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Columnist: Gina Carano could look like a domestic abuse victim Saturday night

By Zach Arnold | August 13, 2009

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I’m not sure if it’s a case of having the balls to publish this or if it’s a complete lack of taste or what it is:

People want to have sex with Gina Carano. I know this isn’t a big secret, but that’s the key to her success. She has that All-American, Girl-Next-Door charm about her and it draws people in. She looks at the camera, sheepishly bites her lip, gives a little wink, and “obliviously” plays along.

Thus far, people have enjoyed the beautiful Gina Carano beating people up. She doesn’t get hit back – not really – and when it’s all said and done she gets to give that smile and wink to the camera, letting everyone know she’s physically OK. It’s a fantasy played out in real life: pretty girl fights, pretty girl wins, pretty girl stays pretty. But what happens if Gina gets beaten up? How do viewers react if they see the girl next door look like a domestic abuse victim?

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 44 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

44 Responses to “Columnist: Gina Carano could look like a domestic abuse victim Saturday night”

  1. Dave says:

    Most wrestling columnists are fucking mouthbreathers, it is official.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    The author didn’t exactly phrase the questions very PC…. But it does raise a very good question, one that I have been wondering myself.

    I can only imagine if Carano is KO’d by a huge legkick…. What that could do to women’s MMA….

  3. jr says:

    Coughlin’s playing to the base. The latest comment thread on the listing for Gina is “How much would you pay to see the Gina Carano sex tape?”

  4. Asa says:

    I actually think he has a point. I know women who love and are truly empowered and inspired by Gina. And he’s right about guys liking her looks. He’s also right about guys being nauseated by the site of women getting beaten. He’s adding up some good points. Even if the formula seems misogynistic, its real.

    Myself? I try to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, y’know?

    Additionally, while reading the part about women faces swollen, cut and bleeding take a look at the ad that was flashing the whole time

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    Meltzer’s not much better. He wrote this in his Thursday news update:

    “–Polls on who wins Saturday nights main event
    Gina Carano 57.1%
    Cris Cyborg 42.9%
    People may be voting with the wrong part of their anatomy.”

  6. ehilsenberg says:

    That looks like the kind of garbage they put out at Yahoo, maybe he should apply.

    Carano does everything she can to encourage the cheese cake image and it’s getting a bit tiresome. She comes off as a teenage kid ruled by hormones in her lame interviews.

    Hope she makes weight for the fight, but she most likely won’t be that happy she did when Cyborg is done with her.

    Too bad the media has pushed her so much, the poor girl has been set up for a fall because of her looks rather than skill.

  7. Ivan Trembow says:

    On an unrelated note, I hope it doesn’t get to the point that it actually gets signed, but if Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ricco Rodriguez actually does get signed, I am going to be seriously pissed off. That would just be ridiculous.

  8. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I think you’re underrating Gina because of her looks and problems making weight.

    As a professional fighter, she may be something of a sideshow, but as a person who beats people up, she’s very effective.

  9. Mark says:

    Pro wrestling marks can’t help it. They have been accustomed to years and years of every woman put in front of them being a sex object, even the female wrestlers are just there for sex appeal, so therefore Gina is there for sex appeal. Or if they’re not a sex object they’re fat, old, or manly women there for comedy. Hence the “lol Cyborg has a penis!”

    But at the same time, if Gina wants to be taken completely seriously as an athlete, doing stuff like the Maxim photospread isn’t helping matters any. It’s like that one female soccer player (Brandi Chastain) ripping her shirt off after winning a game years ago and then complaining when that was the big story instead of the victory.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    This has nothing to do with Pro Wrestling marks. People do the same judging for ladies in movies, work, and web politicians. And everybody does it to a degree.

    I agree with Ivan…. If Fedor/Ricco gets signed, I will be mad!! I’ce already seen some people online try to justify it as a good fight…. Pathetic!!

  11. Mike says:

    I think everything he says is entirely fair. The fact that it’s not particularly tasteful is more of a validation than a slight on it’s accuracy.

  12. Steve Barry says:

    The Fedor-Mousasi exhibition will be more competitive than Fedor-Rodriguez.

  13. ultmma says:

    I’m going to vote for complete lack of taste. I think he was going for controversial and came off as bitter towards attractive people. Male or female being good looking does not hurt you in sports or in any occupation in general be it in the entertainment industry or if you’re a lawyer or doctor.

    Athletes like Tom Brady, David Beckham, and Derek Jeter have edge in endorsements and media coverage because they are considered good looking. Maria Sharapova and Danica Patrick come to mind as well.

    The fact that fighters like Oscar Del Hoya, GSP and Gina Carano are all attractive means they will get more exposure. Welcome to the real world where attractive people have a edge over ugly people. Not exactly breaking news.

    all that being said the main point of the article is how will people react to seeing the face of women’s MMA beaten up?

    which is a good question, espcially how will the casual fan and mainstream media react to that scenario

  14. Dave says:

    Even Meltzer is coming across like an idiot with this.

    Gina Carano is a lot better of a fighter, technically, than Cyborg. Cyborg has that reckless Chute Boxe style that can yield crazy, astounding knockouts or lead to bad ground fights where they look helpless.

    Carano can at least fight on the ground a bit better and her striking skills are more technical and refined. To say that Cyborg will walk through Gina is just ridiculous.

  15. Mark says:

    Undoubtedly sex sells everywhere. But I’m saying it’s extra bad coming from pro wrestling writers it seems. To paraphrase what Gloria Allred said once about men not being able to respect women after listening to misogynistic rap music, men cannot respect women athletes after watching Kelly Kelly vs Rosa Mendes.

  16. Dan Wilder says:

    Mike Coughlin is easily the worst of the worst when it comes to MMA reporting. Rather sure he only got his job doing MMA reporting because (shockingly) Bryan Alvarez didn’t wanna do it for his own site.

    Keep in mind Mike Coughlin is also the same fellow who decided to “work” a racist “gimmick” on the F4W message board to “get over” with posters on the board.

    Basically he’s terrible and nothing he says should be taken with any amount of seriousness.

  17. Fred says:

    After the “towel” fiasco and more than one failure to make weight for fights, I’ve no respect for Carano at all. She’s a side-show—the glamour-circus-girl who also fights. I’m not a big fan of female MMA in general; but I’m not against it. However, I’m against giving a pass to a fighter who obviously lacks professionalism and discipline.

    Gina is a sideshow with big boobs. I wouldn’t pay a red cent to watch her fight (although I might pay for a Playboy mag she’s in if she did that). I thought Mike showed accuracy and restraint in his article.

  18. Dan Wilder says:


    So do you not respect Nick Diaz, Travis Lutter, Thiago Alves, and the dozens of other fighters who’ve missed weight?

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    I think Mark does make a good point with Carano doing Maxim. Patrick did the same sort of things.

    On one hand, these women want equality. On the other hand, they want to use their sex appeal to get attention. It should not go both ways. You either be a serious athlete and conduct yourself in that manner…. Or you try and be a sometimes fighter sometimes sex symbol, and expect people to not take you as seriously.

    And don’t get me wrong…. There is nothing wrong with being on the cover of a magazine. Derek Jeter has been…. But he does so in nice clothing. If Carano wants to try and get on the cover of a magazine that isn’t like Maxim, I say that’s great…

    As for the Ricco Rodriguez thing…. Here are a list of fighters I would rank ahead of him right now (in no exact order):

    1. Brock Lesnar
    2. Frank Mir
    3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
    4. Randy Couture
    5. Shane Carwin
    6. Junio Dos Santos
    7. Cain Velasquez
    8. Gabriel Gonzaga
    9. Heath Herring
    10. Cheick Kongo
    11. Mirko Filipovic
    12. Ben Rothwell
    13. Roy Nelson
    14. Fedor Emelianenko
    15. Alistair Overeem
    16. Brett Rogers
    17. Paul Buentello
    18. Fabricio Werdum
    19. Jeff Monson
    20. Antonio Silva
    21. Josh Barnett
    22. Tim Sylvia
    23. Andrei Arlovski
    24. Pedro Rizzo
    25. Gilbert Yvel
    26. Travis Wiuff
    27. Mario Rinaldi
    28. Stanislav Nedkov
    29. Sergei Kharitonov
    30. Ray Mercer

    And that’s just the list of the guaranteed guys ranked above him. He is still likely below the Chris Tuchscherer & Mike Russow’s as well.

    So it’s safe to say Ricco Rodriguez isn’t even Top 30. Could probably say he is Top 50, but barely…. It will be nothing but garbage if that fight is made….

  20. Dave2 says:

    Fedor vs. Ricco? You gotta be kidding me. The 2003 Ricco that arguably beat Nogueira was a great fighter. But the present Ricco versus Fedor? What a joke. Does Coker truly believe this is gonna sell?

    As for Carano vs. Cyborg, that fight comes down to whether Carano’s Muay Thai is skilled enough to overcome Cyborg’s Chute Boxe brawling Muay Thai.

    And let’s be honest with ourselves here. If Carano did take a beating (win or lose) in that fight, there is going to be a lot of controversy in the media. We live in a sexist society that pressures BOTH men and women into narrow gender roles. Our society doesn’t just penalize women. Men can’t cry without being called a pussy, men can’t be househusbands without being called a pussy and discriminated against when they re-enter the workforce, men can’t enjoy taking care of children without being called a pedophile. If you rather drink a wine cooler than a beer, you are seen as a pussy (that applies to me. I hate beer) At least it’s not as taboo to be androgynous as a woman. Our society should reject the idea that we should conform to traditional gender roles.

  21. Mark says:

    lol@Fedor ranked at #14. You always find news ways to bait people here. That heatseeking attempt was slick.

    I remember reading an article a while back (maybe on Sherdog but I can’t remember) where they asked a few female fighters what they thought of Gina in Maxim and none of them had a problem with it, which surprised me. They all basically said “Anything that brings attention to our sport is great”, so if they don’t have a problem with it why should we? But at the same time they should see why people do. That the “I wanted to show athletes can be beautiful too” line played out after various figure skaters, tennis players and Olympians did Playboy.

  22. 45 Huddle says:


    Please read my post again…. It says: “(in no exact order)”.

    If you noticed, I just mostly went by company…. First UFC, then Strikeforce, then the rest. I didn’t take the time to rank anybody…. Just put the names out there that are definitely above Ricco right now.

    “so if they don’t have a problem with it why should we?”

    No offense to the women fighters out there, but they should have a problem with it. Certain types of attention are not good attention. If they can’t recognize that, it is scary.

    To me, a female fighter posing in Maxim is no different then DREAM putting on the HULK Tournament. Well, I guess they are different, but they have the same effect. It’s a quick way to get attention for the sport, but not the right type of attention. You are trying to get people hooked on one thing, and then bait and switch it with another. That almost never works.

    If you don’t build it on sport, then once an ugly fighter comes along who beats everybody, the sport of Women’s MMA is totally lost…..

  23. Alan Conceicao says:

    The issues Kournikova and Patrick have/had in “being taken seriously” is that they came up short as competitive athletes. Carano has yet to prove herself to a lot of folks that she’s serious and beating Cyborg probably does that.

  24. Scott R. says:

    I think Coughlin brought up a valid point, but he couldn’t have done a worse job putting it out there. If Cyborg goes in and completely destroys Carano, bloodies her up, etc., I think there could be some negative backlash.

    As far as Meltzer’s comment that Ivan brought up, I think that was more of a throwaway remark and not something that should be deeply analyzed. Watch any sporting event with women and more than likely they will gravitate towards whoever is the best looking guy competing. It’s not crazy to think the same could be said about men’s interest in Carano. On the other hand, the comment would have probably made more sense if Carano was completely running away with the poll instead of it being fairly close.

    Also, I really like the Fight Opinion forum for its thought-provoking discussions, but the trolling on 45 Huddle is starting to get a little tiresome. Mark didn’t even read his post and just started bashing him about the Fedor ranking. I see people call Huddle a troll and a baiter all the time, but I think the reality is people are just looking for ways to jump on him.

  25. armed says:

    This is the sort of person the bankrupt fertittas attract to the sport. Your weird, delusional, adult-children, who think tele-theater like the wwe or general hospital or CSI are real.

    How to trash the Ferttitas is the question. It must be done. When it is, MMA will grow up.

  26. Alan Conceicao says:

    The sense I see out there is that the “smarts” are picking Cyborg. Not necessarily people that know more about fighting, just people who consider themselves business savvy about MMA or whatever.

    As for 45, he’s good at what he does. The best was his trolling in the Dana White vidblog deal where he eventually was arguing that using racial slurs is okay.

  27. A. Taveras says:

    If Carano loses then Strikeforce gets to schedule a rematch. sure she loses a bit of steam, but I’m sure enough of a fanbase will remain to watch her try to come back. Not many on that roster are as famous as she is at the moment.

    And as long as UFC is out of the women’s MMA game it is a cost-efficient niche SF can run with, so if Carano loses it doesn’t kill women’s MMA. Coker can keep rolling the dice on new girls until another decently photogenic and decently skilled female gets some attention.

  28. Grape Knee High says:

    I really don’t see how it is tasteless to point out that a large number of Carano fans are fans because she is attractive. It’s the truth.

    And the author asks a very legitimate question about the public’s reaction to women’s MMA that, thus far, has been mostly positive, if Carano’s face is turned into raw hamburger.

    Do you guys really think sex appeal and the way she markets herself has nothing to do with Carano’s popularity? Really?

    Sometimes I really wonder what kind of insular world MMA fans live in.

  29. Mark says:

    Yes, I did miss that, sorry 45. I just saw all the UFCers on top and figured that was your real opinion.

    I think the fight can go either way. I don’t think Gina is going to come in as unmotivated and half-ass trained as she did in her last fight, I think this is going to be the best Gina Carano we’ve seen.

    While Chute Boxe fighters can’t help but be wild, I don’t think she’s as reckless as some of their camp. She is over 160 pounds after re-hydrating from a cut so her stamina is a big question. To win she’s going to need a KO in the first two rounds, after that I could see Gina outlasting her. But her KOing Gina is very, very possible, especially if she’s dumb enough to slug it out. And how Gina is going to handle a dangerous striker after being protected for so long is going to be interesting. But I’m undecided.

  30. Ivan Trembow says:

    “I can only imagine if Carano is KO’d by a huge legkick… What that could do to women’s MMA…”

    Fingers crossed, right? It’s pretty clear that you’re actively rooting for women’s MMA to fail just as you’re actively rooting for Strikeforce to fail. They’re the “away team” who dared to try to score against your beloved “home team,” right?

    Also, a leg kick is a kick to the leg. A head kick (or high kick) is a kick to the head.

    “To me, a female fighter posing in Maxim is no different then DREAM putting on the HULK Tournament.”

    Was Maria Sharapova posing in the SI swimsuit issue also an abomination? Was Danica Patrick posing in the SI swimsuit issue also on abomination? Are Sharapova and Patrick not still taken seriously in their sports? Sharapova was still ranked #1 in the world after appearing in the SI swimsuit issue.

    “As for 45, he’s good at what he does. The best was his trolling in the Dana White vidblog deal where he eventually was arguing that using racial slurs is okay.”

    lol, I remember that, along with saying that it was “refreshing” after a male executive berated a female reporter in a misogynistic fashion… and saying that if Loretta Hunt can’t handle being talked to like that, then she should get a different job… and going on for weeks and weeks about whether Hunt’s story was accurate or inaccurate, as if that had anything whatsoever with whether or not it’s acceptable to talk like that, as if the story being painted as “inaccurate” would somehow make it okay for his hero to have said all the things that he said…

    Most pro fighters in the Sherdog poll also picked Carano to beat Cyborg. I wonder if this means Meltzer is also going to write that those fighters are thinking with their penises instead of their brains, like he wrote about his own readers. There are reasonable arguments to be made that either fighter could win, but, “You’re thinking with your penis” is not one of them.

  31. 45 Huddle says:

    I just don’t like watch female fights. They lack a lot of the basic fundamentals their male counterparts have. Even if Carano/Cyborg took place in the WEC, I really wouldn’t be a fan.

    “Are Sharapova and Patrick not still taken seriously in their sports?”

    To answer your question…. For the most part, YES. It takes away from what they are doing in their sports.

  32. Ivan Trembow says:

    I would argue that Danica Patrick is not taken seriously because of her temper tantrums on the track (some of which would make even your hero blush) and that it has nothing to do with her SI swimsuit shoot.

    As for Sharapova, she is still one of the top female tennis players in the world and is indeed taken seriously as a great female athlete… though perhaps female tennis players lack the basic fundamentals of their male counterparts. Is that what you’re going to argue next?

  33. 45 Huddle says:

    SI, GoDaddy…. She has put herself out there as a sex symbol. That hurts her credibility. Just like the females, who lack a lot of the finer techniques the guys have…. You combine that with the sex appeal stuff…. And it’s a short terms rating boost at best.

  34. Mr_Mike says:

    “It should not go both ways. You either be a serious athlete and conduct yourself in that manner…. Or you try and be a sometimes fighter sometimes sex symbol, and expect people to not take you as seriously.”

    It was fine for Joe Namath.

    It should be fine for Gina. It really doesn’t matter. If you have good looks, use them. It’s no different than any other talent one has. Take advantage of it and, if you win, who cares what the naysayers think. If you lose, it really had nothing to do with your lose anyway.

  35. Wolverine says:


    If you want to see skilled MMA female fighters, watch Megumi Fuji or Miku Matsumoto. Contrary to what Strikeforce says Carano and Cyborg are not the best female fighters in the world.

  36. Black Dog says:

    First of all, most MMA fans tend to be guys, and I can see why people dig Gina. She’s good looking, can fight to some extent, etc.

    But yeah, she’s playing up the “cheesecake” image and probably made more money for the Maxim spread than she ever has as a fighter. She’d be a fool not to take that kind of cash.

    I just don’t think Gina Carano has fought anyone of the likes of Cyborg, and she’s gonna have to prove to me that she can handle that woman.

    Of course, I can’t wait to see if one or both of them fails to make weight. What do they do then?

    Gina seems clueless about media relations; on one hand, she’ll talk a good game, then she’ll act all shy and mumbly, like she has no idea what to say. It’s true, like it or not you do have to do interviews and promote your fight. Where she’s been lately, I wonder.

    That being said, Gina needs better PR people to help her out, and she needs to train harder. Recent shots of her don’t give me much hope that she’ll be fit for much more than a round with Cyborg. Hope I’m wrong.

    As for the comment about domestic violence? A poor choice of words, and I would not have used them. And by the way to the guy who said that, this is MMA. You’re not gonna come out of every fight looking like an apple-cheeked American Girl doll; deal with it.

    I just hope Gina is ready, because I honestly think Cyborg is gonna wipe the mat with her.

  37. Grape Knee High says:

    “Are Sharapova and Patrick not still taken seriously in their sports?”

    To answer your question…. For the most part, YES. It takes away from what they are doing in their sports.

    45, you have no idea what you’re talking about here. We already know you don’t watch IRL and it’s now obvious you don’t watch women’s tennis either.

  38. Alan Conceicao says:

    I figured we’d be arguing over Kournikova, who never won anything as a tennis player and ceased to be taken seriously as a player eons ago. Sharapova was #1 in the world and has 3 of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments. She was very seriously taken as a tennis player, though she’s been largely inactive due to injuries in recent years.

  39. Ivan Trembow says:

    Perhaps the next argument will be that Megumi Fujii and Miku Matsumoto lack basic fundamentals.

  40. Mark says:



  41. Ivan Trembow says:

    UFC to Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory a couple of days ago: You’re released.

    Dana White to Kevin Iole earlier today: I didn’t even know Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory were released, but this won’t stand and they will be re-hired.

    Dana White to Kevin Iole a few hours later: Never mind, Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory really are released.


    Also, Gina Carano and Cyborg both made weight, much to the dismay of those who are rooting for women’s MMA to fail.

  42. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    All the title fighters made weight big margins and looked more than a little ripped. Particularly Babalu, who honestly does not have a six pack history (well, not that kind).

  43. archerD says:

    Gina isnt playing up the “cheescake”. She is GIVEN that role because the brain poor 18-34 demographic would rather see her in Playboy than in MMA. Would rather talk about her looks than her abilities. She is using their lustful ignorance to her advantage.

    She got paid more to do Maxim because thats what the sheep want to see her do.
    Higher forms of life appreciate her effort and respect her courage. Clearly women’s MMA isnt easy.

    As for the rest…thousands of neanderthals beat thousands of pretty women every year and no one seems to care.
    At least Gina is choosing her fate and doing what she wants to do. She doesnt care about staying pretty for the squeamish, narrow-minded masses who still believe women only live to be toys for boys.

  44. Wolverine says:

    It sounds like this fight if for middleweight title, so I guess 145 for women is MW. Any1 has any idea about names of other female weight classes in US. Is 135 WW, 125 LW, 115 FW etc.?


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