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Strikeforce Preview: Gina Carano vs. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos

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Gina "Conviction" Carano has become the face of women's MMA. In fact, she's the face, body and personality of it. While women's MMA has definitely grown in the past couple of years, it still has some ways to go before the fighters begin getting the recognition that they're seeking. From her obvious good looks to her humble and accommodating personality, Gina has become the torch bearer for the ladies division and has done a great job of promoting the sport. Although weight cutting has been a problem before, I'd expect her to come into this fight in top shape given the magnitude of the event. This hard striking 145 pounder could also test the championship round waters for the first time since this bout is for the Strikeforce women's 145 pound title. The 27-year-old Carano has a professional record of 7-0 with 3 wins coming by way of knockout and 1 win coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that she has faced is 69.0%.

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is an equally dangerous striker. The 24-year-old Brazilian fighter is a physically strong brawler that can devastate an opponent with knees and elbows. She has been able to bully many of her prior opponents with her superior strength. Will she be able to do that to Carano on Saturday? Part of me feels bad for Cristiane simply because the coverage of the event seems to have been built on a type of Beauty vs. The Beast theme. The truth is that Santos is an accomplished martial artist and a tough fighter that poses a real threat to anyone that she steps into the cage with. Look for her to come out focused and ready on Saturday night to put forth her best effort. Santos has a professional record of 7-1 with 5 wins coming by way of knockout and 0 wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that she has faced is 61.5%.

I like MMA fighting. I like looking at Gina Carano. Given these two facts, one might then assume that I'm eagerly anticipating Saturday's main event on Showtime. Not so much. I have to be honest and, for whatever reason, I've just never gotten into following women's MMA. Having said that, I recognize the skill and ability of these great athletes and I'm glad that they're getting a big opportunity like this one. Although I'm anticipating a couple of the undercard fights more than this main event, I appreciate that it is a big first for MMA and I think that it will be a good fight. I'll confess to only having seen either of these two fighters in action a couple of times, so I don't have a lot to go on. My prediction: Gina Carano by submission in the 2nd.