Gina Carano vs. Cris “Cyborg” Santos

Gina Carano is going to fight Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos this Saturday, August 15th, 2009 for the Strikeforce Women’s Championship.
Gina Carano vs. Cristiane

Now, I’m not much into making predictions on blogs, but I thought I’d throw in my two cents here ahead of time so I can compare it to what happens during the actual fight.

Gina Carano & Cristiane Santos

Unfortunately… (or, fortunately, for some of us :D), American media, and probably media everywhere else in the world puts a lot of value on physical, visual attractiveness. I think that’s a good idea when it comes to commercials and modeling, but a VERY BAD IDEA when it comes to fighting.

Gina CaranoCris 'Cyborg' Santos

Every time I hear about Gina, they’re talking about how cute she is and how she’s “The Face of the Sport”, yadda yadda…

Gina Carano

Every time I hear about Cris, they’re talking about how she’s a savage and has been mauling every chick in her path.

Unfortunately, the way the fight game works, as I’ve watched through Boxing and now Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), it’s a ladder-based system where you make sure the best avoid the best until you can make a superfight and make a lot of good money from it. Because of this, I haven’t been able to see Carano & Santos go up against the same calibre fighters in order to attempt to accurately judge what should happen when they meet on Saturday.

Of course, this issue is exacerbated by the fact that there just aren’t very many women that are allowed to fight on television. As far as I know, there are ZERO women in the UFC, ZERO women in the WEC (which appears to be the minor leagues of the UFC?), I saw some rarely when Bodog used to have a show, and you see women fight now and then in Strikeforce, where this fight is going to take place.

Carano vs. Cyborg

Therefore… Basically due to a lack of female fight promotion, this is about to decide the female MMA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, very much in the same way that the World Football Champions are decided by the NFL, because there’s no viable competition anywhere else in the world.

The other question is “Where do they go from here?”. What can Strikeforce do to top themselves after this? I think they’d better hope that the fight’s really competitive so that people clamor for a rematch and they can drag this “rivalry” out for a couple of years.

Hopefully, what’s going to happen is that more people will see female fights as entertaining and request more women in the fighting organizations. Any decisions made are going to depend on how much money there is to make from female fights, so we’ll see how things turn out.

Carano Cyborg MSG NYC

As far as my prediction for Saturday……. I’m rooting for Carano, because I’ve been following her longer.. Except I’ve been fully impressed with the ass-whippings that Cyborg Santos has been handing out to any chick that would like to step up and receive one. 😀 I haven’t been able to see them fight the same quality women, so I don’t have a good handle on this, but it appears to me that Cris is just too strong/brutal for Gina. I’ve seen Gina battle with other chicks. I haven’t seen Cris in trouble AT. ALL… Not that I’ve seen all of her fights.

I would love to see Gina win an unanimous decision over Cris, but realistically, my prediction is referee stoppage in the 4th round, declaring Cris Cyborg the winner, TKO via strikes.

Another issue here, though is that this fight is going to be five 5-minute rounds. For some odd reason, they’ve been forcing women to fight 3-minute rounds, which is obviously going to make this fight tougher to predict as far as stamina. Non-title fights are 3 rounds, meaning that men get to fight 15 minutes, while women only have 9 minutes to make it happen.

The obvious problem here is that when you decide to make a championship fight where women are going to fight five 5’s.. They now have to last for 25 minutes, or almost THREE TIMES AS LONG as their normal fights (3×9 being 27 minutes). The guys in the same situation don’t even have to fight TWICE as long (15×2 being 30 minutes), so this is really pretty retarded and they need to make it so that women are fighting 3x5s in their regular fights just like the men.

So this could throw a major wrench in my prediction, depending on which one of the ladies shows up with better cardio on Saturday. If Cyborg gasses out, I’m changing my prediction to Carano by tapout due to Rear Naked Choke late in the 4th round! 😀

Carano & Cyborg

Either way, I’m about to enjoy my ass off! 😀

Pass The Popcorn!!! 😀

~Bill | @BillCammack

Join the Conversation


  1. Aside from the fact that Gina is FINE (and would still be even if she wasnt in shape athletically) but I seen her involved in some pretty tuff matches against opponents that looked as if they had no business being in there with her. I have also seen Cyborg…
    I think the beauty of my dreams gets dropped in the second. I think those 2 extra minutes will mean she will be atking some extra punishment in that first round that she wont be fully recovered from during the break.

    1. Yeah, you’re probably right about the 2nd, but I’m going to be optimistic and keep my 4th round guesstimate.

      I wish I had more to go on, but like I said, women’s matches are a rarity, across the board. It’s normally one chick with decent-to-good skillz against some chick that’s willing to take quite a few punches before she falls down.

      They haven’t brought in enough females to have frequent matches or really competitive matches. That’s why I’m wondering where they go from here. If Gina gets waxed off right quick, they don’t have *ANYBODY* to throw @ Cris.

  2. Welp… We were both right, but Frank was “more right” than I was. Gina lost, by referee stoppage due to strikes, just like I said… Except it happened at the very last second of the FIRST round, instead of the second, like Frank said and the fourth, like I said.

    Granted, I was being optimistic and hoping that the women would put on more of an EPIC show that might get promoters to create more female fights and cultivate more female fighters.

    I’m personally happy with the fight. If the ref had let it go to the 2nd round, Gina would have answered the bell and come out to fight, but she would have gotten jacked up some more and probably injured. It was a good stoppage, because you just can’t curl up into a ball and hope that the bell rings. You have to keep, as they call it “intelligently defending yourself”, and curling up doesn’t qualify… for men OR women.

    I found it interesting that Gina had the mount position at one point in the round and she didn’t capitalize on that. Of course, since that’s not her specialty, Cris was going to be able to get out of Gina’s mount rather easily, and she did.

    Overall, I’m happy with the fight and hopefully, this will propel Women’s MMA towards higher respectability and profitability.. Not that I care about the promoters making money, but more ticket sales means more money poured into cultivating female fighters = BETTER female fighters and eventually, a deep, competitive field.

    We’ll see what happens. Congrats to both of them for Gettin’ It ON! 😀 and congrats to Cris “Cyborg” Santos for handing out the critical beatdown that we expected to see, but were rooting against. 😀

  3. Per Maggie Hendricks (apparently writing on this stuff is her thing) the four who could line up to beat The cyborg! Check out number 4 and what is implied…

    Marloes Coenen: The Dutch kickboxer was recently signed by Strikeforce, and was on hand at Saturday’s fight in case Carano or Cyborg didn’t make weight. At 5’9″, 154 lbs., she is one of the few fighters who could neutralize Cyborg’s size advantage.

    Roxanne Modafferi: With both punching power and jiu-jitsu prowess, Modafferi could be the one to catch Cyborg in a submission, as she has done in three of her 13 wins. Modafferi is also more experience, with 17 fights under her belt. Unfortunately, she fights at 135 lbs., so she would need to put on weight to fight Cyborg.

    Gina Carano: With a rematch, Carano would need to try a very different strategy, and that would be defense, defense, defense. Carano has been an entertaining fighter throughout her career because she is so aggressive, but to win, she may need to take a step back. Carano should not engage as much in the first few rounds to tire out and frustrate Cyborg, and then go for the kill in a later round.

    Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos: No, I’m not saying that the only person to beat Cyborg would be her clone, but as she showed in the Hitomi Akano win, Cyborg can be inconsistent when it comes to weight-cutting and training. She stepped up for the fight with Carano, and to stay champion, she has to do that with every fight. Too many fighters will be gunning for her belt, and she has to stay sharp if she wants to keep it.


    1. You can forget about a Carano rematch. Strikeforce would be fools to put her back in the ring to collect another ass-whipping.

      If you didn’t see the actual fight, she broke north, ASAP (though, granted, nowhere near as fast as Forrest Griffin sprinted away from the cage after he got WAXED by Anderson Silva) and the Strikeforce commentators said on the air that they couldn’t get a post-fight interview with her before their broadcast time ended, because she was in with doctors.

      Marloes Coenen is up next:

      I started watching tape on her after I saw that interview. I don’t see a way to compare her to Cyborg via competition, so a fight between them would be a toss-up, as far as I’m concerned. I won’t be convinced about anything until I see a chick demonstrate skillz that might be able to hold Cyborg off of her while they’re locked inside a cage. Until that time, I’ll except Cris to hand out critical beatdowns on the regular.

      As far as Roxanne Modafferi, she’s gonna have to do better than THIS, for sure:

      Obviously, Bodog didn’t have the most knowledgeable commentators, because it was clear that her left arm was compromised and they never said anything about it until she was already tapping out.

  4. I actually missed it live but when I got to my manz place, I heard someone say ‘damn that was Mike Tyson type beatdown, First round!’ Needless to say i KNEW who had won. It was entertaining except for my buddies saying “look, look right here…” I thought i saw fear in her eyes at the end BUT i was stunned!

    1. Yeah. Fighting’s interesting. It’s interesting to watch people get all prepared to do something and then not do it or do something totally opposite. I think Gina did well for herself in the fight, I just didn’t think there was ANY way she was gonna beat Cris, and that’s what happened.

      Seeing her curled up on the floor like that, I could tell that she was in survival mode, not “The referee’s going to stop this fight if I don’t move” mode.

      I know she’s a Muy Thai champion and I give her ultimate props for that, but I’d be interested to see how they trained her to take punches to the grill. They showed her fitness training and they showed her kicking bags and all that, but that’s not going to help you when you’re in there with someone that’s REALLY trying to knock your block off.

      I had this argument with this guy that actually trains in MMA (I do not train, at all… I just like to practice handing out damage) about the way to prepare people to be in fights…

      *Side Note: I didn’t know this bag was going to be here when I got to the gym that day, so I hadn’t brought my bag gloves (and I don’t use public gear), so I had to use the ends of my sweater, not so much for padding, but so as not to rip my skin on the bag. Normally, I’m not so ghetto hahaha 😀

      So the argument I had with him was that if you want to train someone to be in a real fight, you have to really fight. His point was that you can train for MMA without going full-contact, which is preferable, in his opinion, because you’re not injuring the fighter.

      I agree with his point, but what you’re going to end up with if you don’t really fight is someone who’s never been in situations they might end up in when that REAL FIGHT jumps off. You can’t count that you got hit hard one time by accident by your sparring partner and you were like “Nah, Chill, SUNNN!” and the didn’t hit you anymore. You can’t count sports where you get rocked and the ref breaks it up and gives you a standing 8-count. Sometimes, you have to fight until the cops show up…

      That’s why fighters talk about gameplans before the fight, and as soon as they get cracked, the fight turns into a survival street-brawl. That’s because, mentally, they’re not prepared to say “ok.. I just got rocked… Time for me to do XYZ”.

      People aren’t aware of how things are completely different when you’re in a dangerous situation. You can train all you want and run on the treadmill all you want and hit tires with hammers all you want and do sprawl exercises all you want and NONE. OF. THAT. is going to train you to keep thinking straight when you get cracked in your skull, or even worse, punched directly in the jaw, nose or eye.

      Now, I don’t know anything about their training camp for Gina, but I honestly don’t suspect they were training her to take successive punches to the face. She was just looking too cute and too clean all the time. Meanwhile, that’s exactly what Cris dishes out.. Every. Time.

      Therefore, the only fight plan you could possibly have is “Keep her off of you”. Keep her away, hope she gasses out in the later rounds and try to out-point her or KO her when she’s too tired to defend herself.

      So, as soon as they get started, and throw some heat, next thing you know, they’re clinching. It’s like \o/. At one point, Gina. Was. On. Top. Of. Cris. In. A. Full. Mount!!! I was like “YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! :D”… and then, Gina got up off of her. She wasn’t pushed off or swept. She just voluntarily got up off of her instead of trying to pound her out. ?????

      So, after some more infighting, and it was a very good and enjoyable round, she ends up on the floor, with Cris standing over her, punching down on her at will, because Gina doesn’t even want to LOOK at her, much less throw her hands or go for a leg or something.

      And this has NOTHING to do with females, because you see guys do it alllllll the time. It’s like what do you think the predictable future is of that behavior? That’s right. You take more damage and then you take more damage. It doesn’t make sense, mentally.

      And, yeah… She looked rather distraught after the fight, when she looked up at Randy Couture. But she was out of the woods by that point and had the poise not to run SPRINTING from the cage, like Forrest Griffin.

      My hat’s off to Gina. 😀 I’m still a fan and I’m still rooting for her. There are lots of chicks (and guys) she can beat up. I don’t think she wants any more of Cris until SOMEBODY figures out how to damage her.

      1. I like Gina as well, it hurt to watch-SEROUSLY!

        I think Mike Tyson said it best when he was asked about all the boxers who, although physically bigger, would be reduced in stature once they stepped into the ring with him. He simply said “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouf’!”

        You seen it in the MMA, boxing, street corners…

        They take that first punch/hit and it triggers a defense mechanism that relies too heavily on the aggressor either backing off or having a 3rd person break it up. Unlike Gina who didnt pounce when she had the chance, that goodwill gesture RARELY, if ever, happens.

        She needed to be Ali to Cris’ Foreman. Wear her out and let the fatigue do 1/2 of the damage that was required.

  5. So did u do the 2 raw eggs, run up the side of Manhattan Center, BEFORE you started pounding the bag? I got you in 2 rounds against the Cyborg!! I got you getting laid out!! lol Me?? I wouldnt even BUMP her accidently on the street. and if i did, it would sound like this “I’s so sorry Ms. Ma’am. Frank waznt paying the walk no never mind befo’ I bumped into you!”! lol

    1. hahaha Nah, Nah… See, 😀 First of all, I hit the bag to make sure that IF I throw something, the other person gets hurt. I’m doing ZERO parts defense, and assuming a non-attacking or attacking-and-missing opponent.

      This is why it made a difference that I didn’t have my bag gloves, because I will literally tear the skin off of my hands and elbows hitting that bag. Also, actual fighters wrap their hands before they fight. I don’t do that. I just have the bag gloves to protect against friction and take the edge off so I can hit longer before I start feeling injured. The point of that is that you’re not going to have even your bag gloves if something jumps off, so you have to be semi-used-to hitting things with your bare hands.

      Interestingly enough, that’s an example of what I was saying earlier. I would be at a distinct disadvantage against someone who’s used to hitting things with bare hands, because they’re going to break and remold their hands over and over until they build up a sort of ‘natural’ resistance. Same deal with Thai fighters who kick trees all day, break their shins up, heal them and then do it again. I’d be at an even larger disadvantage if I were using actual boxing gloves, because I’d be used to landing softly on the target instead of having to temper the punches to hand out damage while attempting to remain uninjured.

      Which reminds me of a different tangent, which is that I was watching Urijah Faber fight and he broke his hand on Mike Brown’s head. Mike got staggered, but he didn’t drop and the fight went a bunch more rounds with Urijah trying to hit him with lunging elbow strikes, because he literally couldn’t use his right (power) hand. That’s something else people wouldn’t think to train for.

      What happens if you get injured DURING the fight? What happens if you’re relying on a left hook and you injure your left hand? What if you were relying on running around the ring and your leg gets injured? There are too many variables to train against all of them, but it’s worth thinking about.

      So anyway… Getting to the point. I would have approached a fight with Cris as a loss from the giddyap. 😀 The plan of “Keep jabbing her and running around until she gets tired” depends on her being afraid of your jab in the first place and her being unable to cut off the ring and engage you in a brawl in the second. So, while that might be the main idea, I would have expected her to get by my jab and get overconfident so I could catch her in a submission (I. HOPE!!!)

      So the first way I would have attempted to catch her slippin’ is intending to be in a downed position, sort of similar to how Gina was, except with some room to work, and I would have tried to catch her like Frank Mir caught Brock Lesnar.

      Lesnar came into the fight expecting to beat Mir down (and he most likely would have), so while Mir was on the floor, and Lesnar felt like he had the upper hand, Mir attacked his right leg and Lesnar tapped out.

      So, by coming to the fight EXPECTING to take a loss if he had to brawl with this guy, Mir had other gameplans that worked out in his favor, and he collected the “W”.

      Similarly, Jake Shields had to fight Robbie Lawler and was going to get Waxed, Buffed & Simonized if he got in a brawl with him.

      Same idea, different results. By expecting to take the “L” if he had to fight Lawler’s fight, he came to the table with different gameplans.

      Are they gambles? Yes. But they’re a) better than nothing, and b) better than expecting that you can beat someone in a brawl that there’s ZERO EVIDENCE ON TAPE that you should be able to beat them where they’re at their strongest.

      Having said all this, hahaha Next time Lesnar fought Mir, Mir didn’t catch him with any submissions and Mir got *WAXED*!

      So, would I have gone into the fight picking myself to win? NOPE! 😀 However, because of that, I would have been focusing on what I would do IF I ended up mounting her (pound her out or roll to arm bar if she put her hand up to defend) or IF she would have been standing over me, not expecting me to go for the knee bar or if she would have put her head down, not expecting me to jump into a flying guillotine, hahaha 😀

      If you just HAVE TO FIGHT ANYWAY, get prepared as possible, hope for the best, then get in there and roll those dice! 😀

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.