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MMA Fight of the week: Gina Carano and Cyborg Santos clash for Strikeforce title

Before fighters like Ronda Rousey, Sarah Kaufman and Sara McMann were headlining MMA fight cards, Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos made history by being the first two women to headline a mixed martial arts event August 15, 2009 at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg.

The fight between these two superstars had been announced after Strikeforce had purchased the assets of Elite XC, which had ceased operations in October 2008. At the time Carano was sporting an undefeated record of 7-0 and known named the “Face of Women’s MMA” while Santos was regarded as the most dangerous female fighter in the world and riding a seven-fight win streak.

In addition to being the first women’s fight to main event a fight card, Strikeforce announced that the winner would be crowned the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight champion.

In the opening seconds of the fight, Santos flew right at Carano, who was able to get the Cyborg on her back. Just as Carano was about to begin a ground and pound, Santos locked in a heel hook. As soon as Carano escaped, both fighters went back and forth, Santos with strikes and kicks to the body and face, and Carano with a vicious ground and pound. Carano stepped back, while Santos attempted to pull guard.

Although both fighters were continued to exchange strikes, Santos continued to bring the pressure, chasing Carano around the cage. Less than a minute left in the round, Santos brought Carano back down to the mat and delivered some strikes, followed by a kimura attempt. Cyborg would remain in control as she delivered a several head strikes until the referee interviewed at the very last second, stopping the fight and declaring Cyborg the winner and champion

Since Carano vs. Cyborg, Strikeforce would add the Women’s Welterweight championship. Both women’s titles would defended on numerous Strikeforce cards. Although the 145 pound title has been abandoned, the welterweight title, now currently known as the Women’s Bantamweight championship, continues to be defended and will be contested in Saturday’s main event at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman.

The Carano vs. Cyborg fight has also set a trend for women’s MMA. Several smaller promotions have featured women bouts, and Invicta Fighting Championships, a promotion that emerged in 2011, features entire cards comprised of women’s fights, has had two events and will feature a third fight card in October 2012.

 

If there are any fights you would like to see for “MMA Fight of the Week” email me at sfcc.al.stover@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @alstover and send me a tweet.

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Dana White Doesn’t Think Conor McGregor Can Beat Rafael dos Anjos

Things are getting interesting ahead of UFC 196. The headlining fight at that March 5 pay-per-view event will see UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor move up to lightweight to face the champion of that division Rafael dos Anjos. If McGregor succeeds he will become the first UFC fighter to hold belts in two different divisions simultaneously. The oddsmakers have McGregor as the favorite ahead of the fight. UFC president Dana White doesn’t necessarily hold the same opinion.

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Dana White Responds to Jose Aldo’s Demand for Conor McGregor Rematch

On Thursday UFC president Dana White appearing on the “Opie and Jim Norton” radio show said “It’s one of those things; we made the fight the first time and he got hurt and had to pull out. Then we made it again and it ended in 13 seconds. It’s tough to make that fight again right away. Plus Conor wants to be a two-belt champion so he wants to fight dos Anjos.” While White didn’t totally rule out an Aldo versus McGregor rematch his comments make the fight seem unlikely. McGregor’s next fight will take place on March 5 when he moves up to lightweight to try and capture Rafael dos Anjos’ title.

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