Gina Carano interviews & news

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Gina CaranoThere was a tremendous turnout at the Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano open media workout Wednesday at Legends Mixed Martial Arts Training Center in Los Angeles. The fighters will appear on the upcoming third installment of CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, broadcast live from the BankAtlantic Center, in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 4 (9-11 p.m., ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

A major attraction, the undefeated, incredibly popular Kimbo, of Perrine, Fla., near Miami, will face legendary Hall Of Famer Ken Shamrock in a featured fight on a stellar, star-studded mixed martial arts card that includes women’s superstar Gina “Conviction” Carano and MMA standouts Jake Shields, Paul Daley and Murilo “Ninja” Rua.

Tickets start at $30 and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at (954) 523-3309 in Broward County, (305) 358-5885 in Dade County and (561) 966-3309 in Palm Beach County, online at ticket-master and at the BankAtlantic Center box offices (954) 835-7825. The BankAtlantic Center box offices are located on both the North and South sides of the main entrance. Their normal business hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The box office will be open the day of the event beginning at 10 a.m.

The first live fight begins at 6 p.m. ET. The event is presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s live fight division, EliteXC. Besides Kimbo-Shamrock, Shields defends his EliteXC welterweight belt against Daley, Carano collides with Kelly Kobold in a 140-pound bout and Rua, a former EliteXC middleweight belt-holder, faces Benji Radach at 185 pounds.
Cristiane “Cyborg’’ Santos meets Yoko Takahashi and Florida-based Edson Berto faces Hawaii’s Mike Aina at 170 in top undercard fights. The undercard also will feature Florida favorites Crafton Wallace and Seth Petruzelli, who will face foes to be announced. Wallace has won four straight and six of seven. Petruzelli, a former cast member of the Ultimate Fighter, has won eight of his last 10 fights.

What the fighters had to say Wednesday:

KIMBO SLICE:
“Once again, I’m fighting back in the crib. It feels like the backyard except, in EliteXC, we have a cage. ”

“I’m looking forward to beating Ken (Shamrock) and kicking his butt.”

“I’ll kick his butt and let you guys take names. I’m hoping to see the best of Ken because he’ll see the best of Kimbo.”

“My camp has pushed me harder than ever before. I have the endurance and I am prepared to go the distance. I doubt this fight will go the distance, but if it does, I’m ready.”

“I’m like a sponge. I pick up something from everyone I work with. If something doesn’t work in the cage I will switch it up to something that does. I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”

“I’ve worked on punches, takedowns, takedown defense, chokes, armbars, you name it. Anything that Shamrock tries on me, I am prepared for.”

“Nothing is going to stop me once that fight starts. I’ll fight with a broken arm if the referee doesn’t stop the fight. I will be unstoppable on Oct. 4.”

“I’ve envisioned anything that can happen in the cage. I’m ready for anything that can possibly go down.”

“I question Ken’s ground game. He’s going to try and find a way to make me uneasy, but that’s not going to happen. I’m never uptight.”

“Bas (Rutten) has done everything he can to help me. Bas and Randy (Khatami) have made me a complete and well rounded fighter.”

“Everyday I train it’s a serious problem for all the heavyweight fighters out there. Everyday I get better and they should all be scared.”

“LaDainian Tomlinson was a good guy to work out with. That was a lot of fun.”

“EliteXC and CBS are a good thing for the sport. This is making the sport bigger and better. If it wasn’t this big, think about what you and I would be doing.”

“Against (James) Thompson I learned that no matter what happens, nothing will hurt me. It’s mind over matter. Mentally, I knew I was alright. It may have looked like I was in trouble, but I was fine. It’s mind over matter.”

“Nothing really scares me, except for myself. At times, I find myself unpredictable. It’s a mental struggle. A mental fight.”

“I love training with Bas and Randy. I know how to control my entire game right now.”

GINA CARANO:
“I’ve got one of the toughest fights of my life coming up. I’m coming ready to fight. I’m going to give it my all.

“I’ve handled the press and won’t let it get to my head. I’m just living my life and doing my best.”

“It’s been unbelievable to be at the forefront of women’s MMA. Raising the recognition of the sport has been a blessing. The fan support has been amazing. I’m standing up here because of the fans.”

“There is something so pure and honest about two women fighting. The fans just love it.”

“Randy and Kim, the whole Extreme Couture family, is tough. They expect the best from me and push me to my limits.”

“My dad told me to stay in school because he wanted the best from me. But I think I’ve learned some of the best lessons in life from fighting. I don’t have the college degree I was going for, but I have the experiences.

“America is a strange place to be when you are a star. I wish our culture would respect people as human beings and not as objects. When you’re in the spotlight they love you, but that is very short lived.

“This training camp has been going very well. I have a lot of knowledge of what I’ve been doing right and what I’ve been doing wrong. I’m a fighter. My job is to fight.”

“EliteXC is doing great things for the sport. I’m not trying to be a promoter. I just put on a good show and hope that people watch it.

“I am a recognized female in the sport, but I don’t think that I am the face of women’s MMA. It’s just a label. I’m Gina Carano. You can label me that.
“I am a different person everyday. I may not look my best at a weigh in, but I’ll be good the next day.

“Kelly (Kobold) is well rounded and she is coming to fight. I’m glad I’m going to be tested.
“My game plan is to fight a good fight. I’ve been studying her style, how she reacts under pressure and when she gets hit, but nothing compares to when you get in there and the fight starts.

“I’m a fighter first and foremost. American Gladiators was a good experience. I’m motivated by learning experiences, not by money or fame, so it opened my mind to a lot of things.
“Everyone has their own niche in life. I just seem to gravitate towards physical violence.”

Mixed martial arts fans attending this Saturday’s terrific EliteXC fight card in Stockton, Calif., will have the opportunity to meet Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano when they participate in a pre-fight autograph signing just prior to the opening bell.

The undefeated EliteXC fighters, perhaps the two most popular and recognizable athletes in mixed martial arts, will sign autographs inside The Stockton Arena beginning when the doors open at 2:30 p.m. PT. They will sign until the first fight starts at 3:15.
Tickets for the most significant sporting event in the recent history of Stockton start at $35 and can be purchased at the Stockton Arena Box Office (Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Saturday (noon-4 p.m.), by phone at (209) 373-1700 and (866) 373-7088 (toll free) or online at _www.stocktontickets.com_ (http://www.stocktontickets.com/) .

Three of Northern California’s most talented and crowd-pleasing fighters will appear in Saturday’s top fights. Hard-hitting Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (15-4, 1 NC) of Sacramento by way of Elk Grove, Calif., will challenge defending champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (15-4, 1 NC) of Granite City, Ill., for the EliteXC middleweight title; San Francisco’s Jake Shields (20-4-1) faces Nick “The Goat’’ Thompson (36-9-1) of Minneapolis for the vacant EliteXC welterweight belt and local favorite and world class lightweight contender, Nick Diaz (17-7) of Stockton
meets Thomas “Wildman’’ Denny (26-16) of Victorville. Calif. The spectacular event is presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s
live fight division, EliteXC.

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Gina Carano is breaking all the rules, not to mention a couple of heads along the way. In a sport predominantly reserved for male competitors, Carano has brought recognition to the proud women warriors who battle it out in the world of mixed martial arts. So why would a 5’8 beauty choose to put her body on the line as a pro fighter? Because the girl’s got skills. “I want to make an impact,” says Gina. “I don’t want to be forgotten just from losing a fight. As long as people are listening I’m going to use it.”

Gina was always athletic growing up. Coming from a family adverse in sports (her father Glen is a former quarter-back for the Dallas Cowboys) she tried her hand at everything from gymnastics to softball and everything in between during her high school days.

In college Gina began focusing on studies at UNLV with a major in Psychology, that’s when she found her true calling. It just so happened that the call came from inside the four corners of a kickboxing ring. “I just walked in, started training, and I haven’t stopped since.”
Six months after Gina began training with famed Muay-Tai coach Master Toddy she began her professional career as a Muay Tai Fighter. It wasn’t long before she racked up an impressive number of wins, four of which were TKO’s. After that heads started to turn and people started to sit up and take notice. Her recognition grew with appearances in the docufilm “Ring Girls” and the Oxygen network reality series “Fight Girls.” Along with Lisa King, Carano served as a mentor to aspiring female fighters.

The transition from the standup game of Muay Tai into the world of MMA, where almost anything goes, has been seamless for Gina. She’s continued to gain impressive wins over tough veteran fighters. Gina was signed to Elite Xtreme Combat where her inaugural debut was live on Showtime network where she defeated Tonya Evinger via rear naked choke for her first career win by submission. After three rounds of a hard-hitting, physical chess match Gina took home her fourth victory in front of a capacity crowd of 7,200 who lauded both she and her opponent Julie Kedzie with a standing ovation. “That was a once in a lifetime thing. I don’t know if there’s ever going to be another fight that feels like that. It was such a movement for females in the sport, and for me. It was a first. It was special.”

Carano’s latest fight was against Kelly Kobold on October 4, 2008 at EliteXC: Heat which was broadcast on CBS. Early on, Kobold was intent on pressing Carano in the clinch, while working for the takedown throughout the fight. Kobold managed a takedown in the second round, but the round ended before she could take meaningful advantage of it. Carano worked her opportunities by hitting Kobold at every turn whenever the fighters separated, while also opening a huge gash on the inside of her opponent’s eyebrow in the first round. At the end of the third round, Carano looked to finish the fight as she unloaded a head kick that landed flush on Kobold’s chin, but Kobold was not knocked out and the bout came to a close. Carano won by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) and remains undefeated.

Outside martial arts Carano found success in many different outlets. She recently appeared as “Crush” on the NBC show American Gladiators. She will also be featured in the new Michael Jai White film Blood and Bone and appeared in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 as Natasha.

With her skills, personality, and good looks it’s easy to see why Gina has become a favorite among fans and media alike. She is fast becoming the face of women’s MMA, but at heart Gina is just a regular girl who loves what she does. “I’m just so blessed to be where I’m at. There’s alot of good female MMA fighters out there, I’m just one of them. I don’t really feel like I’ve touched on my potential. I have a long way to go, I have alot to learn. Sometimes you learn by taking a step back, sometimes you learn by shooting yourself forwards. I appreciate that people can see me in that light, but I’m just starting out. There’s alot of women that came before me and I want to pay respect to them. I’m not trying to be something I’m not. I want to earn my way to the top.”

With so much promise ahead for this gifted young fighter there are still those naysayers and critics out there who hold the belief that women have no place inside a ring. To them Gina offers this: “I’m just trying to live my life and do what I want to do. I believe in letting people do whatever makes them happy as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else. Maybe someday I’ll get enough attention, or some other female will get enough attention, that you can’t ignore that people are interested in this…because people are. There’s all-female fight cards popping up all over the place. Females can fight. They fight hard and with their whole hearts. We know why we’re in there.”

Cynthia Vespia is a seasoned writer and practitioner of MMA based out of Las Vegas, NV.

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Fight Week Special To Feature Past Carano and Cyborg Fights Leading up to the LIVE August 15 STRIKEFORCE Showdown Carano vs. Cyborg for the First STRIKEFORCE Women’s Championship.

NEW YORK (August 6, 2009) — Mixed Martial Arts’ (MMA) leading lady, the undefeated and extremely popular Gina “Conviction” Carano will host Carano-Cyborg Week on SHO 2, a special series featuring past fights of hers and her impending opponent, Brazilian powerhouse Cris Cyborg.
The series, which is part of the nightly program SHO Sports Presents, will air on fight week, Monday, Aug. 10 – Friday, Aug. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHO 2.

The most anticipated matchup in the history of women’s MMA is also one that is undeniably the most dangerous assignment to date for the pair-universally regarded as the preeminent female fighters in the world. Monday’s installment features a Carano triple header with replays of her thrilling victories over Julie Kedzie, Tonya Evinger and Kelly Kobald. In her fourth professional MMA fight, Carano defeated Kedzie via unanimous decision in the first MMA fight on premium television. Carano submitted Evinger in her next fight on SHOWTIME on Sept. 15, 2007 and won a unanimous decision over Kobald on CBS on Oct. 4, 2008.

Tuesday’s episode will air Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith’s second fight in which Lawler scored a second round knockout. The episode will also feature Cyborg’s knockout victory over Shayna Baszler. Both fights originally aired on CBS on July 26, 2008.

The third installment features Carano’s technical knockout of Kaitlin Young on May 31, 2008. In what was arguably the most exciting fight on the history making CBS telecast, Carano scored the TKO when the ringside doctor declared Young unable to continue after the second round. Lawler and Smith’s first fight, which ended in a no contest when Lawler accidently poked Smith in the eye, will also re air that evening.

Thursday’s episode will feature a replay of the Carano tripleheader.
The final installment, set to air just one day before the highly anticipated Carano-Cyborg battle, will feature Cyborg’s most recent fight, a third round knockout over Hitomi Akano on April 11, 2009. The episode will also feature Nick Diaz’s destructive victory over MMA legend Frank Shamrock from the same evening.

The live SHOWTIME telecast of STRIKEFORCE: “Carano vs. Cyborg” will begin at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on the west coast).

Tickets for STRIKEFORCE: “Carano vs. Cyborg,” priced from $30, are on sale at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070) as well as at all Ticketmaster locations . HP Pavilion doors will open for the event at 5 p.m. The first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Looks like Gina Carano is taking a short break from MMA. Variety is reporting that Gina Carano is going to star in the upcoming movie “Knockout” directed by Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh.

According to Variety, Carano’s role in “Knockout” is about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is given a second chance to use her skills for constructive purposes. The film is a closer cousin to “La Femme Nikita” and “Kill Bill” than “Million Dollar Baby,” in that it doesn’t take place in the fight ring. Rather, Soderbergh considers the film as a flat out action film in the James Bond mold, and will shoot in locations around the world that include Ireland, Turkey and the U.S.

Filming will start in January but you can seeing Carano in a smaller role in the dvd release of the upcoming Michael Jai White action film “Blood and Bone” later this month. No word from Carano’s camp on if she will fight before filming or will she take a long break before coming back from her loss to Cyborg Santos.

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