Cyborg vs. Carano: First Knockout on Horizon?

Strikeforce mega-fight Gina Carano vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos has slugfest written all over it. Both women are Muay Thai specialists, attack from eight points, and are fearless in the pocket.

They have capable ground games, to be sure, and will be ready if the fight goes down, which it will if one gets tagged.

Carano is training with wrestling sage Randy Couture. In September 2007, she surprised many by submitting Tonya Evinger, proving she’s worked on becoming well-rounded.

“Cyborg” brings a stronger jiu-jitsu base to her game, cultivated from long days at the Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil.

But when it comes to the ultimate rite of passage in a fighter’s career–a knockout–neither have experience backing them. And they’re going into what could be the most violent encounter in their lives.

“No, never,” Santos said last week during a conference call promoting the upcoming fight.

“They do realize that she is a lady, in fact not a man, so they never take it to that same level,” followed Santos’ translator.

Of course, if you asked Wanderlei Silva about Santos’ battle-readiness, which MMAInsider did in April, you might think differently.

“It’s amazing,” he then said. “I trained with her in Brazil. She’s incredible, like a man. She’s dangerous. Sometimes when you train with a woman, you just play. But with her, every time you need to train, because she’s tough.”

Carano, who last October told MMAWeekly that she doesn’t train with women, said she’d seen the edge.

“I’ve been close to knocked out before, and I have been tapped out in the gym,” Carano added.

Will one of them be going to sleep on August 15 in San Jose? Is a knockout an essential key to a female fighter’s experience? We may soon find out.