Randy Couture Proud of Protege Gina Carano

Written by Tom Ngo
August 20th, 2009

UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture was in Gina Carano’s corner this past Saturday as she faced the toughest opponent of her career at “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg.” Although her supermodel-face didn’t leave the cage the same way it entered, Couture is still proud of the work his protege put in despite the disappointing loss.

“I think she had some opportunities to win,” the UFC Hall of Famer said on Carano’s behalf. “It was an amazing five minutes. They made a lot of transitions, a lot of positions, and I think Gina caught Cyborg with some shots that got her attention, and obviously Gina got overwhelmed on a couple of occasions, but I think overall, she did some great things.

“This is a new experience for her, and it’s an important one, and I expect she’s going to come out the other side a stronger and better athlete for what she’s going through right now.”

Carano entered the highly anticipated title fight against Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos as a 2-to-1 underdog, so it wasn’t groundbreaking news that she didn’t take the belt back to Vegas with her. However, it was surprising to most that she put up legit resistance, even landing in top position two times during their cat fight.

“The gameplan was to use her combinations and her footwork,” said Couture of his strategy for Carano. “Stick and move and try to make Cyborg keep up with her and find her. Obviously, they ended up in a couple of firefights that she really didn’t need to be in, but it’s hard when somebody hits you, not to stand and try to hit them back. It’s understandable.”

Carano definitely got herself in situations that she should have avoided, however she fought valiantly against the cream of the crop when it comes to women’s mixed martial arts.

Couture said he expects Carano back sooner rather than later, so that’s good news. But most importantly Randy, how’s that pretty face looking?

“She’s fine, no injuries,” said Couture of Carano, whose record now drops to 7-1. “A little scuffed up, but not bad. I think she takes a week or so to recover, let the dust settle, and get together and figure out what her next move is. Who her next fight’s gonna be, when her next fight’s gonna be, and when she’s gonna get back into the training cycle.”

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