MMA is starting to win its uphill battle to be accepted as a mainstream sport in the United States, however, women’s MMA is trailing well behind their male counterparts. Women’s sports, in general, are a tough sell in the domestic market, and women’s MMA is certainly no different. There are very few things about women’s MMA that interest fans, however, Gina Carano is definitely one of them, if not the only thing. Her stunning good looks have made her the face of women’s MMA, but don’t tell Carano that.
“I am a recognized female in the sport, but I don’t think that I am the face of women’s MMA,” Carano said. “It’s just a label. I’m Gina Carano. You can label me that.”
What most MMA fans label her is “hot.” However, if you are able to look past the gorgeous face, athletic body and charming personality, you will see that she is a damn good MMA fighter. It just so happens that her skills are wrapped up in such an appealing package.
“It’s been unbelievable to be at the forefront of women’s MMA,” Carano admitted. “Raising the recognition of the sport has been a blessing. The fan support has been amazing. I’m standing up here because of the fans.”
Carano will be taking her perfect 6-0 MMA record into this Saturday’s EliteXC/CBS event against her toughest opponent to date in Kelly Kobald (16-2-1).
“I’ve got one of the toughest fights of my life coming up,” Carano said. “I’m coming ready to fight. I’m going to give it my all. Kelly is well-rounded and she is coming to fight. I’m glad I’m going to be tested.”
True, that there isn’t much depth in women’s MMA, but there is one mega fight out there, and that would be between Carano and Christine “Cyborg” Santos (5-1), who will also be fighting on Saturday’s card. Both fighters know that they need to win in order to make that fight happen, although Carano is not looking past Kobald.
“This training camp has been going very well,” Carano said. “I have a lot of knowledge of what I’ve been doing right and what I’ve been doing wrong. My game plan is to fight a good fight. I’ve been studying her style, how she reacts under pressure and when she gets hit. But nothing compares to when you get in there and the fight starts.”
The Xtreme Couture trained fighter may not like that her face is synonymous with women’s MMA, but it is. The good news for her is that it has opened up many other doors outside of MMA for her, including her role as “Crush” on American Gladiators. So rest assured, we will be seeing a lot more of Carano, inside and outside of the cage. Thank God for that.