Pros' Picks for Gina/Cyborg
Final tally: 23-10, Gina
I put the funny comments in bold
San Jose, Calif., will play host to easily the most important womenís fight in the history of American mixed martial arts. The popular Gina Carano will square off against Brazilian bomber Cristiane ďCyborgĒ Santos in the main event at Strikeforce ďCarano vs. CyborgĒ this Saturday at the HP Pavilion. A surprising amount of authentic hype and interest encompass the showdown.
Sherdog.com recently spoke to dozens of professional fighters and trainers and found out where they stood on this historic five-round title fight.
Erik Paulson: The fight between Gina and Cyborg will go to Gina because she is as strong as a guy. She has solid striking, and Cyborg wonít be able to bully her around like sheís used to with others. Plus, Gina is the poster girl for Strikeforce; she is the main event on a big card with great fights. She has to win.
Micah Miller: Carano -- by hotness.
Brodie Farber: I have absolutely no interest in watching women fight. Iíll be sure to tune into a different channel during that time.
Guy Mezger: Cyborg is technically a better MMA fighter and very strong, but I feel Gina is too large and strong and [has] superior striking for her. Gina can make up for not having the same ground game on sheer size and strength.
Scott Bieri: Big night for women and MMA, in general. Itís also nice to see women fighting under the unified five-minute rounds for this title bout. I think the majority of this contest is played out on the feet, with both girls having a muay Thai background. Cris Santos will come forward with her dangerous Chute Boxe style, which she has been mowing down opponents with, but it wonít work on Carano. Gina will use movement, precision striking and takedown defense to thwart Cyborg. Carano by TKO in the championship rounds.
Eddy Millis: Iím not gonna analyze this one too much. Iím worried if it gets to the ground Cyborg will have the advantage. However, with that being said, Carano is my friend, and Iím pulling for her to KO Cyborg, round one. Boot to the head.
Scott Lighty: I pick Gina to win for sure. She is an American Gladiator.
Rory Markham: Itís a toss up for me. Both are very talented. I have Gina a bit more in this one.
Pete Sell: Cyborg is a beast. I think her power could win her this fight. Carano looks more technical; she will have to out-slick Cyborg. Cyborg turns this into a brawl and wins by KO.
Jaime Fletcher: The first time I saw Gina fight was in K-1. I wasnít familiar with her, but I thought to myself, ďThis chick fights like a dude.Ē People get it confused Ö like if youíre attractive, you canít fight. Make no mistake, Carano is a fighter, has heart and has beaten everyone that has been put in front of her. On the other side, you have Cyborg, whose veins and muscle striations in her shoulders make you want to put on a long sleeve or hit some flies and take some Creatine. She has a lot of explosiveness, power muay Thai and an underrated ground game. I think the difference in this fight will be technique on the stand-up and gas tank. Santos has yet to be pushed or made uncomfortable and looked fatigued against smaller competition that offered little or no offense on the feet. Carano by TKO or submission in the second round.
Melvin Guillard: Cyborg by KO in the second.
Kevin Burns: I think this will be a great fight for the fans. I believe Cyborg will be a little more hungry, though, which will give her the edge overall.
John Hackleman: Gina [will win by] using her muay Thai skills and her natural speed, timing and power. I see Gina pulling out a victory.
Cung Le: Iím going with Gina by decision.
Dewey Cooper: This is a monumental fight for womenís MMA and all womenís sports abroad. Every lady athlete on the planet should tune in and celebrate the progress they have made in the sports world. Womenís boxing had the chance to have a fight as big with Laila Ali vs. Anne Wolfe, but it never materialized. This will be a great war between two of the best lady fighters in the world of MMA. I think Cyborg is very strong and will pose many problems for Gina early, but the striking skills of Carano should and will prevail late in the fight. I say fourth- or fifth-round KO win for Gina Carano. Her right hand is powerful and accurate and will find its mark.
Robert Drysdale: Gina by decision.
Randy Couture: I believe Gina Carano will take this fight over by the third round, using solid footwork and punching combinations to frustrate Cyborg and wear her down. Iím sure Iím a little biased, but she looks great and has had a very good camp. It should be a monumental fight for womenís MMA.
Ricardo Liborio: Carano by decision.
Jake Shields: I see it being a very close fight, with Gina being more technical and Cyborg being the stronger of the two, but I see conditioning being the deciding factor. With this being their first title fight and jumping from three- to five-minute rounds, it is gonna be a big change for both. But with Gina having a more experienced camp, I will pick her because they should be aware of this and have spent adequate time conditioning her.
Mac Danzig: Carano by decision, probably.
Zac George: Cyborg makes Gina less hot inside two rounds -- TKO.
Nick Thompson: Gina uses footwork and angles to pick at and frustrate Cyborg in round one. In round two, we [see] Cyborg overcommitting and making mistakes. Gina via submission.
Din Thomas: Iím picking Gina. I think her technique is better. Plus, I think she comes from a better, more advanced camp. Her gameplan and strategy will be more solid.
Charlie Valencia: Carano wins by decision. How can you hit that beautiful face?
Chael Sonnen: Cyborg? I thought he was a middleweight.
Frank Shamrock: Gina. I think sheís the more technical fighter, and sheíll just tire the big, scary Cyborg girl out.
Brad Blackburn: This is definitely a fight that I am looking forward to watching. I want to see how this is going to pan out. Cyborg has been very dominant in her performances the last couple years, but I don't believe that her past opponents have been as big, as good or as pretty as Gina. This is a fight that I wouldnít want to put my money on until after the first round.
Robin Black: This is going to be a fun fight to watch. Iím cheering for Carano because sheís a fox, and I believe sheíll have the more complete game. Her muay Thai and stand-up game should at least be equal to Cyborgís, and sheíll have the sharper wrestling and submissions. Should be a great fight. Gina should win by decision.
Patrick Cote: Iím going with Cyborg. This girl is just crazy. Her stance is freaky.
Billy MacDonald: The more that I think about this fight, the more trouble I have picking who I believe will win. On one hand, you have Cris Santos, who looks like sheís close to overdosing on Gamma-O, and on the other, you have the sentimental pick in Gina Carano. I hear many people saying that Cyborg will dominate in every facet of this fight, but I truly believe that they are underestimating Ginaís stand-up. Iíve known a couple of the guys over at Xtreme Couture, and they say Gina kicks harder than most of the pros in the gym -- thatís the guys and girls. And as impressive as Cyborg was in choking out my boy, Aaron Tru, Gina has way better muay Thai than Aaron. When it all comes down to the announcer calling out the name of the winner, I see it being Gina Carano via decision.
Stephane Vigneault: Cyborg is an animal. I go with Cyborg by TKO in round three.
Gabe Ruediger: Cyborg. Iíve heard stories about her training camp and no one, male or female, being able to hang with her. I have a feeling that there are very few women who can hang with her ferocity.
Erin Toughill: I like both women for different reasons, but I think if Carano comes in mentally strong and prepared for this fight, she can win. The first thing for either woman is the cardio. If Gina is ready for five-by-fives that will also be a determining factor. Iíd like to see Gina use her footwork, straight punches and fight intelligently. If Gina gets in a slugfest with Cyborg, in my opinion, thatís not a good idea for Gina. I donít think Gina will submit her, but Iíd like to see her counterpunch and be patient, then an opening could present itself for a TKO. If Gina gets taken down, that could also put her in a bad position to be pounded on, but I say Gina by unanimous decision.
Tom Gavrilos: I believe Cyborg will have superiority in striking and on the ground. Cyborg is going to overpower Carano and take the win.
Stav Economou: This is a fight Iíve been really looking forward to, not only because itís the first womenís title to be contested on a major show, not even because itís the main event of Strikeforce, but because itís a fight between two amazing athletes. I think this fight will come down to Cyborgís aggression and superior striking being too much for Gina. I predict Cristiane by TKO in the second round.
Thomas Denny: I watched a video of Cyborg, and I got scared. Glad I am not fighting her. Cyborg -- second-round TKO.
Ben Saunders: Skill-wise, I say they both seem pretty equally matched. Gina would probably be better at promoting our sport than Cyborg. As far as having men and women of all ages loving the looks and personality of Gina, she seems to be good at being that star figure in womenís MMA. I see her only helping the sport gain more fans, and for that reason alone, I am rooting for Gina. Cyborg is a beast and one hell of a fighter, but the fact is she scares people.