SAN JOSE, CALIF. (Aug. 11, 2009) – Female MMA superstar Gina Carano and Japanese wrestling expert Mitsuhiro Ishida participated in a media workout Tuesday at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif. Two of the top female fighters in the world, the undefeated Carano and Brazilian powerhouse Cris Cyborg will battle for the first-ever STRIKEFORCE Women’s Championship title on Saturday, Aug. 15 live on SHOWTIME(r) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Ishida will face San Francisco’s Gilbert Melendez in a rematch of their Dec. 31, 2007 fight for the STRIKEFORCE Interim Lightweight Title. Melendez will try to avenge the unanimous decision loss to Ishida, which was the first of his career.
Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Gegard Mousasi will fight for the STRIKEFORCE Light Heavyweight Championship in a showdown fans have been salivating for. Carano, who is trained by MMA legend Randy Couture, has achieved larger than life status in the past year. In a Yahoo! online poll that named the “Top 10 Most Influential Women of 2008,” Carano ranked fifth, placing ahead of First Lady Michelle Obama and famed journalists Katie Couric and Barbara Walters. Carano has also been selected No. 16 on
Maxim’s Hot 100 List and profiled by ESPN’s newsmagazine show E:60.
Confident of ruining Carano’s eagerly awaited return to the cage is the rugged Cyborg, who’s been known to devastate foes with her strength and has been calling out Carano for several months.
What Carano had to say on Tuesday:
“I train, realizing that I haven’t reached my potential and knowing that she probably hasn’t reached hers yet.”
“This is going to be really tough. I’m not going to lie. But, I’m going to try to make it as easy as possible. I predict a really tough fight. ”
“Five rounds is going to be difficult. It’s 16 more minutes than I’m used to. But, I feel like it gives you a different mentality. At the beginning, I was like ‘What did we ask for?’ But, now I’m happy with it and I think that (my preparation for the extra time) could help me in the long run.”
“A quick knockout or submission would be nice. I don’t think this fight is going to go the distance.”
“I really respect Strikeforce. They aren’t afraid to put on really good fights and they’re making moves. I feel honored to be a part of this and I’m glad they are doing what they’re doing. They are very professional.”
“I think Cyborg said it best – (the winner) is going to be determined by the person who makes the least amount of mistakes or the one who gets caught first.”
“Her muscles might look bigger, but I am strong (laughed). I know I smile and I joke around now, but when it comes fight time, I take it very seriously and know how to get down.”