Cristiane Santos v Jan Finney - StrikeforceBrazilian slugger Cristiane Santos was apprehensive when initially approached about the possibility of slimming down to compete as a bantamweight, citing concerns about her long-term health. While force at featherweight, the shredded “Cyborg” is currently in a position where she has to make the drop if hoping to dive into the UFC’s pool of 135-pounders or else find other waters to swim in.

To help her make the move, the UFC has reached out to renowned fitness coach Mike Dolce who has a long history of success in helping notoriously large athletes maximize their physique in a healthy way. Though “Cyborg” may be a bit wary of the process, Dolce is excited about the opportunity and truly believes he can help mold Santos into the best female fighter MMA has ever seen.

“She’ll be 135 pounds, it will be the healthiest she’s been her entire career, and it will be the best performance of her entire career or I would not have taken the job,” explained Dolce in an interview with MMAWeekly. “I can’t risk having an athlete underperform as a result of a weight cut. I would never jeopardize an athlete’s health. A lot of athletes come to me and they want me to help them drop a weight class or two, and I’ve turned a lot of huge names down because it’s just not safe, it’s not healthy.”

“At 135 pounds, Cris Cyborg will be the best of her career. She will be the greatest female fighter in the world. She will achieve legendary status at 135 pounds,” he continued. “At 145, she’s too heavy, she’s slower at 145. She’ll be faster at 135, she’ll be more reactive, more flexible, more mobile, and she’ll be stronger. She’ll produce more force per pound of her body weight than she can at 145; I guarantee it.”

Santos has yet to sign a UFC deal meaning Dolce is not working with her yet. However, the details are expected to be hammered out in the near future, setting up “Cyborg” to compete inside the Octagon at some point in 2013.