight but she wanted to get the right conditions to make that happen, that’s all."

This came very close to becoming the second major blow to befall the Strikeforce "Shamrock vs. Diaz" event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Last week, Josh "The Punk" Thomson had to pull out of his lightweight title fight against Gilbert Melendez after breaking his leg in training.

Rodrigo Damm stepped up to replace him, but there will be no such rescue in this case. An undercard bout would have likely taken its place on the televised portion of the card.

For complete weigh-in coverage of Strikeforce: "Shamrock vs. Diaz" click here.

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