After having to wait over a year, Cris “Cyborg” Santos (7-1) will finally get to fight Gina “Conviction” Carano (7-0) in the main event of Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on August 15th. The ladies are slated to battle five, 5-minute rounds in the first-ever fight for the Strikeforce Women’s 145-Pound World Title live on SHOWTIME at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
“This isn’t just the biggest female fight in MMA history; I really believe it’s one of the largest female fights of all time,” Strikeforce head Scott Coker stated. “To me, the fight is historic on a number of levels. It’s the first time a woman has been on a main event on SHOWTIME. And secondly, the winner of this fight will be crowned the first ever Women’s 145-pound Strikeforce Champion.”
Cyborg admitted that she is honored to finally be facing the undefeated Carano, saying “I am extremely honored to fight Gina. I don’t think there is anybody else out there that is better than Gina.”
Cyborg had received a lot of criticism for showing up seven pounds overweight for her fight with Hitomi Akano in April on the debut show of Strikeforce on Showtime. However, Cyborg noted that weight wouldn’t be an issue this time around.
“I’m not weighing too much heavier than what I usually walk around at,” she noted. “Making 145 pounds is not a problem at all.”
The fact that the fight will be five, 5-minute rounds doesn’t concern the Brazilian mixed martial artist either.
“In Brazil, my fights down there were three, 5-minute rounds, so this is really no change for me. When I came to the U.S., I was relieved that they were only three, 3-minute rounds because my cardio couldn’t be any better. My training hasn’t really changed at all.
“I’m happy that we’re getting the respect we deserve.”
While the fight will be the first time a women’s fight has headlined a major MMA card in the U.S., Cyborg noted that this wasn’t the first time she has main evented an MMA event.
“This isn’t my first main event. Of course, there’s always some added pressure. But, the added pressure is overcome by the happiness and the opportunity to showcase women’s MMA with one of the best fighters of the time in Gina Carano. Perhaps one day we might even fight men!”
“Gina and I are just the blueprints of what future MMA stars will follow,” she continued. “I’m excited for the potential for women’s MMA and its potential to grow. I’d like to see that happening in the near future.”
Cyborg also spoke about her opponent, saying “I was very happy and loved the opportunity to meet her a few times. There was nothing but an exchange and a smile like, ‘Hello, hi, how are you?’ There’s nothing personal against Gina. We’re both going after the same thing and only one can come out on top. It is what it is. I think Gina is a great person. She lives up to everything her image stands for.”
However, she admits that not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about Carano.
“I think about Gina pretty much every day. She’s on my mind whether I’m on the treadmill or training in the gym. Gina is on my mind constantly because she is such a great athlete and such a great woman.”
Cyborg also stated that she expected her fight with Carano to “be explosive, it’s going to be fast and it’s going to be happening. It’s not going to be a boring fight.”
As for her future plans, Cyborg wants to take the title that Carano currently holds – being the face of women’s MMA.
“I’d like to be the face of women’s MMA, not just boxing and Muay Thai,” she remarked.