Gina Carano Interview - Article from the Vault

I was looking through old files on my computer and stumbled across an old article from 2007 that I wrote for Skinnie Magazine where I was lucky enough to interview Gina Carano (on the phone; boooo, no picture), who was training for an MMA fight at the LA Coliseum. 

Carano would eventually pull out of the fight due to illness and the article never made it to the light of day. 

That is.... Until now!!!! 

[Insert evil laugh]

Gina Carano
The First Face of Female MMA
By Bobby D. Lux

Gina Carano got into martial arts because someone called her fat. 

Four years ago, Carano went into Master Toddy’s gym in Las Vegas to watch an ex-boyfriend train.

“One of the masters came up to me,” Carano says, “and said, ‘oh baby, baby, you fat. You overweight. You come in, you train. I was like, ‘alright.’”

Four months later, she had lost the weight, and she was fighting.

Mixed martial artist, Gina Carano, is a real life version of everything the female characters in Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" wished they were: intelligent, witty, attractive, and oh yeah, she can beat the living hell out of you with ease. The Las Vegas resident holds a perfect professional MMA record of 4-0 and has rapidly become the face of female mixed martial arts in North America.

Carano Thai kicked her way into the national spotlight after her appearance on MSNBC's "Warrior Nation," a four-part documentary series on MMA. The third episode featured Carano as she prepared for a fight against Elaina Maxwell. Carano won the bout with a unanimous decision and, as the cliché goes, a star was on the rise.

"I just keep getting more and more blessings," Carano says of her appearance on the show. 

With her stock in the mixed martial arts world rising, one of those blessings was earning herself a slot fighting on the first MMA card held on premium cable in the United States, when she fought on the Elite XC event on Showtime, held in Feb. 2007. Her fight with Julie Kedzie was considered by nearly everyone in attendance, and those watching on television, to be hands down the fight of the night; a fight that Carano won by decision. Her performance, which showcased her strong Muay Thai background, and emotional post-fight embrace with Kedzie cemented Carano’s status as the focal point of female MMA. 

"From [after the fight with Kedzie], fighting has become my full-time job. I don't really look at it as a job, because I love to do it... [MMA] went from something I love to do, to something that I’m a part of."

In a sport where only a few athletes have mainstream name recognition, Carano’s name may not carry the weight of Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, or Tito Ortiz, but thanks to her fighting style and looks (let’s face it: even with a black eye, she’s hotter than your girlfriend), you won’t find another female more known that her. With that recognition comes the pressure to continue to perform and to be exciting.

“Do I feel pressure?” she says. “I feel a little bit of pressure, but it’s not any kind of negative pressure because my heart’s pure and I’m doing it for the right reasons. I feel like if you do anything in life with that kind of attitude, you can’t feel guilty about what you’re doing.”

Carano is slated to be on the card for the Elite XC/K-1 show on June 2 at the LA Coliseum, where she’ll be fighting in front of, potentially, the largest crowd in North American MMA history, where she will be one of the featured fighters on the card.

“I do know that the more people that are there, the less nervous I feel for some reason.”

At a Glance:
New MMA training partner: Randy Couture.
Favorite non-MMA sport: Muay Thai and snowboarding.
Hobbies: Painting, writing, travel, and hanging out with people she loves.
Favorite Food: Depends…craves Chinese, Italian, you name it!
Favorite Band: Rise Against

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