Ladies and Gentlemen. The announcer called it, a “Special Attraction.”
Some of us would call it history. History, when Katlin Young, and Gina Carano stepped into the cage Saturday night during the Elite XC Saturday night fights card, being the first womens MMA fight to be ever featured on a National TV audience.
There had been questions on both sides of the fence going into the fight. Could Carano live up to being the ‘face of women’s MMA’? Was Carano not being able to make weight be an issue? Was Young ready to take on such a high profile fight? Could these two women stand up and steal the show from the guys?
Gary Shaw, the president of Elite XC made it clear during the press conference to promote the fight that he was pinning his hopes on Carano to represent, and be the face of women’s MMA which polarized her as a figure that either people liked and respected, or hated and questioned.
The chants of GINA, GINA, GINA by the close to capacity live crowd made it extremely clear that Gina did indeed bring people’s attention to the fight. Her appearances in ESPN and as Crush in American Gladiators have not hurt her exposure and made her a hotter commodity.
Some are walking away from tonights match wondering about Carano’s conditioning. It was a bit obvious to anyone watching, and she confessed it herself that her conditioning was not up to par. During the media conference call early in May, Carano stated that she was not going to use American Gladiators as an excuse as to her performance during the fight. According to Carano usually she likes to start the intense training camp portion of her training eight weeks out, but in this circumstance she only had three to four weeks. But she also confessed during her post fight interview that the media did draw her away from her training more, and believed that it was part of the reason for her not making weight and the obvious toll on her cardio that was talked about in the second round.
Carano promised during the post fight interview that this has shown her what she needs to work on and will be diligent on her focus on MMA. The questions will continue to hunt Carano, her inability to make weight, her attention being drawn away by her non mma related activities. But Carano did prove a dominate stand up performance with heavy handed kicks and heavy hands in the first round that showed why she had an undefeated record. Was it dominate? No. But it was historical.
Young proved to be an outstanding match for Carano and stepped up to the role of being one of the first two women to bring womens MMA to the forefront on National TV. There had been questions before if she was going to be the best competition for Gina for this fight. Any questions should have been answered when she didn’t tap out when Gina secured the rear naked choke in the second round. Young did everything possible to match stand up with Gina move for move. The possibilities for Young at this point are endless. Did the girls walk in and steal the show? The girls proved why Gary Shaw, was so intent on putting a womens match on this historical making event. If the crowds reaction was any indication, the crowd saw a tough hard hitting fight between two fighters intent on putting on an outstanding show. It just so happened to have been that the two fighter are female. Not a special attraction. But History.