Hours after Hitomi Akano
pulled out of a fight with Cristiane "Cris Cyborg
" Santos, Strikeforce convinced the Japanese fighter to take on the much bigger Brazilian
The Akano-Cyborg fight was announced weeks ago as one of the televised fights on Saturday night's Showtime card, but Cyborg weighed in Friday at 152 pounds, a ridiculous seven pounds over the 145-pound limit in the fighters' contract. Akano, who weighed in at 143.5, responded to that by pulling out of the fight.
But Strikeforce officials confirmed to me early this morning that the fight is on after all. Apparently Strikeforce made it worth Akano's while to get into the cage. The question, however, is whether it's a good idea for Akano to get into the cage. Weight classes exist in MMA for a reason. It's unsafe and unfair to ask a fighter to take on a significantly larger opponent.
I'll be watching this fight with interest. I hope I don't see Akano get knocked out and injured by the hard-hitting Cyborg.