LOS ANGELES—Gina Carano, who is perhaps the MMA’s most talented and recognizable women’s fighter, will take a swing at broadcasting as she steps behind the camera to join the ProElite.com internet telecast team for the Friday, June 22 blockbuster event live on SHOWTIME® PPV from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The personable, popular, charming and charismatic EliteXC star will work alongside Todd Keneley and ”$kala,’’ aka Jared Shaw, who will call the action of a terrific undercard streamed live on ProElite.com, a respected, rapidly growing Internet destination for the MMA community.
The undercard features many of today’s top up-and-coming fighters. As many as five bouts will be streamed live at ProElite.com starting at 4:40 p.m. PT/7:40 p.m. ET.
“Gina’s passionate, she’s articulate and she clearly knows the sport,’’ Kelly Perdew, President of ProElite.com, a division of ProElite Inc., said. “She is going to be an exciting announcer. EliteXC always has exciting fights, the best fights out there, and Gina will do a great job as part of the announce team.
“Anybody that has met Gina knows she is great, funny and bright. She will do an excellent job as an announcer for the EliteXC undercard.’’
In the eagerly-awaited PPV main event, Frank Shamrock will battle Phil “The New York Bad Ass” Baroni for the vacant Strikeforce middleweight title.
In a second world title fight on a Strikeforce-EliteXC cage fight card that will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME® PPV (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), Joey “Dream Smasher” Villasenor will collide with an opponent to be announced for the vacant EliteXC middleweight title.
Other scheduled PPV fights include: EliteXC’s Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett vs. Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela, lightweights; Strikeforce’s Cung Le vs. Tony “The Freak” Fryklund, middleweights; and Carter “The Beast” Williams vs. Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello, heavyweights.
A fan and media favorite, Carano has been in heavy demand in and out of the ring and her career has skyrocketed since her thrilling victory over Julie Kedzie in EliteXC’s history-making debut, “Destiny,’’ on Feb. 10, 2007, on SHOWTIME.
The crowd-pleasing Carano mostly dominated the hard-trying Kedzie in the first women’s MMA fight televised by a premium television network, which fans and critics described as one of the most exciting bouts of an action-packed evening.
Carano also recently served as a mentor for ‘Fight Girls,’ a reality show on The Oxygen Network featuring 10 female Muay Thai fighters living in a Las Vegas house. The girls fight each other, with the winners heading to Thailand to face Thai women fighters. The show is a spin-off of a special that Oxygen aired last summer starring Carano, a former World Muay Thai champion.
“If I can’t be in the cage, watching and announcing from the best seat in the house is the next best thing,” the classy Carano said. “I am really looking forward to being on the other side of the cage and performing in a whole new aspect of the sport. This is definitely very exciting.
“It’s an honor for EliteXC to ask me to add my perspective to what will be a really memorable event. But is also will be a definite adventure for me, with the definite emphasis on adventure.’’
Said Keneley, who did the play by play for the Feb. 10 event: “I am really looking forward to working with Gina. I have had the pleasure of watching her compete. I definitely feel she will bring a lot to the team with her first-hand perspective.
“I just hope I don’t say the wrong thing and she slaps an arm-bar on me.’’
Offered $kala, who worked the Feb. 10 cage fight card as color commentator: “I’ve got the luckiest position in the world. I am living out every man’s fantasy. Not only will I be calling the action from front row center for some of the greatest MMA fighters in the world, I’ll be side by side with the world’s greatest women’s MMA fighter, who also just happens to be a 10.’’
“Gina, Todd and I are really excited to be able continue to bring fans these ground-breaking installments of live streamed MMA fights available only at ProElite.com.’’
Born in Dallas County, Texas, Carano is the daughter of former professional football quarterback Glenn Carano.
In high school, the younger Carano played basketball, volleyball and softball. She became interested in Muay Thai Boxing after entering the University of Nevada. She currently is 18 units shy of obtaining a psychology degree.
“I have not given up on going back to school, but, right now, I am having so much fun,” Carano said. “We will just have to wait and see what happens.’’
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