Triangle Offense

Carano vs. Cyborg an instant classic by thesportsminded
August 19, 2009, 11:38 am
Filed under: MMA/UFC | Tags: , , ,

The long awaited fight between Gina “Conviction” Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos is hyped big time by media for a reason. It was meant to be a classic battle.

The fight didn’t disappoint and it definitely lived up to its hype eventhough it was cut short by referee Josh Rosenthal with a second remaining in the first round.

You just couldn’t ask for more in a one-round fight.

Carano and Cyborg slugged it out all over the cage at the get go for what seemed like one of the best five-minute round in MMA history.

Cyborg, with the volume of power punches she threw, was slightly ahead in the round when she got Carano to the ground with less than 20 seconds left. She suddenly unleashed fury in her ground and pound as Carano covered up and took approximately 15 unanswered shots to the face through her guard.

After seeing Carano not moving or defending, Rosenthal felt compelled to halt the fight. The crowd went wild as they thought that the ref could’ve just held off since there was only one second left in the round. Cyborg (8-1) was declared the winner as she won the Strikeforce women’s lightweight title at the 4:59 mark of the first round.

Cyborg was pleased with her stunning performance as her overpowering strength proved too much for the very popular Carano.

“I felt at that point it was time to finish the fight. I started to harder but I didn’t know there was like five seconds away from the end of the round. I felt like Gina kind of closed her guard and turned around a little bit. That’s when I went for the stronger punches,” said Santos

After tasting her first setback, Carano (7-1) was emotional in the cage as they announced the winner and handed the title to Cyborg. She is competetive throughout the fight as she even landed two solid right hooks followed by a takedown that gave her a full-mount position. Carano opted to give out the position and allowed Cyborg to stand up as they both engaged in a brawl. It was in the final 30 seconds where Cyborg’s power dominated Carano.

Carano even seemed like the crisper striker as she landed some power blows but the volume of punches coming from Cyborg was just too much to deal with.

The fight definitely matched the atmosphere of a typical UFC fight. Women’s MMA is here to stay thanks to Carano and Cyborg.


“Pinakain ng pekpek ni Cyborg si Carano,” said my friend Red Kanapi.

It broke my heart after watching Gina lose but what my friend said was right. I would have to agree. At least for now.

Yes yes, you guys know I am a huge Gina Carano fan both because of her looks and her ability to fight but I just have to admit Cyborg dominated her.

Cyborg just punched too much and Gina, even with the legendary Randy Couture in her corner, just didn’t handle it quite well. At least in the last 30 seconds.

I thought Gina fought well in the first two and a half minutes of the fight. She even got in two strong right hooks and scored a takedown which allowed her to land in full-mount. However, a lack of ground game was very evident as she didn’t capitalize on the position and allowed Cyborg to get back up. She even gave her back two times.

Carano is a great Muay Thai artist and a great striker but she definitely needs to work on her ground game if she is to beat Cyborg.

With the heavy volume of punches thrown by Cyborg, it was tough to beat her standing up. There’s just no way any woman fighter could stand the volume of Cyborg’s punches, at least for now.

If a rematch will happen, which it eventually will, Carano needs to reflect on this defeat and build from it. She has the tools to beat Cyborg. She just needs to work on it.

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.

Strikeforce, we are begging, we want a rematch!

For now, here’s a fact though: Gina is hot, Cyborg is not. Take that!


Did Rosenthal made the right call? by thesportsminded
August 19, 2009, 10:58 am
Filed under: MMA/UFC | Tags: , ,

Mixed Martial Arts referee Josh Rosenthal has taken tremendous heat from MMA fans all over the world as he stopped the blockbuster fight between Gina “Conviction” Carano (7-1)and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (8-1) last Sunday with a second remaining in the first round.

The heavily hyped and much anticipated bout between Carano and Santos , women’s MMA’s two top contenders, for Strikeforce’s women’s lightweight title was a great success and an instant classic as the two slugged it out at the get go but Rosenthal’s decision to jump in and stop the fight with only one second left in the first round has generated many questions about the wisdom of the move.

Well, I love Gina so much and she’s a great fighter plus she’s very beautiful but I just have to admit that the ref indeed made the right call even with just a second left in the round. Gina’s pretty face wasn’t meant to be damaged. Come on guys, she’s the 16th sexiest woman in the world and the ref just preserved her pretty face. Just kidding, that wasn’t the reason.

Carano was covering up on the ground, wasn’t fighting back and wasn’t attempting to change her position. Rosenthal warned her several times to fight back and defend herself before he jumped in to stop the fight. It’s hard to see Carano lose that way but Cyborg was just too much. The defeat is a heartbreaker for Carano, and for her millions of admirers around the world, as she tasted her first setback.

The referee simply can’t take into consideration how much time is left in the round. He can’t be watching the clock to see how much time is left. He has to focus at all times on the fighters. The next blow could always be the one that does the damage, and if the referee thinks a fighter has had enough, he should stop the bout no matter the time.

It’s understandable, given how exciting the fight was, that fans wanted it to continue. Rosenthal, though, did what he had to do. He protected the fighter from punishment, and she can come back to fight again.

I know the stoppage is tough to accept for all the Gina Carano lovers out there but that’s just the right call.

The fight needs to be stopped when one fighter has had enough and is unable to fend the opponent off. MMA has a much better safety record than boxing, and there’s only been one death in North America in a sanctioned fight (Sam Vasquez in 2007). The safety of the fighters is always the referee’s first priority.

For a fighter, a second is a long time. A lot can happen in that second. Tough to accept, but it was a great call made by Rosenthal.