It didn't take long for Cristiane Santos to find a new home following her release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as the former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion has signed a multi-fight contract with Invicta Fighting Championships.
Santos' manager, Tito Ortiz, announced his client's signing with Invicta FC and the subsequent match up on Friday's (Feb. 15, 2013) edition of "Inside MMA" on AXS TV.
Santos (10-1, 1 NC) has not fought since a December 2011 "No Contest" against Hiroko Yamanake under the Strikeforce banner. "Cyborg" had originally won the fight by 16-second technical knockout, but the result was later overruled when the 27-year-old tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. Santos was suspended one year by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and was later stripped of her Strikeforce title.
In her time away from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, Santos has been involved in a heated rivalry with UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. A fight between the two appeared inevitable, but "Cyborg" claimed she could not make the 135-pound weight limit required to fight Rousey.
After a long back and forth with the UFC where she was even offered the services of famed nutritionist Mike Dolce, Santos made it clear she could not fight the weight and therefor was unable to compete in the UFC, which led her to request a release from the world's premier MMA organization.
That wish has been granted and Santos is already moving on the next stage of her career with Invicta FC.
Gomes (10-2) was previously scheduled to fight Julia Budd at Invicta FC 5; however, she was pulled from the match up in favor of the bout with Santos. "India" defeated Yamanaka by unanimous decision in her last outing, marking his fourth consecutive victory.
The 32-year-old has only lost twice in her career, a technical knockout to Amanda Nunes and an armbar to none other than Rousey.
The winner of Santos vs. Gomes will face Marloes Coenen for Invicta FC's 145-pound championship.
Invicta FC 5: "Penne vs. Waterson" goes down April 5, 2013, from Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. Along with Santos and Gomes, names such as Michelle Waterson, Sarah Kaufman, Zoila Gurgel and Kaitlin Young are scheduled to appear on the card.