Couture Speaks About Carano Bout and Her Future

By Greg Savage Aug 16, 2009
Randy Couture has been there before. The iconic pugilist has seen his share of titles slip away.

The former UFC champ had a chance to talk to Gina Carano -- a woman who has spoken of him as a mentor -- after her tough TKO loss to Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos in the first major female title match to be contested in North America.

“She’s doing fine,” said Couture, who visited with Carano in her locker room after the fight. “I think her pride is a little more damaged than anything else. It’s a first loss for her so, you know, there’s some adversity there.”

Carano, now 7-1, refused to do an in-cage interview after the bout and failed to show at the post-fight press conference.

Couture acknowledged the heavy burden Carano carried in the buildup and promotion of the momentous fight. Something she should be commended for, but he also reasoned that, along with a 10-month layoff, it might have played a part in the outcome of the match.

“I think there was a little ring rust there, she hadn’t fought in almost a year,” said Couture. “She had a very busy year so she didn’t get a lot of other training, any extra training in.”

Carano, who weighed in at a fit and trim 143 pounds, was game to stand and trade with Cyborg. Much to the crowd’s delight, the women exchanged punches freely, both on the feet and on the floor. The difference between the women was Cyborg walked right through punches while Carano was forced to cover up when she got hit.

“She got in a couple firefights there that she really didn’t need to get into; she got overwhelmed a couple times. She was just covered [up] and when the barrage stopped she didn’t fire back.”

She was not firing back as the opening frame came to a close. With referee Josh Rosenthal hovering over Santos, she pummeled Carano with a volley of punches as she lay under her, unable to escape. With just 10 seconds left, it looked like she might make it to the end of the round. Cyborg had none of it and poured on the punishment, leaving Rosenthal no choice but to call an end to the match.

The crowd was not happy with the stoppage that came with just a second left in the round, but Couture slammed the door on any second thoughts about the timing.

“I thought it was right, the referee isn’t looking at the clock,” said the veteran heavyweight. “He stepped in when he thought he needed to step in. She was on her side just covering her head, she wasn’t changing her position, she wasn’t doing anything to effectively fight from that position.”

Despite the loss, it wasn’t all bad according to Couture. Carano did do some positive things in the cage, but may have reverted to instinct when strategy would have proven wiser.

“I think technically she did some good things in the fight,” declared Couture, “I think we needed to stick and move a little more and make Cristiane chase her a little more -- which is what we trained to do -- but its hard when somebody hits you, especially Gina, she wants to hit them back.”

Couture insists this is a brief hiccup for a talented young lady. While it may be too soon to map out her immediate future, he is certain she still has room to improve.

“We need to take some time and look at it but I think the biggest thing is we’ve got to get her into the gym on a more regular basis, more regular fights and keep building and progressing as an athlete.

“I think this is a learning experience for her in a lot of ways. I think she’ll be back, she’ll be strong, she’s got a great warrior’s heart. We all need to go through this.”
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