Posted Aug 12, 2009 3:00AM By
Michael David Smith
(RSS feed) Of Fan House
In an interview with
FanHouse, Carano also discussed her strategy for
fighting Cyborg, her training methods and her life
outside the cage. The full interview is below.
Michael David Smith: If you beat Cris Cyborg,
does that make you the toughest woman in the world?
Gina Carano: (Laughs) I'm sure there are a lot of tough
women out there, if I beat her I'll certainly feel good
about where I stand.
Did you always know
you were a tough girl growing up, or is toughness
something you've discovered through martial arts that
you didn't always know you had?
Oh, I always
knew. I was strong, a tough little girl, and I think
that's where it started. I wasn't like the other little
girls around me. I was stronger and able to beat up
little boys around me. Being a fighter started when I
was a little girl.
But you couldn't have
known you'd make a career out of it.
thought about it as something I could do. I got some
scholarship opportunities to play basketball at some
small Christian schools in California, but I wasn't able
to because my sister was going through a tough time with
drugs and I decided to stay closer to home. So one door
closed, but another opened when I was 21 when I started
Muay Thai, and it just happened at the right time for
From a technical perspective, what do
you have to do to win this fight against Cyborg?
I need to be sharp and be on my game and fight my fight,
and not get overwhelmed by her aggressive style. Keep my
head about me. It's going to be an extremely tough
fight. Cyborg is definitely my toughest opponent to date
so I'll do what I can to be as sharp and powerful as I
can that night.
'Babalu' Sobral | Gilbert Melendez | Gegard Mousasi
Jay Hieron | Jesse Taylor | Mike Kyle | Fabricio Werdum
What would you describe as her
strengths as a fighter?
She's a complete,
well-rounded fighter, she's good on the ground and
she's good standing. She has a very aggressive,
push-the-pace approach to fighting. She's a great
fighter, definitely one of the best in the world, and
that's what's going to make it so tough.
What will be going through your mind as you're
walking to the cage Saturday night? Fear? Nervousness?
Focus. Focus on what I'm
going to be doing and what my plan is and who I am,
and hopefully when I step into the cage I'm confident,
focused and ready to go.
thought have you given to the larger significance of
this fight to Strikeforce, to Showtime, and to the
sport of MMA itself?
I think I've done a
good job of managing the pressure and not allowing
myself to think about how big a deal this is. I know
later on when I look back on this it's going to blow
my mind. But right now I have to focus on this as just
another fight. Cyborg puts her pants on the same way I
do, and she's just another fighter. I hope this opens
doors and breaks down barriers, but right now in my
mind it has to be just another fight.
years ago you fought Leiticia Pestova in the first
sanctioned women's MMA fight in Nevada. Are
you surprised how far MMA, and especially MMA for
women, has come since then?
by the part I've played in that. I never thought I
would personally be that involved. There have been
female fighters in gyms through the years who were
just looking for an opportunity, and I'm not surprised
that we're here at this point because there have been
so many fighters looking for that opportunity, but I
am surprised by the part I played in it.
have played a huge part in it, and you've become
famous for it, including being profiled in The New
York Times What was that like for you?
appreciated that article. I thought that was one of
the best-written articles on me in my career, and that
it was in the New York Times was that much cooler. I
thought it really got me and understood me. That feels
This is something I asked Scott Coker,
and I want to ask you as well. There have been a few
times in American sports where the most popular female
athlete was a bigger star than the most popular male
athlete. I can think of Mia Hamm in soccer a few years
ago, probably the Williams sisters right now are
bigger stars in the U.S. than any male tennis player.
Is it possible that you can be the biggest star, male
or female, in MMA?
Oh, I don't know about that. I'm
in this sport with a lot of wonderful athletes and
fighters I respect, and I don't look at myself as
being the biggest star. I just want to have a positive
impact on people in positive ways, regardless of
whether I'm the biggest star or not.
you like being a celebrity?
I do. I think
I'm probably the most average celebrity there is. I'm
very approachable. Anybody can talk to me. I like
being able to be real with people, talking to people
and hopefully affecting their lives. That's the
coolest part of being a celebrity.
are the drawbacks of fame?
The demands of
being out there. Some days I just don't feel like
talking to people and doing interviews. Some days I
don't feel like talking to anyone. And I think
sometimes people see you as not a human, like you're
just an ideal or something. Sometimes I have a
conversation with someone who doesn't seem to realize
that I'm just an ordinary person like they are.
Have you thought about how many girls will
be watching you, and what you hope they'll get out of
seeing this big fight between two women as the main
event on a card made up otherwise of male fighters?
I think it'll be inspirational. Girls will see me and
Cris Cyborg doing something that we've trained for and
they'll see us putting it all on the line that night
against each other, seeing the intensity that two
women can bring to athletics.
types of things do you like to do outside MMA?
I like to travel. If I could do anything right now,
I'd just travel, to Spain or France or Italy, and see
the world. I've traveled a little, I traveled to
Thailand and studied Muay Thai, and when you travel
you see that it's a big world and it's also a small
What do you like to do to relax
outside the cage?
I love listening to
music. When I use my computer it's to look up bands
and find new music. I realized recently that all the
music I listen to has a lot of intense screaming in
it. And I was like, "Whoa, I didn't realize I was that
girl." But I guess I like harder music. But I like
other music too. Something we don't really have here
in Vegas is a jazz bar. I'd love that. And I love
movies. I'll put on a movie on DVD and watch it over
and over again. I've been watching a lot of romantic
comedies lately. I think laughing is the best type of
recovery, so when I'm trying to recover and heal my
body, that's good.
Who are your closest
friends in MMA?
I have my gym full of guys
who I consider like brothers. Randy Couture is my
coach, and then guys like Tyson Griffin, Mike Pyle,
Jay Hieron, Martin Kampmann, just guys that I've
gotten to know through going to the gym every day.
Those people are all at Xtreme Couture. How
important have Randy and your coaches been to your
They've been there through everything. They
make me laugh. They stick with me in everything from
weight cutting to getting on the scale naked to all
the media stuff I've been through.
you offer me your prediction for Saturday night?
No, I don't make predictions. I'm just hoping for a
really amazing fight. And I know whoever holds the
belt at the end of the night is going to be a great
Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg takes
place Saturday night on Showtime. For live updates,
check MMA FanHouse or follow my MMA Twitter page.
Tags: Cris+Cyborg, Gina+Carano
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