Cris Cyborg is no longer the champion of the Strikeforce women's 145-pound division. And there may not even be a Strikeforce women's 145-pound division.
UFC President Dana White confirmed on ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas on Friday night that Cyborg has been stripped of her title because she tested positive for steroids following her most recent fight, a 16-second knockout of Hiroko Yamanaka. And there may not be any more fights in the 145-pound weight class because Cyborg was the 145-pound weight class.
"We were going to hold that division and just do fights with 'Cyborg' whenever there was a new contender," White said, via USA Today. "She's getting stripped of the title. I don't know. We'll see what happens."
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker also issued a statement on the situation.
"Strikeforce has not seen the test results regarding Ms. Santos," Coker said. "However, we have a consistent and strong stance against any use of performance-enhancing drugs. We also have a long history of supporting effective drug testing of athletes by authorized regulatory bodies. Therefore, we will closely monitor the matter and will work with the California State Athletic Commission regarding any information we may be asked to provide. We also recognize that Ms. Santos has administrative process rights under California law and we hope that she is not prejudged before she has the opportunity to exercise such rights."
In the past, when champions have been suspended for positive drug tests, the division carried on without them, usually with a title fight between two top contenders while the previous champion sat out. But the Strikeforce women's 145-pound weight class is fundamentally different. Cyborg dominates her entire weight class in a way that no other champion, male or female, does. There just aren't enough good 145-pound women on the Strikeforce roster for the division to keep going without her.
And so Cyborg's drug test has cost her the belt. And no one else may ever get the belt.
Dana White: Cris Cyborg Stripped of Title, Future of Division in Question