Gina Joy Carano (born April 16, 1982) is an American mixed martial arts fighter and actress. Carano appeared as the Gladiator "Crush" on American Gladiators. She has been referred to as the "Face of Women's MMA."
Carano was born in Dallas County, Texas, the middle daughter of Glenn Carano and Dana Cason. She has two sisters.
She graduated from Trinity Christian High School in Las Vegas where she led the girls basketball team to a state title. She also played volleyball and softball. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno for a year and then University of Nevada, Las Vegas for three, where she majored in psychology.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Carano started her career in the sport of Muay Thai. After achieving a Muay Thai record of 12-1-1, Carano received an offer to participate in the first-ever sanctioned female MMA bout in Nevada. She was invited to the World Pro Fighting show in Las Vegas to fight Rosi Sexton.
Her scheduled bout against Jan Finney at the EliteXC/K-1 Dynamite!! USA event on June 2, 2007 was cancelled due to illness. The Fight Network and other news outlets reported that she was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to dehydration while attending a World Extreme Cagefighting event as a spectator.
Carano defeated former HOOKnSHOOT Champion Kaitlin Young on EliteXC: Primetime on May 31, 2008. A day before the fight, Carano failed to make weight for her fight after weighing in at 144.5 (65.5 kg). Although most MMA organizations set weight classes at 135 (bantamweight) and 145 (featherweight) pounds (61.2 and 65.8 kg, respectively), EliteXC opted to create a women's weight class at 140 pounds. Carano agreed to forfeit 12.5% of her "show" purse to Young, and the fight remained on the card.
Leading up to her fight against Kobold, there was much controversy over whether or not Gina would make weight for this fight, having fought only once in the past year and not making weight at that time. Gina assured critics that she would be able to make weight since she had hired a nutritionist to help with her dieting. At the weigh-in for the Kobold fight on October 3, 2008, "Gina Carano weighed in at 142.75 pounds on her first attempt. After removing her sports bra, a towel-covered Carano weighed in a second time at 142.5 pounds. On her third attempt without any clothes on, Carano weighed 141 pounds, successfully making weight.
Early on, Kobold was intent on pressing Carano in the clinch, while working for the takedown throughout the fight. Kobold managed a takedown in the second round, but the round ended before she could take meaningful advantage of it. Carano worked her opportunities by hitting Kobold at every turn whenever the fighters separated, while also opening a huge gash on the inside of her opponent’s eyebrow in the first round. At the end of the third round, Carano looked to finish the fight as she unloaded a head kick that landed flush on Kobold’s chin, but Kobold was not knocked out and the bout came to a close.
Carano won by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) and remained undefeated. After she won, she dedicated the fight to her grandfather.
Strikeforce Women's Lightweight Championship bout Edit
After Strikeforce purchased the assets of ProElite, Carano, along with other fighters within the defunct promotion, became contractually linked with Strikeforce, after many months of a stalemate regarding their free agent status.
It was announced at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields that Carano's fight against Santos would take place on August 15, 2009, at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg. Strikeforce also created their first Women's Championship for the bout.
Though the 145-pound division is most commonly referred to as featherweight, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker later stated that the title would be known as the Strikeforce Women's Lightweight Championship.
Carano lost the fight against Santos by TKO at 4:59 in the first round.
|Professional record breakdown|
|13||7 wins||1 loss|
|Loss||7-1||Cristiane Santos||TKO (Ref Stoppage)||Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg||August 15, 2009||1||4:59||San Jose, California, USA||For the Women's Featherweight Championship|
|Win||7-0||Kelly Kobold||Decision (Unanimous)||EliteXC: Heat||October 4, 2008||3||3:00||Sunrise, Florida, USA|
|Win||6-0||Kaitlin Young||TKO (Doctor Stoppage)||EliteXC: Primetime||May 31, 2008||2||3:00||Newark, New Jersey, USA|
|Win||5-0||Tonya Evinger||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||EliteXC: Uprising||September 15, 2007||1||2:53||Oahu, Hawaii, USA|
|Win||4-0||Julie Kedzie||Decision (Unanimous)||EliteXC: Destiny||February 10, 2007||3||3:00||Southaven, Mississippi, USA|
|Win||3-0||Elaina Maxwell||Decision (Unanimous)||Strikeforce: Triple Threat||December 8, 2006||3||2:00||San Jose, California, USA|
|Win||2-0||Rosi Sexton||KO (Punch)||WPFC 1 - World Pro Fighting Championships||September 15, 2006||2||4:55||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA|
|Win||1-0||Leiticia Pestova||KO (Punches & Elbows)||WEF - World Extreme Fighting||June 10, 2006||1||0:38||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA|