The Doggy Bag: Analyzing Carano-Cyborg

Second Wind

By Staff Dec 7, 2008
Everyone answers to somebody, so we, the staff at, have decided to defer to our readers. “The Doggy Bag” gives you the opportunity to speak about what’s on your mind from time to time.

Our reporters, columnists, radio hosts, and editors will chime in with our answers and thoughts, so keep the emails coming.

This week, readers weigh-in in a wide range of topics, including Gina Carano versus Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton Jackson and exactly where Brock Lesnar stands athletically amongst his peers.

Analyzing Carano-Cyborg

We keep hearing about a Carano vs. “Cyborg” fight, but I have yet to hear anyone break this freaking awesome fight down yet. Who would win and why?

And keeping with the EliteXC vibe, is it true that Antonio Silva may fight overseas, even though he's suspended from competing on U.S. soil?
-- Reggie Buhl

Loretta Hunt, news editor: Thanks for the email Reggie. Hmm. Two women’s MMA emails for me to answer in the last two weeks. Am I seeing a trend? Kidding aside, I agree with you. The pairing of these two talented females would be nothing short of “freaking awesome” and with the recent demise, or at least stalling, of Pro Elite, a lot of would-be and established promoters alike seem to concur with you as well. There have been multiple calls to Carano and Santos’ camps gauging interest in this fight, but there are a lot of factors still in play here.

As of today, I’ve ascertained enough information to confidently say that an eleventh hour effort is afoot to resurrect Pro Elite. I’m told this new regime includes a mix of a new investor(s) and some of Pro Elite’s old guard, and they have submitted a bid to CBS to take over the promising contract left dormant after the Los Angeles promotion closed its doors in late October. Carano and Santos’ contracts -- not to mention those of Elite champions Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields among others -- could be legally bound to this reincarnated unit. But there’s more.

Dave Mandel/

"Cyborg" vs. Carano is a
bout fans are dying to see.
I don’t think it would be shocking for us to hear that CBS has also been in talks with various other promotions in the last few weeks, the UFC and Strikeforce included. Whoever lands the CBS deal, and I do believe it will be one of these three, will have a substantial leg up in acquiring or increasing its foothold in the industry and offering an attractive platform to Carano, Santos and others looking to ply their trade.

There’s also the chance Carano and others would be able to re-negotiate their contracts. Carano earned $25,000 for her last EliteXC appearance on CBS, but was named among Yahoo’s Top-10 Most Influential Women in 2008 this week along with Angelina Jolie, Hilary Clinton, Tina Fey, and Sarah Palin. Santos made a $8,000 killing for her last EliteXC fight. Both these women have star appeal in different ways. I don’t think a bump up in pay would be an outrageous request, wherever they both land. And where Carano goes will determine where the rest of the women’s division should follow.

In terms of breaking down the bout, which is what you were really asking for, it looks like Carano’s finesse and timing will be challenged by Santos’ aggressiveness. In their most recent bouts, both women have been in the driver’s seat and rely heavily on imposing their wills to set the pace and direction of their bouts.

I also believe both women -- strikers by nature -- have not been truly pushed out of their comfort zones yet, so the question will be how either handles it if taken there. We saw glimpses of Carano’s ferocity when Kaitlin Young got in the pocket with her last May, but Santos has a far more commanding knowledge of the standup game. And Santos’ last two opponents didn’t have the footwork fluidity and head movement Carano displayed in her last bout.

Factor in that both women are steadily refining their ground games and you have a toss-up, but it’s a pick ‘em I think most fans would pay to see. That’s music to any promoter’s ears, so this bout is destined to become a reality.

As for Antonio Silva, the wayward EliteXC heavyweight champion and his management are still talking over a potential bout for the Brazilian with Yoshihiro Nakao at World Victory Road’s Sengoku event on Jan 4. It seems that Sengoku jumped the gun in putting Silva’s mug up on its Web site as a competitor, as his management said the fighter has yet to sign a contract for the bout.

Let’s just say the last week has been an enlightening one for Silva’s American Top Team camp with the CSAC informing them that it will recommend and vote for license revocation if Silva fights outside California while still under steroid suspension. I do believe most North American commissions will acknowledge a license suspension and, especially, a revocation. The Nevada State Athletic Commission has already confirmed this to me.

For Silva’s camp, it’s a matter of money and principle -- a fighter needs to earn a living and they believe Silva’s steroids appeal was not handled justly. Silva and his manager, Alex Davis, continue to preach the fighter’s innocence. We’ll see if they decide to disregard the CSAC’s ruling or wait out the remaining seven months of Silva’s suspension.
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