Article By Press Release
Women's Showdown Precedes Shamrock vs. Diaz Main Event and Thomson vs.Melendez II; Live on SHOWTIME(r) (10 p.m. ET/PT) From the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif
New York (March 4, 2009) - Rival forces from different worlds will meet when women's mixed martial arts (MMA) sensation, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (6-1) of Brazil collides with "Smack Girl" Champion Hitomi
"Girlfight Monster" Akano (14-5) of Japan, in a 145-pound showdown, live on Saturday, April 11, part of Strikeforce's Shamrock vs. Diaz stacked fight card, and airing live on SHOWTIME from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
"I know Hitomi Akano is the best Japanese female fighter today, but I am prepared for any situation and will always be looking for the knockout," said the 23-year-old Cyborg, who will make her Strikeforce debut on April 11.
A member of the vaunted Brazilian fight Team Chute Boxe, Cyborg's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills are formidable. But it is her Muay Thai striking that is her passion and which has been most instrumental in her six career wins. She has not lost a fight since her debut in 2005.
"My coaches and I will study the style of Akano. My master Rafael Cordeiro is one who has helped me grow up in MMA. He is the best coach in the world."
Last month, Cyborg joined her husband and Chute Boxe teammate, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, as a member of the Strikeforce roster.Santos is slated to make his Strikeforce debut later this year.
Akano, a submission specialist and former standout on Japan's national judo team, has never been finished by an opponent in 19 career fights. She is looking to notch her fourth consecutive victory.
"I am really looking forward to this fight because, compared to mine, Cyborg has got almost a completely opposite style. She is a striker and I am a grappler," said Akano, whose start on April 11 will be her second
in the United States. "Regardless of where I fight, I believe in myself and my ability to fight my own game."
During her run in Smack Girl, a Japan-based promotion dedicated exclusively to staging women's MMA bouts, she ran to an unmatched 9-0 record before suffering her first loss by way of a narrow split decision on November 3, 2007.
In addition to her world-class combat, Akano boasts songwriting as a talent. The 34-year-old typically uses "Between The Sky," a song she composed, as her cage entrance music.