Explosive female fighter Cristiane Santos will finally make her return to the ring after more than a yearlong layoff due in part to the difficulty in finding her a suitable opponent. However, it appears Strikeforce may have done just that, as Santos will face 12-1 grappler Hiroko Yamanaka who is currently on an eight-fight winning streak.

The December 17 match-up was announced Friday night during the broadcast for Strikeforce Challengers 19. Gilbert Melendez and Gina Carano are also expected to make in-ring appearances on the card.

Carano Poised for Fight in December

The 10-1 Santos hasn’t lost since her professional debut in 2005 while leaving a multitude of badly beaten opponents in her wake. All of her victories in Strikeforce have been the result of rendering an opponent defenseless from strikes including TKOs over Hitomi Akano, Jan Finney, Carano, and Marloes Coenen.

Interestingly enough, Yamanaka’s only loss came via submission meaning “Cyborg” would be the first foe to stop her with strikes if she’s able to do so in December. A Smackgirl and Jewels veteran from Japan, Yamanaka has won eight fights by way of decision with two TKOs and two submissions to her credit as well.


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