For women’s MMA, Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg is a mega-fight. It’s the fight that should have taken place on Oct. 4 on CBS. Instead, EliteXC officials chose to match Carano and Cyborg up with different opponents to build towards a big clash on pay-per-view. From a business standpoint, that may have been the smart move, IF you knew for sure you would be around long enough to put the pay-per-view on. As we all know now that didn’t happen, and yet another huge fight slips through the cracks…well, at least for now.
It turns out that the fans aren’t the only ones who badly want that fight. Gina and Cyborg do as well. So much in fact, they’ve been in contact with each other to ensure they sign with the same promotion, as Fighters Only Magazine reports.
Former EliteXC fighters Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg are in negotiations to make sure that their next fight is with each other, we can exclusively reveal.
“I want to make that happen,” [Carano] said. “My people are in touch with her, so we’re going to make sure we sign together for the same promotion.”
While the news is certainly reassuring that the fight will eventually happen, the reality is that the pact may not even be necessary. The fact of the matter is that no other major promotion outside of EliteXC has been promoting female mixed martial arts at the level they were, and it’s not likely that they’re all going to start now. On a national scale, currently the only North American based options include the UFC, WEC, Affliction, and Strikeforce. Dana White has already shot down any hopes of a Zuffa-owned promotion adding a women’s division, so that pretty much leaves Affliction and Strikeforce.
However, there’s a wrinkle in that fold too. Since Gina is a member of the Xtreme Couture family and Randy just had a big falling out with Affliction, it appears that could be a serious roadblock to her signing with the clothing company turned fight promotion.
“There’s a bit of a barrier between me and Affliction,” she revealed. “You know, with Randy and that whole thing. But if they approach me with an offer, who knows?”
Of course, money always talks and Affliction likes to throw it around so we can’t completely eliminate them as a potential home for Carano and Cyborg, but as of right now, at least in North America, Strikeforce seems like the most likely destination.
First things first though, both fighters still need to free themselves from ProElite/CBS/Showtime’s merciless clutches.
[UPDATE 11/08/08 12:38PM ET] – Dana White has told everyone who’s asked that Zuffa has no plans whatsoever of adding women’s MMA to either the UFC or the WEC. However, Gina Carano seems to think he may be reconsidering.
UFC is the strongest and most widely recognized MMA organization. Carano said UFC president Dana White is starting to change his opinion on female fighters. Two years ago, White was adamantly opposed to women fighting.
“Now he’s like, ‘Are there enough women?” Carano said. “There’s a lot of women who haven’t gotten exposure, a lot of good opponents. I could make a good living fighting girls for three or four years just off the names I’ve got already”
We’ll have to wait and see.
CR: MMA Rated