Gina Carano. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
Gina Carano isn’t officially set to return to action just yet. Despite Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker’s wishes, he has not yet been able to ink MMA’s biggest female star to a contract. What’s the hold up? Reported interest in Carano by Zuffa.
The UFC isn’t expected to promote any fights involving women anytime in the near future, but the possibility is real, and UFC President Dana White has said so. More feasible seems the option of the WEC adding a women’s division following the folding of it’s light heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight divisions over the past six months.
So if the choice had to be made, where would Gina go? It seems she’s leaning towards Zuffa:
Let’s just say that you were a real free agent and not tied to any organization. Do you think you would have decided to sign with Zuffa instead of Strikeforce?
I think that I would probably pick Zuffa because that’s the big show, you know? To be a part of that would be amazing, but you know, here comes Strikeforce and they’ve got this CBS and Showtime deal and they are working their way up into being good competition. They have been respectful and haven’t tried to push it too far in terms of being competitors with the UFC. They’ve built their company on some good roots and now they are ready to branch out on Showtime and CBS. But as of right now, the UFC is the big show, and for a female, it would be an amazing opportunity.
Gina also mentions in the interview with Ariel that interest by White and company isn’t the only thing holding up talks with Strikeforce. Should she sign with the UFC or WEC, a potential court battle with Coker and Strikeforce could ensue due to her EliteXC contract being owned by them. On top of that, the chances of a long-awaited fight with Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos would continue to dwindle.
Tito Ortiz. Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.
The unspoken dislike between former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and Renato “Babalu” Sobral may have been turned up a notch on Saturday night after the two exchanged words in the crowd during Strikeforce’s “Shamrock vs. Diaz” event in San Jose.
During an intermission before the televised portion of the card was to air on Showtime, Sobral approached Ortiz and the two began exchanging words, possibly concerning a proposed fight between the two that was once expected to take place under the Affliction banner last year but never came to fruition.
Once “Babalu” became visibly heated and didn’t seem to be content to leave Ortiz alone, fellow veteran fighter Joe Riggs came over and separated the two. Sherdog.com has a brief clip of the incident.
Gina Carano. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
MARKHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA – Known to many as the “face of female mixed martial arts,” Gina “Conviction” Carano has parlayed great ability in the cage and a glamorous look out of it to burst onto the MMA scene and in many ways transcended the sport. Now, the unbeaten star has announced she will be working with Round 5, the leader in collectible MMA figurines, to produce a figure that reflects her stardom. Carano joins an All-Star lineup of 13 MMA standouts who currently work with Round 5.
Carano, 26, gained notice for her success in the cage and has earned additional attention with appearances as “Crush“ on the NBC television series “American Gladiators“ and by serving as a mentor/coach on the Oxygen network series “Fight Girls.“ She is also in many ways a pioneer in women’s MMA, competing in the first-ever sanctioned bout in Nevada in September 2006 and in the first female bout (boxing or MMA) on the Showtime Network in February 2007. She currently owns a 7-0 record in MMA competition.
“Gina Carano has emerged as a star, not just in MMA but in the mainstream,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 President. “As the first female in the Round 5 line, we expect her figurine to be popular among the sport’s enthusiasts as well as those who have seen her on TV or in magazines.”
Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.
It’s been a busy past few weeks for Scott Coker and his fledgling Strikeforce brand. Once thought to have been just a small success story in the San Jose area, the promotion seems to be on the fast track to becoming the legitimate number-two MMA organization in North America after securing a deal to purchase a limited number of assets from ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC.
Under the terms of the deal announced this afternoon, Strikeforce will acquire a select number of fighters contracts, along with the ability to sign additional fighters to Strikeforce deals, as well as a video library of past EliteXC and ShoXC events.
“This is a tremendous development that will bolster the Strikeforce roster and allow us to produce even more competitive matchups between top fighters,” Coker said in a press release today. “Some of these athletes have been on the sidelines for a while now and are eagerly waiting to return to competition. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to do so in the next few months.”
From ESPN, here’s this week’s installment of MMA Live with Jon Anik, Kenny Florian, Franklin McNeil, and special guest Gina Carano.
Photo: Tom Casino/EliteXC/CBS
Can’t really call it Kimbo-Shamrock if that didn’t happen, can we? After some technical difficulties preventing live blogging, it’s time to post the results.
Seth Petruzelli def. Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson - TKO (Strikes)
Jake Shields def. Paul Daley - Submission (Armbar)
Andrei Arlovski def. Roy Nelson - KO
Gina Carano def. Kelly Kobold - Unanimous Decision
Benji Radach def. Murilo “Ninja” Rua - TKO (Strikes)
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos def. Yoko Takahashi - Unanimous Decision
Connor Heun def. Edson Berto - TKO (Strikes)
Mikey Gomez def. Lorenzo Borgomeo - Submission (Armbar)
Bryan Hamade def. David Gomez - Submission (Guillotine)
Nicolae Cury def. Jorge Bouchat - Submission (Reverse Triangle)
Yup, you read that right, Kimbo was TKO’d. Not only that, but he was TKO’d in 14 seconds. Shocker? A little, but not completely, despite the popularity difference.
EliteXC announced a sellout, and ratings may have been good for the event, but with Kimbo dispatched so quickly, EliteXC’s possible success tonight will be overshadowed by their biggest draw falling so fast.
The weigh-in’s for tonight’s CBS broadcast of EliteXC Heat: Slice vs Shamrock took place yesterday and were not without their fair share of controversy. Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock got into a physical pushing match while Jake Shields and Paul Daley also got very confrontational and had to be separated multiple times including behind the scenes. And Gina Carano made weight. But not without having to fully disrobe in front of the crowd covered by a few flimsy towels. Here are the weights.
Main Card on CBS
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson - 234.5 vs. Ken Shamrock - 206.5
Jake Shields - 169.75 vs. Paul Daley - 170
Andrei Arlovski - 240.75 vs. Roy Nelson - 262.75
Gina Carano - 141 vs. Kelly Kobold - 141
Benji Radach - 185 vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua - 185
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos - 148.5 vs. Yoko Takahashi - 148.5
Edson Berto - 157.75 vs. Connor Heun - 160.75
Seth Petruzelli - 205.5 vs. Aaron Rosa - 204.75
Lorenzo Borgomeo - 170.25 vs. Mikey Gomez - 170.25
David Gomez - 138.75 vs. Bryan Hamade - 138.75
Jorge Bouchat - 159.5 vs. Nicolae Cury - 161.25
I have some opinions on this after the jump.
In the latest video from RawVegas, fast-rising female star Gina Carano discusses her fight against Kelly Kobold-Gavin at EliteXC’s “Heat” event this Saturday night on CBS as well as the popularity and skill-set of Kimbo Slice.
Kimbo Slice. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
EliteXC has officially announced the televised main card for the upcoming third edition of “Saturday Night” Fights, which will be broadcast on CBS and will take place at the BankAtlantic Center, in Sunrise, Florida on October 4.
The show’s main event will feature EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson taking on the biggest test of his young career thus far in the form of UFC Hall-of-Famer Ken Shamrock. EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields will defend his title against top British welterweight Paul Daley in the night’s co-main event.
Additional featured bouts include a women’s 140 lb. bout between the ever-popular Gina Carano and female veteran Kelly Kobold-Gavin and a middleweight affair between former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua and UFC and IFL veteran Benji Radach.
Another female bout between Brazilian standout Cris Cyborg and Yoko Takahashi will serve as the show’s swing bout, meaning that it could be featured on the CBS broadcast time-permitting. Also announced for the non-televised undercard was Edson Berto vs. Mike Aina and the participation of UFC veterans Crafton Wallace and Seth Petruzelli.
Gina Carano. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
EliteXC female star Gina Carano will likely take on longtime women’s veteran Kelly Kobold-Gavin at the organization’s third edition of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS, which will take place on October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
The news comes from a report by Mike Chiappetta of NBCSports.com. His source has stated that “the fight has not yet been officially signed but is expected to be announced soon”. Carano’s participation on the card was announced last weekend on EliteXC’s latest show on CBS, along with heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson.
Carano picked up her sixth career win in as many fights at the aforementioned spring show as well, earning a second-round TKO of Kaitlin Young. Carano, who fights out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, has been splitting her time training and fulfilling her duties as ‘Crush’ on the latest edition of NBC’s “American Gladiators. She also owns wins over top-ranked female fighter Tonya Evinger and Rosi Sexton.
After starting off her career with a seventeen-fight unbeaten streak, Kobold-Gavin suffered her first loss at a BodogFight event last July when she was submitted by Tara LaRosa. She has not fought since losing a decision to Julie Kedzie at the BodogFight: Vancouver tapings one year ago. The Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product also owns a win over current EliteXC female fighter Shayna Baszler.
HT: MMA Junkie