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ELITE XC Top Female Fighter - Interview with Gina Carano

By Robert Rousseau,
If you didn't know Gina Carano and saw her on the street, you'd never guess she was a fighter. You'd think model or athlete, but certainly not fighter. Remember, though, that's if you saw her on the street.

If you saw her in an octagon or ring, it would be a different story.

Carano had already compiled a 12-1-1 Muay Thai record before trying her hand at MMA. And now, three fights into her mixed martial arts career, she's 3-0 with two (T)KO's to her credit. Maybe she gets her toughness from her father, a former NFL and USFL quarterback. Perhaps she gets it from a mother that was apparently one heck-of-an athlete herself. Regardless, as you'll soon see, she is both a lady and tough as nails.

How do we know? Simply because Carano took time out of her busy schedule only one day before becoming the first female (along with her opponent, Julie Kedzie) to fight on a nationally televised MMA card. On February 10th, she's set to square off with Kedzie on Elite XC's first ever event on Showtime at 10 P.M.

Now on to the interview.

RR:  How's training been going?

GC:  It's been great. Awesome!

RR:  Any injuries or anything that has stopped you, or have you just been moving along fine?

GC:  My foot might have a broken piece in it; but other than that, we're cool.

RR:  Which foot is it?

GC:  My right foot.

RR:  Have you ever gotten a chance to see Julie Kedzie fight before?

GC:  I've seen one of her fights, and it was a pretty good fight; she's a strong girl. I mean from the fight I saw, I know I can beat her. So if I show up mentally and physically fit, and if everything shows up with me, I should be good to go.

RR:  Where do you want this fight to go? Do you want to stand or go to the ground? I mean- I think I know the answer.

GC:  I just like standing fights because they're so much more fun to me right now. But I've been working on my jiu-jitsu a little bit here and there. Still, jiu-jitsu is not something you learn overnight. So, I have a long ways to go with that obviously. I just like striking.

RR:  Would you say that this is the biggest fight of your life at this point?

GC:  Definitely the biggest fight. And you know it's the start of a new career. Well, not a new career, but the start of my career. One of the first ladies in my sport is a nice place to start.

RR:  No doubt. How did you end up in Elite XC for their inaugural show?

GC:  Gary Shaw presented from three different directions about putting on a female fight. And they said if you're going to put one on, get Gina Carano, because that was right after my Strikeforce event. So 15 hours after they made the proposal, I was doing the press conference. It happened really fast. But I thought in my heart it was the right thing to do, so I went for it. I had a really good feeling about it.

RR:  Are you nervous at all about fighting on the card? After all, you'll be the first female fighter broadcast on national TV tonight.

GC:  No. I'm just thankful and honored to be here. If I'm just myself and try my hardest and fight good, that's all I can do. I'm nervous and want to represent, but I'm also just going to be me.

RR:  Definitely. Do you know when you're going to go off on Saturday? Do you know which fight you are?

GC:  I think I'm the second fight on television. So probably pretty early in the show.

RR:  Awesome. Now if I was doing this post- fight and was asking questions, what kind of questions would I be asking you?

GC:  You'd be asking me, what are you going to go do the week after your victory (laughing)?

RR:  Okay, okay (laughing). Do you think the foot is going to bother you at all or is it just something that you should be able to work through in the fight?

GC:  My adrenaline will be going. So hopefully if I feel it acting up like I have been, I'll just have to deal with it later: which I've done before. Any fighter has probably gotten a little broken bone in their foot that's just this little nag. It's life; it's fighting. I didn't get sick before this fight like I did my last fight, so I'm thankful for that. And I'm not going to have to completely cut a shit load of more weight. I'm going to be cool on that. Everything's going pretty smooth for this. If the worst thing I have to worry about is a little tiny broken bone in my foot, then we're cool.

RR:  Then that's pretty good news.

GC:  Yeah.

RR:  Who did you train with coming into this? Was there anyone new?

GC:  I trained with Master Toddy and all the people there, which I love. I trained with Scott Bieri for my jiu-jitsu, Chris Mim for my boxing, and Marc Laimon. Scott Bieri and Marc Laimon, they train with each other.

RR:  So you worked jiu-jitsu with Laimon.

GC:  Yeah, well, I took a couple of his classes, and he's just a phenomenal instructor. I have the utmost respect for him and Scott and Chris, and I'd like to thank them for that. You know, I'm going into a different thing and jiu-jitsu is a huge part of it. They make me understand jiu-jitsu in a way that allows me to pick it up easily, which I really appreciate. I have a long ways to go, of course, but I really find their classes interesting.

RR:  When did you first start training jiu-jitsu, because I know that you've been striking for awhile longer, right?

GC:  Yeah, I've been striking for three and a half years and been doing jiu-jitsu for only about eight months. So we've got a long ways to go with jiu-jitsu (laughing). I know that one of the big things is to remain breathing and steady and not to freak out on the ground. I'm not scared to go there.

RR:  Good luck Saturday night and thank you so much for talking with me.

GC:  Thank you.

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