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Tag: Gina Carano Cyborg Santos

Open Discussion: Is Cyborg’s Demise Good for Women’s MMA?


(I bet even those scientists from the future who put me together couldn’t have predicted that old #643227 would become a future champion!) 

Success is a double edged sword. On one hand, it brings fame, fortune, and an immeasurable sense of self confidence, one that can only be gained by the awareness that you are truly the best at what you do. On the other, it brings crushing, tireless scrutiny from everyone around you, including those who helped build you up in the first place. And it is when you allow those naysayers to affect your daily routine, your mental state, or, in Christiane “Cyborg” Santos‘ case, your training regimen, that you have begun the inevitable fall from grace that follows.

Ever since her introduction to the public MMA circuit, Santos was looked at as a fighter who was simply on another level than that of her female counterparts. Her strength, striking ability, and general physique was shocking to even the most devoted MMA fans, and after she handled Gina Carano to take the Strikeforce women’s featherweight title, we knew she would be there for a long, long time.

And as with any case of athletic dominance, steroid accusations were immediately lobbed at the champ. Though there was little evidence to suggest any truth to these claims, pundits and keyboard warriors alike ruthlessly pursued them nonetheless. And as it turns out, behind the rumor was a fair bit of truth.

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Elite XC’s Twisted Approach to Matchmaking

I don’t know why I was so discouraged to hear that Elite XC had decided to match Kimbo Slice against Ken Shamrock, with a Brett Rogers option reserved for some possible version of the future. I should have expected this. I guess I’m just too much of an optimist. I thought Elite XC might try for a competitive, somewhat meaningful fight instead. I’ll never learn.

It’s not that I don’t understand what Elite XC is thinking. If anything, that part is all too obvious. They want a name to put on the marquee next to Kimbo’s. Someone with drawing power, yes, but not someone who stands a good chance of winning. Preferably, they’d also like the next Kimbo victim to be susceptible to knockout. So they called on Shamrock, an over-the-hill legend who has been getting KO’d by a list of fighters that starts out fairly impressive and then gets less and less so as we near the present. He’s perfect, given their priorities, but that only tells us how screwed up their priorities are.

But it’s not just Shamrock-Slice. Look at another high profile Elite XC fighter, Gina Carano. Instead of matching her up against “Cyborg” Santos — a fight they were already hyping by the end of Santos’ victory at “Unfinished Business” — they’ve decided to put Carano up against Kelly Kobald, who’s coming off two straight losses. They’re not even bothering to try and come up with a compelling explanation for it, just ask Pro Elite CEO Chuck Champion:

“It’s giving both an opportunity to further develop their fan bases and develop further excitement around the potential of them coming together,” Chuck Champion, CEO of ProElite, which runs the EliteXC brand, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “If Chris destroys another opponent, people are really going to be clamoring, especially if Gina gets in and clobbers hers. It’s just really about letting the fighters develop, letting them grow in their skills and their character development in order for them to eventually meet one another.”

In other words, they’d rather string us along with a few squash matches first. The fact that they aren’t even intended to be competitive, that doesn’t seem to bother Elite XC. And that’s what’s really disappointing.

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