by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Photo by Greg Ashman)
There were plenty of questions going into Saturday night’s Strikeforce main event featuring Gina Carano and Cris “Cyborg” Santos, most of which received definitive answers.
As Showtime commentator Frank Shamrock noted after the fight was over, “One, (women) can headline an event; two, they can finish in devastating fashion.”
Not only did she prove her finishing power, in the process, Cyborg also staked her claim to being considered one of, if not, thee top female fighter in the world, defeating Carano and capturing the first Strikeforce women’s title.
Carano showed a variety of skill and resourcefulness, not making it easy for Cyborg. Her trainer, former UFC champion Randy Couture, noted in an interview with Showtime, “We needed to get her to use her jab more, move her head more, not get into those kind of nose-to-nose firefights that she’d gotten into, but, ultimately, I think she did a lot of very good things.”
It’s not that Carano did a lot of things poorly, it’s just that Cyborg did what she does, and she did it well. She came out aggressively from the bell, utilizing her power, both in her striking and in the clinch, to put Carano where she wanted her.
“Cyborg’s a very aggressive opponent, came out, went after her. We knew that was gonna happen; we prepared for that,” added Couture. “We did a lot of good things in the fight, but ultimately we got caught in a bad position.”
For her part, after the fight, Cyborg said, “They key (to the fight) was five years of training.”
And training was what carried her through. Her eyes watering in her post-fight interview, Cyborg noted, “Since the beginning, I knew this fight would be hard. That’s why I trained so hard for this fight and for Gina. I know that Gina is an excellent fighter.
“I train a lot and I do everything for the fans. It’s always for the fans.”