Invicta Fighting Championships officials announced Friday that Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos has signed a multi-fight deal and will debut for the all-female promotion on April 5.
Santos meets Ediane Gomes at Invicta FC 5, which takes place at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. The winner of the bout will square off with former Strikeforce bantamweight queen Marloes Coenen later this year at Invicta FC 6, according to the official release.
“I am excited to finally get back in the cage and to have the opportunity to fight for Invicta Fighting Championships, which has shown a tremendous amount of commitment to furthering the growth of women’s MMA,” said Cyborg. “I will be ready on April 5 for Ediane, and I plan to dominate my competition as I’ve done in the past.”
Santos, 27, has not competed since knocking out Hiroko Yamanaka in December 2011 -- a result that was later changed to a no-contest after “Cyborg” tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol. The Brazilian was subsequently stripped of her Strikeforce featherweight title and handed a one-year suspension by the California State Athletic Commission.
Though a bout with current UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was highly anticipated, Santos asserted that it would not be medically safe for her to cut down to 135 pounds to fight for that title. Last week, Santos’ manager, Tito Ortiz, stated that he had asked for Santos’ Zuffa release.
Gomes, meanwhile, was originally expected to face Julia Budd at Invicta FC 5, but Budd will now instead face Australian talent Fiona Muxlow. A 12-fight pro, Gomes rides a four-fight winning streak heading into her clash with “Cyborg.” Like Santos, the 32-year-old was last seen competing against Yamanaka, as Gomes earned a unanimous decision over “Cat’s Eye” on Jan. 5 at Invicta FC 4.