Gina Carano's Blogs
Carano Making a Comeback?
By: Jake Rossen
Gina Carano file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
On a weekday edition of the Savage Dog Show, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker indicated that Gina Carano would be making a return to the ring in 2011. This is after A). Carano was horrifically abused by Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in an August 2009 title fight, and B). nabbed a starring role in the Steven Soderbergh film “Haywire,” scheduled for release in January.
If Carano returns, two things become apparent. For one, the urge to compete in MMA is a far cry from the poverty-as-entrapment motivations of many boxers. For another, both Carano and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson might be working as prototypes for a new kind of athlete/performer -- one who actually competes in between film shoots. (This might have applied to Michael Jordan at one time, but “Space Jam” numbed that possibility -- along with many, many brains.)
That path seems easier for Carano than Jackson for a simple reason: Jackson is constantly being thrown to the wolves in the UFC, whereas Carano is going to have the opportunity for novelty fights in Strikeforce. Scott Coker recognizes a boost to his economy when he sees one, and there’s little point in forcing Cung Le, Herschel Walker, or Carano to walk the plank when everyone seems perfectly happy to see them perform on other levels.I haven’t seen so much as a preview for “Haywire,” and so Carano’s future onscreen doesn’t warrant comment. But apparently she’s good enough for J.J. Abrams, who cast her in his alien-suspense flick “Super 8” scheduled for release next summer. If she needs a method exercise for acting scared, it’s probably best to think of Santos. Read more
Soderbergh Talks Carano and ‘Knockout’
By: Jake Rossen
British film magazine Empire cornered director Steven Soderbergh recently. Did they punch him in the ear in critical response to “Solaris” or “Ocean’s Twelve”?Read more
They did not. But they did ask about his recent casting of Gina Carano as the lead in “Knockout,” a spy thriller due to begin shooting in February.
“My feeling was, If I don’t do this, somebody else will,” Soderbergh said. “I felt, somebody is going to look at her and go, ‘She should be in a movie!’ And I felt like, ‘Why shouldn’t I be the person saying that?’...I’d been wanting to make a spy action film for a while, but hadn’t really determined what I was going to bring to it that would distinguish it from the traditional approach. Then I thought, ‘Why don’t I just build it around her?’ She can actually break people in half. I was interested in doing something ultra-realistic.”
Soderbergh added that Carano will play an “outsourced” government employee hired to take on dirty-laundry espionage work. His comment about her being capable off-screen is interesting, but do moviegoers really care whether an actor can really fight? Is “Rocky” a better movie with Gerry Clooney in the title role?
Carano is a ‘Knockout’
By: Jake Rossen
What’s the upside to getting gutted by a Brazilian she-demon with more muscle definition than a Marvel comic character? Taking some time off to roll with the punches: according to Variety, women’s MMA center Gina Carano will be assuming the lead role in director Steven Soderbergh’s “Knockout,” an action-thriller described as being “in the James Bond mold.” Carano will portray a troubled misfit granted a second chance.Read more
Can Carano act? It may not matter. Soderbergh, who has chaired big, noisy Hollywood movies like the “Ocean’s 11” series, is fond of taking on experimental projects that buck convention. “Bubble” cast non-actors as assembly-line workers; “The Girlfriend Experience” featured adult film star Sasha Grey. This is Soderbergh’s idea of staving off creative boredom.
Good for Carano, not so great for her fans: on the heels of Quinton Jackson allegedly cast in an “A-Team” remake (drowning a December match with Rashad Evans) and Cung Le polishing his Strikeforce belt between takes, popular fighters are facing increasing distractions from ancillary opportunities. All told, it will ultimately mean fewer fights we want to see.
The thing about this exodus to Hollywood: while the majority of athletes simply cannot act --most can’t even handle a deodorant commercial without looking stilted -- these are people without pensions and financial mattresses outside of fighting. If Carano’s middle age is supported by something other than starting a gaudy clothing company or getting clocked in the head years beyond reason, fan disgruntlement is just white noise. Take what you can get, when you can get it.
Carano, Next Action Star?
By: Loretta Hunt
Scott Coker must be cursing all of Hollywood over his morning coffee.Read more
Variety.com is reporting that Gina Carano will star in Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s next project “Knockout,” which begins filming in February. A press release distributed Monday by Relativity Media (“Atonement,” “Step Brothers”), which will helm the project, said Carano “is in talks to join the cast” of the “female spy story in the vein of ‘The Bourne Identity.’”
Director Soderbergh hasn’t shied away from using unproven talent before, and guided Julia Roberts to her Academy Award-winning performance in “Erin Brockovich.”
Carano Takes Home $125,000
By: Jake Rossen
The value of being a poster girl: Gina Carano, who suffered her first professional loss Saturday at the piston-pumping hands of Cristiane Santos, earned $125,000 for the effort according to numbers released by the California State Athletic Commission. Santos earned only a fraction of that, having to settle for only $25,000 and Carano’s still-beating heart.Read more
Officially, the second-highest take-home salary on the card was Renato "Babalu" Sobral, who banked $75,000 for his efforts. Unofficially, the undisclosed salary of Gegard Mousasi was probably good for six figures, or something close to it.
Mousasi wasn’t good for a lot of mass media attention -- though that could change if he keeps beating people to the extent a coroner rushes into the ring instead of an EMT -- but Carano might be one of the best buys in the sport. For that weekend, at least.
Carano, Griffin Exit Cage on Rocket Fuel: Understandable, or in Poor Taste?
By: Jake Rossen
In a Monday editorial, Yahoo’s Steve Cofield took Gina Carano to task for exiting the ring in haste following her definitive loss to Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos during Saturday’s Strikeforce card. Citing a lack of professionalism for not agreeing to an interview, Cofield drew comparisons to Forrest Griffin’s arena-is-on-fire exit back on Aug. 8 following a loss to Anderson Silva. (In either case, bending to serial killers like Santos or Silva is hardly the stuff of embarrassment.)Read more
Do athletes “owe” us an explanation immediately following their losses? There’s clearly a morbid thrill in watching someone freshly-mauled try to articulate themselves; Carano in particular had the weight of a sport subculture on her shoulders.
But has anything truly profound been said when someone is hopped up on adrenaline and choking on their own blood and snot? I’m anxious to hear both Griffin and Carano verbalize their nights, but having some distance and reduction of blood pressure is probably good for a more comprehensible recollection. Being made to stand at attention and re-assemble neurons two minutes after a beating isn’t going to result in any motivational speaking offers.
Half the time, I’m hoping for subtitles.
Couture Speaks About Carano Bout and Her Future
By: Greg Savage
Randy Couture has been there before. The iconic pugilist has seen his share of titles slip away.Read more
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.”
Strikeforce Post-Mortem: Women’s Rights, Lefts, Mousasi, More
By: Jake Rossen
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos celebrates her victory. Photo by Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com.
It could be argued that Strikeforce’s most valuable asset isn’t Fedor Emelianenko, hyper-competent CEO Scott Coker, or the tremendous access allowed by CBS/Showtime; it’s their lockdown on female mixed competition, which has outdistanced early catcalls, derision, and fan immaturity to become one of the most entertaining and dynamic divisions in the sport.
For the holdouts, Saturday’s “Strikeforce: Carano vs. ‘Cyborg’” put the defense on permanent rest. 145 lb. contenders Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos spent some of the most torturous five minutes in recent memory slugging, shooting, and swelling; it was Santos who wanted it more, muscling Carano in the clinch, landing the bigger power shots, and finally beating a grounded Carano like it was personal with only one second left in the round. (An MIA Carano unable to be interviewed due to medical intervention backstage should suffocate any idea that it was a premature stoppage.) Read more
Red Ink: Carano vs. Cyborg
By: Jake Rossen
The sight of women wearing sports bras and leather usually means you’ve taken a very, very wrong turn in Manhattan. For Strikeforce, it’s a signal that one of their most valuable assets is about to be put on display.
7-0 Gina Carano and 7-1 Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos have nearly identical experience, aggression, and status in the still-burgeoning sport of female mixed martial arts. What they don’t have is a history of spending 25 minutes in a cage. There’s enough to be said about Santos’ pressuring style vs. Carano’s grit, but the incredible cardiovascular demands of a title fight can exhaust even those used to it. And you usually run out of gas before you run out of skill.
Santos has gone nine minutes on one occasion; Carano, twice. Saturday brings 16 extra minutes for their lungs to face. (Carano has competed under a 5-minute duration only once, in 2006.) Both are pocket strikers who stuff takedowns, can muster pop in their punches, and don’t bend easy against adversity. Minus the arm veins, they’re fairly reflective. Whoever wins this fight is likely to be the one who doesn’t need an oxygen mask at its conclusion. Read more
5 Questions for Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg
By: Jake Rossen
Is Gina Carano rust-proof?
Thanks to botched promotional care (courtesy of the curdled ProElite) and contract muck, Carano will have enjoyed a 10-month layoff by the time she and Santos square off. Even if that time was spent in the exclusive company of a heavy bag and blended oatmeal -- and it wasn’t -- Carano will have some timing issues to work out in the opening moments of the fight. There is no substitution in prizefighting for someone trying to take your head off. For a prize.
Are looks everything?
Remember how ripped up Linda Hamilton looked in “Terminator 2,” and how all anyone could discuss were her marbleized arms? If this training video is any indication, Santos will make Hamilton look like a plus-size model.