Despite a late opponent change, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will still compete at Invicta Fighting Championships 5 on April 5th in Kansas City, Missouri. The former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion is now scheduled to face off against Australian grappler Fiona Muxlow on the main card.
Invicta FC officials announced the bout late on Tuesday evening. Muxlow, who was first set to face Julia “The Jewel” Budd, steps in to face Santos after Ediane “India” Gomes withdrew due to a rib injury in training. Budd is expected to remain on the card and she now waits for a new opponent.
Santos (10-1-0, 1 ND) made headlines when she signed with Invicta FC this past month after requesting to be released from her Zuffa contract. The feared striker has not fought since a December 17, 2011 Strikeforce title fight when she stopped Japanese challenger Hiroko “Cat’s Eye” Yamanaka in just 16 seconds. The result of the fight was overturned and Santos was subsequently suspended for one year by the California State Athletic Commission when she tested positive for a stanozolol metabolite. She sat out all of 2012 and now has her sights set on an Invicta FC rematch against Marloes “Rumina” Coenen, but must first get past Muxlow next month.
Muxlow (6-2-0) was not originally a part of the Invicta FC 5 card, but the talented grappler stepped in to face Budd after Budd’s original opponent, Gomes, was matched up against Santos instead. She now meets her toughest opponent to date, in Santos, and does so on just over two weeks’ notice. Muxlow opened her career with three submission victories in one night to become Princesses of Pain champion and she remains one of Australia’s most successful female fighters. Her three-fight winning streak was halted on New Year’s Eve when she was submitted by the aforementioned Coenen in a short-notice fight at DREAM.18 in Japan.
Invicta Fighting Championships 5 takes place on April 5th at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. The event is headlined by a pair of championship fights.
Invicta Fighting Championships 5 Fight Card (subject to change):
– Jessica Penne vs Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson [Invicta FC Atomweight Championship]
– Vanessa Porto vs Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak [Invicta FC Flyweight Championship]
– Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs Fiona Muxlow
– Sarah Kaufman vs Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith
– Zoila “The Warrior Princess” Gurgel vs Jennifer Maia
– Kaitlin Young vs Lauren Taylor
– Julia “The Jewel” Budd vs TBD
– Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt vs Jasminka Cive
– “Sassy” Cassie Rodish vs Simona Soukupova
– Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke vs Miriam Nakamoto
– Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpää vs Juliana “Ju Thai” Carneiro Lima
– Veronica “The Heartbreaker” Rothenhausler vs “Miss” Mollie Estes
– Alex Chambers vs Jodie Esquibel
– “Thug” Rose Namajunas vs Kathina “Kill Switch” Catron
(Photo Credit: InvictaFC.com)