The crowd was electric Saturday in San Jose, as Gina Carano and Cyborg Santos met for the 145 belt. Both fighters did come out strong and aggressive, but watching Gina in the cage, she let herself get a little overwhelmed. In my opinion, she should have tried to keep Cyborg at bay a little more. I would have liked to see Gina utilize her push kicks and clinch work more but overall I think she did a great job and I feel up until the last ten seconds, it was a pretty close round. However, the referee stopped the contest just under the wire, after seeing Gina not defending herself, and Cyborg became the first women’s champion in Strikeforce.
Talking with Cyborg post fight, I asked if she felt threatened in the fight with Gina at all particularly when she found herself mounted the two times. She responded that she didn’t feel threatened at any point, she has been working every aspect of her game including her bjj and she was comfortable on her back and was able to go for the heel hook. When I asked her about the end of the fight, she said she wasn’t aware of the time and she just saw an opportunity to finish the fight so she went in for the kill.
During the post fight press conference, they announced Marloes Coenen had signed with Strikeforce and was a possible next opponent for Cyborg’s belt. The fans of Fightergirls were wondering about Erin Toughill, so I questioned Cyborg about a possible match with her – seeing she has a bigger reach than Gina. Cyborg stated she was very aware of Erin and even though Erin may have a longer reach she will fight every fight the same way regardless.
When Cyborg talked about winning the title, she was honored, and was in very high spirits. I asked jokingly through a game of charades if she would sleep with her belt tonight, she laughed and said with broken English “Yes, together tonight.” Seveal reporters asked if she is the new face on women’s mma, and she again responded humorously by saying that, “Gina can keep her title as the Face of MMA because she has the championship Title Belt.”
Overall the fight went well and was defiantly a step in the right direction for women in MMA. I really would like to have seen it go into the second round but at least it was a great first round, they both came to fight, they made weight and were very professional. I’m happy with the way Gina and Cyborg represented MMA.
By Miesha Tate