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Cyborg vs. Carano: What the Ref Saw

(Props: MMA-Core)

If you’re one of the people taking issue with referee Josh Rosenthal’s stoppage of the Gina Carano vs. Cris "Cyborg" Santos main event at Strikeforce, last night, you might ought to pause and look at this.  Here’s what it looked like from where Rosenthal was standing.  What he sees is a downed Carano who is not making any attempt to intelligently defend herself from a torrent of right hands.  He seems willing to let her try to ride out the end of the round, but when Cyborg slips a right around her defenses and Carano appears to spasm with shock after the punch, that’s when Rosenthal has to stop it. 

If you still need convincing, look at Gina’s reaction after the stoppage.  She’s saying something there, but I don’t think it’s, ‘You idiot, I was just about to launch my counter-attack!’ 

Cagepotato Comments

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Clue-by-Four- August 17, 2009 at 9:19 pm
One Two: The ref's job isn't to watch the clock and see if they can nurse the fighter to the next round. Their job is to protect the fighters. They're not watching the clock, they're watching the fight. Rosenthal absolutely did the right thing.
Da Spied Her- August 17, 2009 at 8:26 am
I think Josh did a good job protecting the "Face of Women's MMA". We don't want any permanent damage to that face!

Both of them showed a big lack of expertise. Gina has no ground game, and should quit f*cking Randy Couture and go train with some real BJJ guys. She could've won the fight if she knew what she was doing.

Cyborg is just a beast, and won just because Gina doesn't know how to fight other than Muay Thai. I was laughing about the kimura attempt, it was so lame. Anyone with a purple belt in BJJ should know how to finish a kimura properly - heck, white belts should know how to finish a kimura!
Payday- August 17, 2009 at 7:21 am
People need to watch the fight instead of relying on other's comments for what supposedly happened during the fight. Gina didn't give up the mount. It's not like she had Cyborg mounted, was raining down leather, then suddenly said, "fuck this shit, I'd like to get punched in the face some more" and got up. Cyborg slipped out and got to half guard. It looked to me like Gina realized her ground game is as tight as Houston Alexander's and got up AFTER CYBORG MADE IT BACK TO HALF GUARD to avoid any possible submission attempts. Gina obviously did not want to be on the ground with her at all.

I don't fault Cyborg for this fight sucking. As Chinstroker referenced, Gina at one point pulled a Lina Kvokov and ran away with her back to Cyborg. WTF? And this is supposed to be the "face" of women's MMA?
Chinstroker- August 17, 2009 at 5:32 am
I'm with jim_cunningham on this. I was hoping for good things from the two top female MMA artists in the world, but what I saw was yet another scrappy tumble about that mat by two girls. Both seemed to get lost in the moment at points, and both made terrible decisions that gave up advantageous positions or failed to capitalise on gaping holes in their opponent's technique.

After seeing several female fights where an outclassed girl spends half the fight covering up and turning her back to her opponent I thought this fight would at least be different, but once again once put under pressure the female fighters have a tendancy to turn around and try to get away, rather than evade and counter strike. I don't find that pleasant to watch as it's less of a fight between two willing combatants and more like a one-sided beatdown against a human ragdoll. Unfortunately this seems to happen in almost every female fight i've seen so far.

I'm in favour of equality and female fighters to compete and take their art and the sport as far as they can, but if this represents the current state of the sport at the highest level, then I'm not going to watch it. I'll stick to the weigh-ins.
KidDinomite- August 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm
Regardless, I think the loss will either put Gina's mind into a refocused state to where she'll train a lot harder or she'll hang the gloves up for good. You can just tell by her face after the fight that she knows she was beaten and that she had never been beaten down like that in her life. The MMA fan in me says she'll get the 'Eye of the Tiger' like Rocky and come back but the fact of the matter is that she would more likely make more money being an actress or model and I think people would be cool with that.

The fact that she didn't talk to the media says to me she's taking it real hard but even the very best lose but they come back even better and more well-rounded like GSP after losing to Serra. But yeah I seriously think she needs to focus on mat skills. She probably could have won that fight if she stayed on the full mount, and a well placed punch or two.
lek1221- August 16, 2009 at 10:37 pm
Gina's either saying "owww! stop... that hurt!"
or in a whining voice, "she messed up my hair!" crying a little bit.
PurplePickle- August 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm
Goog just won himself an internship in Gloria Allred's office. Kudos.
Goog- August 16, 2009 at 7:45 pm
You can clearly see that Guyborg is a man and has been on steroids for a long time. He also has a penis. I don't like the dude because he has a penis and is physically unattractive and hard to look at. Gina is pretty. And given the chance, she coulda turned that around. She really only took one punch to the face while on the ground covered up. It's possible it was rigged like that to create controversy for setting up a rematch. If so, it didn't really pop very well. Guyborg and Gina were only a pound and a half different in weight, so he couldn't have been that much stronger. The whole thing was weird and I wouldn't be surprised if they just scrap the women's division and maybe offer to let Gina be a ring girl and spokesperson or something. There aren't any other women anyone is interested in.
Gargoroth- August 16, 2009 at 7:29 pm
Ya the ref had to stop it. It sucks it was so close to the end of the round, because I saw a gassed Cyborg. I think Gina can beat her. I hope to see a rematch with a more prepared Carano who can take it to the later rounds and beat this post-op tranny. But she now knows what to expect. Cyborg/Carano 2 might be a really great fight.
ihateemo- August 16, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Haha, I think that Kit Cope's shit talking about Xtreme Couture seems a little prescient now doesn't it? That said, there are a ton of great fighters at XC - Jay Hieron, Gray Maynard, Tyson Griffin...

I'm in full agreement that she needs to change things up (that is, if she's still as commited to fighting as she has claimed in the past). I'd personally like to see her move to Striking Unlimited. Ken Hahn could probably add a lot to her Muay Thai striking and perhaps Frank would stop by and offer her some ground training. Step 1: don't give up the frickin' mount.
Cornerman- August 16, 2009 at 5:55 pm
Bitch didn't tap. props to Gina.
Meohfumado- August 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm
Can't see how anybody thought this was an early stoppage.

Gina clearly spit out the bit, and wanted no more, hence her turtling like that.

Payday- August 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm
If you watch closely you can see Gina say to the ref, "What the fuck took you so long?"
KidDinomite- August 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm
Gina just doesn't hae the upper body strength that Cyborg has. This is why Cyborg was walking through her punches. I also think at this time, Gina's more a one-dimensional fighter as well with no real ground skills. Gina has to re-focus her training on Jiu-Jitsu vs. bigger women with more power than her. I think she would really benefit from training with Black House with Anderson Silva, or Greg Jackson's camp. It's just my opinion but I don't think Extreme Couture's training camps have really made a lot of standout fighters, except for Randy but his time is almost over.
Jay Smith- August 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm
@ One Two
Name ONE time a fighter was helped back to his corner after being saved by the bell, and he (or she) came back to win the fight.

Gina did her best, but there is not a woman in WMMA that can hang with Cyborg. At one point I thought that Gina had weathered the storm, and was gonna make it a fight, but that thought quickly faded......along with Gina's brain activity.
ihateemo- August 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm
@One Two:

In cases like this the "Are You Fucking Kidding Me??" rule comes into effect, as written about on this very site - to whit, if a fighter believes that the fight was stopped early they will prove so by immediately standing up and screaming at the ref "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??". A prime example of this rule is Vera's reaction after his fight with Fabricio Werdum.

Carano was on her back, still curled up in the fetal position after Rosenthal pulled Cyborg off. As the GIF above shows, the words coming out of her mouth were not "are you fucking kidding me?". If Carano wanted to go another round she would have popped back up immediately. The fact that you don't accept the stoppage as valid even after the video evidence shows that Carano was done pretty much proves that nobody will ever take anything you say seriously, if they ever really did. Ah internets.

Also, I am so goddam sick of the Cyborg penis/"she's a dude"/steroids bullshit. It's just not funny. Last night she put on a performance that puts most guys to shame, including at least half a dozen of the dudes that fought last weekend at UFC 101.

She did everything right by showing up and bringing the pain, despite a hostile crowd and a very high-profile opponent. What else does she have to do to get some fucking respect from the internt Cheeto brigade?
jonwu- August 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm
Good stoppage. I could see Rosenthal's plan was to let Gina grind it out, but Gina's situation got too bad too fast. Gina was in no shape for round 2.

Great card, Strikeforce. Well done.
cagefightmon- August 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm
If you looked closely at the :08 mark, you can see a flash of Cyborg's penis.
Would of been nice to see another round but regardless of how much time was left, Gina was done.
sheBeast- August 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm
Too bad she didn't pull Gina's elbow down to her hip and finish the fight there. Isn't that like, kimura101? Both Cyborg's submission attempts looked halfhearted. I think she wanted to win by TKO and let her slide.
jim_cunningham- August 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm
I was ready for this fight to cement women's MMA, and I felt let down. They were both gassed after about 3 mins. Cyborg's kimura was the most exciting part to me as well as the most technical aspect of the fight. I'm ready to be wrong, but I just felt like it was a big disappointment. Comments, anyone else?
2tuff4u- August 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm
One Two, you just dont get it do you? How was she fighting from the friggin FETAL position? She had given up.
One Two- August 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm
I get it the refs supposed to protect the fighter, but whats he protecting her from? a minute rest? I think its official MMA needs another Ref to Ref the Ref. 2 ref system from now on, and the second ref is in no way certified just a rabid fan from the audience.
dude- August 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm
You could clearly see Gina's saying "Ah, man" at the end. She was just overwhelmed with Cyborg's power. I don't she had ever taken a beating like this. I think at the beginning of the fight when Gina felt that first punch she just knew it was gonna be over soon. She had a few chances to bring on some serious punishment on Cyborg when she was on the ground but she didn't. She was clearly afraid....maybe she underestimated Cyborg's power? Recover soon Gina. Can't wait for the rematch....
Jeepman- August 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm
good stoppage...Gina was beaten down and knew it.
Senile Dwarf- August 16, 2009 at 11:54 am
Does it matter? A break in a fight is to be fair useless. If you're done you're done, telling yourself "if I had gotten that break, I'd win!" is just an excuse for losing.