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Sporting News writer: Gina Carano is the female Kimbo Slice

By Zach Arnold | August 17, 2009

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Let the fireworks begin:

MMA: Gina Carano has to be one of the biggest marketing let-downs in MMA history. She is like the female Kimbo Slice.

Other Carano-related articles

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 45 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

45 Responses to “Sporting News writer: Gina Carano is the female Kimbo Slice”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Both were products of the Gary Shaw hype machine.

    Both were very unproven.

    Both got wrecked in main events.

    I would say she is a female Kimbo Slice. She has shown to be more skillful then Kimbo, but the same qualities are there.

  2. BM2 says:

    Mmmmmm… delicious MMath

  3. Dave says:

    Ridiculous. I don’t really like Gina that much but she got caught early on by Cyborg who overwhelmed her and she completely lost her composure.

    She is still, for the most part, a newer fighter and hasn’t had much experience being completely overwhelmed like this. If Gina is a real fighter she’ll learn from this and come back.

  4. jr says:

    Gina got hyped for her looks. She was struggling with some of the tomato cans Elite XC served her

  5. Steve4192 says:

    The biggest difference between Kimbo and Gina is their age.

    Kimbo is a guy in his mid-30s who is way behind in his learning curve. Buy the time he catches up to everybody else, he will be over the hill. Gina is in her mid-20s and already has a solid skill set. She was just physically overwhelmed by the female Brock Lesnar.

    Gina still has a bright future in the sport if she chooses to put her nose to the grindstone and continue to improve. Kimbo does not. He’ll never be more than an entertaining gatekeeper type.

  6. klown says:

    45 can always count on garnering a lot of support on Bloody Elbow for his anti-WMMA perspective.

  7. klown says:

    Although I am impressed by Michael Rome’s impassioned rebuttals.

  8. Mark says:

    Yes, she was almost as protected by Shaw as Kimbo was. But Cyborg is hardly Seth Petruzelli, she was the favorite by a sizable margin in every betting odds. This was not an upset. The only problem is that I don’t think there’s any other credible fighter in her weightclass for her to fight in her comeback fight to restore her as a contender, this is basically a 2 person division. A close fight would have been okay for either to lose because people would want a quick re-match, a clear domination from Cyborg makes nobody believe Gina can comeback. This will be like the Anderson Silva-Rich Franklin situation where absolutely nobody believes it’s going to be any different and don’t watch.

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    The Kimbo comparison in the Sporting News is just an ignorant comparison from someone who probably knows very little about MMA.

  10. Robert Poole says:

    So now anyone that receives any form of hype or marketing and loses is a complete failure? That puts promoters in a pretty impossible position. Why not just say, “Nope you can’t promote that fighter, even if people like them and they’re exciting because they could lose and then you lied to everybody.”

    How incredibly stupid is that article above?

    I thought actually Carano was in the fight which is more than people said about Cyborg’s other opponents. Had Carano not given up the mount so easily she should have been able to ground and pound her way to a possible victory. I just think she was rattled by Cyborg’s power and got off her game plan which is why they always say everyone has a game plan until they get hit.

    BTW, I actually think there was more real emotion from the crowd during that Carano fight then any fight I have ever seen. People were excited when she got offense, legitimately frightened when Cyborg got position. It was thrilling from that standpoint. Maybe it’s the misogynistic fears of men everywhere that they don’t want to see the girl they like get beat up but it still provided more emotion then seeing a lot of the best male fighters in the world fight.

    Yes there was a lot of guys motivated by her looks in thinking/worrying about her but also the invincibility aura of Cyborg made for a contrast that drew real emotion from the audience and that’s exactly what Women’s MMA needed to push forward and create new fighters. Inspiration.


  11. Dave says:

    The Kimbo comparison only goes so far. I tossed up some thoughts on the TMMA main page, and I can see that both were marketing successes of the Shaws, the difference is Gina challenged herself, Kimbo didn’t. Kimbo was downright scared when he found out he was facing an actual threat that he wasn’t prepared for.

    Gina wanted this fight, full well knowing she could get smashed into oblivion. That to me says so much about her and shows a lot of promise for her. If she works on her ground game a bit more and some stand up countering techniques it is feasible she could take Cyborg in a rematch.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    I think if you go directly to a title shot when fighting people who should be in another weight class…. And then fail miserably in that title shot…. You are bound to get bad press.

    if Carano had fought een one woman her own size who seemed to be credible before the type shot, thi wouldn’t be an issue.

    Not to mention both Kimbo & Carano were headlining events with much much more qualified fighters on the undercard….

  13. Mike Rome says:

    The emotion live felt like watching a Randy fight live, if you’ve ever experienced that. It’s a combination of rooting for the favorite to win combined with fear of that person getting badly hurt.

    With Randy, it’s because he’s old and beloved, with Gina it’s because she’s hot and everyone likes her. I went to the Fedor Affliction fights, and I’ve been to a lot of UFC cards and besides Couture fights it’s hard to remember any fight with this kind of live heat.

  14. Adam Smith says:

    Hyped? Yes. Kimboesque? You’ve got to be kidding.

    This is just more transparent propaganda from the Zuffa lemmings like 45 Pudddle and the lame o mma media that attacks anything not rubber stamped by Dana.

    Pathetic. Carrano did better than I expected and is in fact for real.

    I would pay $1000 to see 45 Puddle and Cyborg in a fight.

  15. Mr.Roadblock says:

    Rome is right that there is a huge swelling of emotion during Randy fights. Same thing with the Fedor, Barnett and Arlovski fights at that first Affliction show. And the first Mir/Lesnar fight (I wasn’t at the second one). When you get a building filled with hardcore fans it’s incredible. Hughes/Trigg II was incredible when Hughes carried Trigg across the Octagon.

    Comparing Gina to Kimbo is very fair. Both were promoted as the faces of Elite XC by Gary Shaw who does a great job building hype.

    Let’s look at Gina’s high profile fights in Elite XC/Strikeforce.
    Kelly Kobold – 2 fight losing streak going into fight.
    Caitlin Young – Lost previous fight
    Tanya Evenger – Lost previous fight
    Julie Kendzi – Lost previous fight.

    All those girls were considerably outweighed by Gina. Those aren’t just handpicked opponents, they are handcrafted.

    Kimbo got the same treatment and everyone was up in arms.

    What would people say if a UFC fighter got built up on four straight opponents that had lost their previous fight?

    A lot of you guys that defend Gina attack Brock Lesnar. All over this board there are posts saying Strikeforce is about fighters first and the sport first and this and that. It’s a double standard.

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    Adam Smith,

    Looks like others agree with my stance. Perhaps you should be the one to fight Cyborg now…. I’ll pay $.05 to watch a feed online….

    Adam “One Nut” Smith vs. Chris “Cyborg” Santos

    If your fighting skills are anything like your posts, you wouldn’t last 20 seconds. And this will be the last time you call me names.

  17. Robert Poole says:


    So out of all the posts after your last post (which Adam replied to), one guy agreed with you and you think you have the prevailing opinion in this thread? Please. Get over yourself.

    These articles were canned. I am willing to bet money that these were pre-written if not on Friday then maybe weeks before… waiting, hoping to attack Carano.

    There’s a lot of motivation… protecting the Zuffa gravy train (aka your calling card), resentment over Carano’s pub because of her looks, agitation with her previous issues with making weight, general misogynistic attitudes towards Women’s MMA…

    Whatever the case may be, people were waiting to pounce on Gina Carano and a lot of writers had this opinion set no matter how the fight would have went.

    If Carano wins we then hear about how Women’s MMA is screwed because she has no opponents (a tactic also being employed today), how Cyborg was overrated, how Carano needed to have the extra weight class put in front of her so she could actually make weight and win a title…

    Some people were aiming for a way to attack Carano and this only fueled the fire they already had burning. The problem is there’s no legitimate way to defend it.

    Carano looked legitimate in her loss. She made Cyborg, who was practically invincible previously, look vulnerable and could have won the fight if she hadn’t let Cyborg’s power and relentless striking fluster her.

    Women’s MMA main evented a fairly big show with a pretty emotional fight that will have women athletes thinking about doing the same and getting into the sport.

    There is no reason to consider Carano’s loss as if she’s some worthless bum like Kimbo and to say it’s not a pathetic smear to say that proves you have waited for this moment to attack since day one as well.

    Kimbo has no real future. He has no legitimate shot against real top heavyweights. Many people knew this from the beginning. Carano however could still fight some quality women’s fighters and could possibly beat Cyborg in a rematch.

    There is a vast difference to the two and to say otherwise is a petty smear by the haters.


  18. 45 Huddle says:

    You had me until you said Carano could beat Cyborg in a rematch.

  19. Mr.Roadblock says:

    I don’t think it is necessary to call Kimbo a worthless bum. Where do you get off saying that?

    Kimbo’s fighting skills at this point don’t warrant the push he got. But it isn’t necessary to resort to name calling. Then you write this two paragraphs later: “a petty smear by the haters.”

    There is getting to be way too much name calling on this site. We used to have very nice, civil discussions here.

  20. 45 Huddle says:

    As for the crowd….

    A lot of it has to do with ticket prices. At UFC 101, the hardcore fans were mostly sitting in $200 or less seats. This was the entire upper section and the side seats in the lower section. The more expensive tickets don’t always go to the hardcore fans.

    Strikeforce sells a cheaper ticket. Not to mention they know how to sell well in one market. Which means they have a hardcore fanbase in most of those seats. The UFC does not.

    That doesn’t automatically mean Carano’s performance was more emotional then a UFC main event. Not really. It just means the people sitting in the stands are different. The same thing happens for big boxing events all the time. The best crowds are typically not for the ODLH vs. FMJ fights. The best crowds are the cheaper tickets which have Miguel Cotto and 10,000+ screaming Puerto Rican fans….

  21. Chuck says:

    Gina Carano is MILES ahead better than Kimbo Slice, but she is hardy the best female out there, and neither is Cyborg. Hell, I doubt Carano is top ten lb-4-lb. THE best is Megumi Fujii, and if you disagree and know who Fujii is then you need to get your head checked. Barely anyone else comes close. Maybe Tara Larosa. And possibly Satoko Shinashi along with Miku Matsumoto. I’m not being biased towards Japanese fighters, the talent level is pretty damn deep amongst Japanese females.

    And to counter the article from Bloody Elbow, there are a TON of female wrestlers. From Japan, but still. And many female Judoka, including the States. Hell, American ladies actually win medals in Judo in the Olympics, unlike the men recently.

    In a top ten, I guess Cris Cyborg would fit somewhere there, but I could actually see Erin Toughill or Sarah Kaufman beat her someday. Kaufman needs a little more seasoning (even though she’s 10-0, and Cyborg is 8-1, but oh well).

  22. Chuck says:

    Okay, ONE American chick got a bronze medal last year, but US men got nothing in Judo, so the point still stands, but modified.

  23. Mark says:

    We used to have very nice, civil discussions here.

    Indeed. The comments section turned into Sherdog during the Fedor news stories last month. Hopefully it will bounce back, because “SHOW SOME RESPECT TO THE UFC DOO DOO HEAD!” “YOU’RE AN ASTROTURFER YOU DINGLEBERRY!” shit is older than Ron Van Clief.

  24. Robert Poole says:

    “I don’t think it is necessary to call Kimbo a worthless bum. Where do you get off saying that?”

    As far as ever having a legitimate future as a top level fighter, yes he is. And you need to go back a ways because this is how people talked about boxers all the time back in the day.

    Your response is interesting. In one post you say Carano and Kimbo were nothing but media hype and proceed to rip all of Carano’s opponents as if she was nothing but a chump. Then the next you’re upset if someone refers to Kimbo as the nothing you just compared him to.

    Interesting to say the least.


  25. 45 Huddle says:

    Once a day, I’m getting a negative post from Adam, Ivan, or Alan.

    I have no problem with it being content related, but most of the time they just put a sarcastic comment or make a dig at me without really backing anything up. I have definitely started to fire back the last few days.

    Honestly, they just need to stop. They don’t have to agree with me on even one topic, but the insults need to stop.

  26. 45 Huddle says:

    As for Kimbo, he’s exactly where he should be at this point in his career…. On The Ultimate Fighter….

  27. Robert Poole says:


    The Bloody Elbow article is pure crap. It is loaded poorly drawn out false conclusions and false comparisons in a way to insult the very concept of women being considered respectable athletes.

    There are women fighters out there of some quality that can be marketed but it’s going to be some work because there is no TUF for women fighters, no UFN shows for women… it’s going to be require a heavy push because frankly they don’t get the same level of exposure as the men. Saturday night Strikeforce would have done themselves a huge favor by having a match to build up the next challenger to the women’s title. They only broadcast 4 fights which seemed short anyway. An extra women’s fight and you heighten the importance of a women’s division outside of the one dream match to another level.


  28. Mr.Roadblock says:

    I didn’t call Carano a worthless bum like you did Kimbo. I did a comparison analysis, using facts, and showed that they were handled and promoted the same way. For some reason people love Gina and hate Kimbo. They make all kinds of excuses for Gina’s one side loss Saturday, going so far as to say she could win a rematch, based on what exactly?

    It’s probably because those people think Gina is attractive and Kimbo is big, black and scary looking (though he’s a really nice and humble guy if you are fortunate enough to meet him).

  29. Robert Poole says:

    I don’t disagree that Kimbo’s probably a nice guy. And him being big, black and scary has nothing to do with the fact that he has very little skill on the ground and will not fare well against other heavyweights.

    Carano had Cyborg in mount position and had Cyborg in at least a little bit of trouble. Had she stuck with the mount she very well could have won that fight. To dismiss her chances in a rematch means either you didn’t watch the fight or didn’t want Carano to win so badly that you discount the moments in which she had the advantage.

    I’m not saying Cyborg isn’t the superior fighter with better skills, I’m saying Carano made her look vulnerable at times and had she stuck with the mount we could be talking about a very different outcome right now.

  30. Black Dog says:

    Okay…Gina Carano lost. As usual, mainstream sports media goes mad and screams it’s the end of the world as we know it.

    So Gina didn’t win; so what? She was outgunned by a determined Cyborg. I too think she was in it, and I disagree with the whiners who put Gina up as a female Kimbo.

    As someone noted earlier, Gina needs to take the loss, learn from it and get back to training. I think she will, and hopefully she’ll get a better line on fighting opponents that will stretch her abilities, and prove she is legit, rather than the Shaw tactic of running up her record against losers.

    Cyborg right now is the face of women’s MMA; get over it. Women’s MMA will carry on, but of course it will always play second fiddle to the men, just because of human nature.

    But the showbiz, WWE bullshit needs to end now. You want to market WMMA and make it respectable? You book the best matches, you push the best fighters, regardless of what they look like. That’s all there is to it.

  31. 45 Huddle says:

    “Carano had Cyborg in mount position and had Cyborg in at least a little bit of trouble.”

    Did you see the fight?

    Cyborg threw Carano on top of her…. right into the mount position. And Carano seemed absolutely clueless and ended up standing up and almost getting caught in a leglock.

    It would be one thing if Carano secured the takedown, passed guard and got to mount. That would show skill. But what happened actually made Carano look kind of like Kimbo when it comes to grappling…. Which is little to no knowledge.

    They both lack even the basic basic basic fundamentals of wrestling or judo. I’ve seen average high school wrestlers with more of a clue on how to grapple. Just the balance, footwork, and hip movement is non-existent. It’s kind of embarrassing for the sport.

  32. Wolverine says:


    Just a reminder: It was Cyborg who pulled mount, not Gina having a moment.

  33. 45 Huddle says:

    Also, the backlash is to be expected. The same thing would of happened if Randy Couture dominated Brock Lesnar.

    People don’t like to be deceived or lied to. I’m not saying Strikeforce is crooked here, because they are not. They got this fight fed to them thanks to EliteXC and it would of been stupid not to go with it.

    But EliteXC and then Strikeforce promoted her like she was a CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL fighter. And yet when it came time to perform, she was more then obviously not championship level. It’s different then Griffin being dominated by Silva, because Griffin had already proven he was championship level. Or even Fitch losing to GSP because Fitch had such a strong record to back up his accomplishments.

    Gina Carano doesn’t have that strong record. She has only a few undersized female wins to show before she got this fight.

    So when a company says: “Hey, check out this first Female Headlined Major MMA Show. And oh by the way, it’s for a World Title”…. People expect more. And when that didn’t deliver in terms of fighting ability (for both fighters) and especially Carano, the backlash started to happen.

    And I honestly feel that some of it is warranted. As Black Dog said, promote the best regardless of looks. And then this backlash won’t be an issue in the future.

  34. Ivan Trembow says:

    Robert Poole wrote: “So now anyone that receives any form of hype or marketing and loses is a complete failure? That puts promoters in a pretty impossible position. Why not just say, “Nope you can’t promote that fighter, even if people like them and they’re exciting because they could lose and then you lied to everybody.”


    and lol at this headline at Yahoo Sports’ UFC section: “Carano turns her back on fans, media and Strikeforce”

  35. Mr.Roadblock says:

    Robert I disagree on two points you’re making. 1st is the point that Ivan quoted. If promoters shield and push fighters for personality the way Gary Shaw did with Carano and Kimbo and they lose their first real test then people can say they were overhyped.

    UFC is pushing Lyoto hard. If he loses to Shogun nobody can say he was protected or wasn’t a worthy champion. They’ll just say Lyoto lost to a better fighter.

    Also the point you make about Gina having the mount. Please watch that part again with the sound off. Cyborg goes for the takedown and Gina lands on top. That was a point I made earlier that both girls have lacking skill sets, neither executed a takedown. All takedown attempts ended with the other fighter on top. Cyborg gets half guard and then Gina stands to get out of the half guard. That was probably the smartest thing she did all fight. Cyborg almost had the heel hook right off the bat and Gina was wise to avoid Cyborg’s second attempt.

  36. […] “Gina Carano is the female Kimbo Slice” read one horrendous headline. “Carano loss is a loss for women’s MMA” and “Four reasons why female MMA will never be popular” were just a couple of others. […]

  37. 45 Huddle says:

    Gilbert Melendez is a greaser? So says Ishida, and he filed a formal complain with the CSAC.

    Source is Dave Meltzer.

    Ooops, it was a verbal complaint….

  38. Adam Smith says:

    Melendez did grease.

    His corner rubbed it down his neck, traps and shoulers right after he hit his face with it.

    Watch the fight instead of TUF reruns 45.

    Oh, never mind…

  39. 45 Huddle says:


    Once again. Stop with the insults. All I did was post some info. You find that as an excuse to bash me.

  40. Dave2 says:

    She’s not a female Kimbo Slice but Gina Carano is probably going to be nothing more than a gate keeper. She can’t hang with the power of Cyborg at 145. Nor can she hang with the skill and experience of the top, more experienced 135 ladies (Tara LaRosa, Roxy Modafferi, Sarah Kaufman and more I’m missing). So whether she stays in her own weight classes or makes the dreaded cut to 135, she’s screwed either way.

  41. Chuck says:

    Okay, I horribly disagree with much of what 45 Huddle says, but really, if you are going to flame him, at least attach it to something of use to this thread. Hell, there were times I thought 45 Huddle was nothing but a shill for Zuffa (The “Don’t mess with the UFC!” line destroyed much of whatever credibility he had) but really, keep the flaming shit on Sherdog.

  42. Tradition Rules says:

    Okay, I just watched the Carano vs Santos fight.

    Here are some personal observations:

    Carano was MUCH more competitive then Kimbo,…she lasted almost the entire round, while Kombo was knocked out in 14 seconds and in one strike.

    Santos is a much more well rounded fighter then Seth Petruzelli. That is NOT a knock on Seth, just putting over what a female fighting machine Santos is.

    Enough of the Kimbo comparisons, on to the fight itself-

    Santos DID walk through most of Carano’s punches, but she some seemed to feel some of them. Doesn’t mean that “she was hurt”, just that some shots Gina threw where better then others.

    Gina did very well on defense on many takedown/throw attempts, usually landing right on top (2 or 3 times)….the problem was that Gina didn’t seem to know what to do when on top. Her trainers should be shot. Once Gina had a very nice full-mount and just got up off Santos. It seemed like this was because she just couldn’t get any POWER into her punches from that position,…again, her trainers should be shot. To not have her prepared to be able to use her strikes (her main strength) from a mount should the opportunity arise (which it did more then once) is just ridiculous.

    Gina had a couple very nice escapes (ankle lock and the Americana attempt) and did it with more use of strength then skill, but still looked strong in doing so.

    But for someone with a strong Muay Thai background, she only threw 3 or maybe 4 kicks, no knees that I can remember and one left elbow when they were locked up. She seemed more then overly reliant on boxing, she was very predictable.

    Santos just looked like a machine. Her only mistakes were on the throw/take downs with Gina landing on top most of the time. But she was never really in danger since Gina seemed lost in the full mount. Its true that Santos is probably in better over all condition, but it didn’t seem like it would have made much of a difference if she wasn’t.

    Even though Santos was clearly winning the round, it was more competitive then many have given the impression of.

    Except for the final 20-30 seconds or so, as Gina was just getting pounded into the ground. She just covered up and didn’t even seem to try to rock back and forth on her back, no defense at all.

    What a shame is that it was right at the VERY end of the round. I have no doubts personally that Santos would have won, but it would have been nice to at least see what changes in her gameplan Gina’s corner would have her advised to do.

  43. Lester Grimes says:

    I rarely make any comments, but it’s hard to ignore the recent wave of of flaming and personal attacks here lately. It’s kinda sad to see how low these keyboard warriors can go.

    This is one of the reasons why I refuse to comment on MMA Junkie, Sherdog, etc. Despite Zach’s great posts, it looks like I may add F.O. to the list.

    Ed. — Send me an e-mail and let’s talk.

  44. A. Taveras says:

    Media coverage and controversial headlines aside, I thought Strikeforce’s main event delivered. Exciting fight, and that is all you can ask … honesty from promoters about their fighters? Naive expectation from any who had it.

    The ladies skill sets are not up to snuff, but so far it has led to a number of fun televised fights.

  45. Please says:

    ban Adam Smith.


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