Image via Esther Lin/Showtime Sports
After Ronda Rousey defeated Sarah Kaufman in the main event of last week's Strikeforce event, she called out Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos as expected. Cyborg had been shown in the crowd earlier, but they didn't pan to her for reactions during Rousey's speech like they normally would. Most people probably didn't think much of it at the time, but there was actually a reason that Cyborg wasn't shown - she wasn't in her seat. The California State Athletic Commission apparently removed her from there, saying that fighters under suspension can't be at shows. Cyborg explained to Tatame:
"I watched all fights but on the last one, Ronda's, a woman working on the event came to tell me I had to leave because the commission doesn't accept suspended athletes on the shows. My manager talked to the guys at the commission and there's really a law that says that. I was upset for the way they treated me. They could've pulled me on a corner and told me, not in front of the fans. I was taking pictures and they interrupted me, saying I had to go. It was very disrespectful. I believe a champion deserves to be treated with respect. Everyone knows an athlete's life isn't easy, so all fighters deserve respect. When I was in Brazil I watched UFC and there was no problem."
She also said that she did catch the fight anyway, and this is the last time she'll talk about Rousey since the fight isn't happening at 135:
"I watched it from upstairs, standing up. I thought he did a great job fighting, had a good performance. She's a great athlete on her division. This is my last interview on which I'm talking about her. I'm making clear to the fans who want to see this fight that if it's up to me and her it will never happen because I'm not dropping to her weight class and she can't gain few pounds to fight me. So I'm only talking about her again if I sign a contract because then it will be a fight that will actually happen. It doesn't depend on me, it's up to Strikeforce to decide. If they want this fight they will have to come to an agreement so that both of us are happy".
I've never heard of a suspended fighter being removed from an event before, even in California. I could see if they were cornering a fighter and maybe the commission had a problem with a second's license or something, but a fighter just watching the show cageside? Very odd. The CSAC is in major disarray right now though, so there's not much they could do that would surprise me.
UPDATE: Evan Shoman on the UG says it was Zuffa, not the CSAC that made her move. And it was just back to her original seat (HT: Steve4192):
To clear the air on what happened because I was sitting with her and Kim Couture… She was comped tickets in the stands but not on the floor. She was given floor seat tix by (a UG’er) at the time who had extra. She was on the corner seat so anyone on the floor could ask for pics. While taking pics with fans a ZUFFA employee asked her to go to her original seats because where she was sitting was within a certain amount away from the cage that she was prohibited from being in.
She was NOT removed by the CSAC. She was removed by ZUFFA so they wouldn’t reap the shitstorm from the extremely unstable and potentially unpredictable decision making CSAC. This was Zuffa covering their ass like they should have done.