You have to admit it. Gina Carano causes controversy. Some people consider her the face of female fighters. Some people question her focus and professionalism. Some people wonder if her American Gladiators experience will take away from her fighting career. It was obvious to most listening in on the Elite XC conference call about Carano’s upcoming fight against Katlin Young, that Gary Shaw, the live events director for Elite XC considers her the top face he has signed in his female division.
I was excited when I received the e-mail from the news director at fightergirls.com, stating that she needed someone to cover the conference call . As a fan of female fighters and a student of MMA myself, getting to cover something of epic proportions for female fighters was a honor. While listening to the conference call, I was dumbfounded. The media was constantly focusing on Carano’s American Gladiator experiences and how that was going to affect her training. Carano refused to use the experience as an excuse, but she also admitted it has impacted her training and she hasn’t gotten the training time she has wanted. They also focused on her history of having issues making weight for a fight.
Question. Do female fighters agree that someone who has focused so much time to non-fighting pursuits should be the female face of MMA? Do female fighters agree that someone who has had known issues making weight, even though to quote her “I have never had a fight canceled” due to not making weight? Is she truly the face of female MMA? To me, listening to Kaitlin Young, the student in me was inspired by listening to her. She seemed to have realized that though some established female fighters and their coaches had questioned if she had been the best choice for the fight. Would you turn down a fight against a such a highly visible athlete? The face of Female MMA? Young realizes, that this is her chance to represent the sport of female MMA. She has focused on making weight and training, so she can be at her best. Debi Purcell, who is known as the pioneer for the womens MMA movement has just signed with Elite XC and will be making her debut in June. There is no denying that she has made one of the biggest impacts in the history of the sport. Again, I want to ask the question, Is Gina Carano the face of women’s MMA?
You have Shanya Bazler, who many believe should of taken the fight against Carano. Who also is looking at a rematch against bodog champ Tara Larosa. Again, is Gina Carno the face of women’s MMA? Tara LaRosa, commented to fighthype.com, “I mean, I understand why EliteXC pushes Gina the way they do. She’s a really pretty girl and she’s…smile sells and that’s what it comes down to and that’s what they want to push, but what bothers me about Gina is she doesn’t take the time to catch up on her skills to become extremely legit as the face of women’s MMA. I really do think they should push people like Shayna Baszler and Kaitlin Young and the people that are actually 100% serious about the sport. Gina just doesn’t seem to take it as a career like I think she should and there are other women out there that do.”After listening to the press conference call, I asked myself the question, should Gina be the face that female fighters want representing them with all the questions and controversy? A lot of those questions will be answered May 31st. Can Gina answer her critics?