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EliteXC “Heat”: Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold Preview

This Saturday, October 4, EliteXC’s latest installment of CBS Saturday Night Fights will emanate from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. Headlining the card is a bout between Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock as well as several great undercard fights including a female bout between the face of women’s MMA, Gina Carano, and the woman who wants to mess up that face, Kelly Kobold. And we’re here to provide you with a breakdown of that very fight.

Gina Carano, as most know, has a very strong muay thai background. She’s come up in combat sports through muay thai under Master Toddy, one of the best muay thai trainers in the world, and will absolutely look to keep the fight standing against Kobold. She has been training at Xtreme Couture trying to round out her game, working on grappling and jiu jitsu but that aspect of her game is still very raw. While she did submit Tonya Evinger with a rear naked choke, jiu jitsu and the ground game are not where she prefers to be. Even though Kobold is well rounded, Carano’s advantage will be in the standup. Her standup is much more refined that Kobold and if she’s able to keep the fight on her feet then it should be Carano’s fight to lose.

Carano is coming off a victory over Kaitlin Young at EliteXC “Primetime” in June via TKO at the end of the second round. Young was considered to be Carano’s toughest test to date and Carano handled her with ease, using her superior reach, striking and power to swell Young’s eye almost completely shut. And all this was done with very little training, as Carano trained sparingly leading up to the fight because of her rigorous American Gladiators schedule.

Kelly Kobold trains out of Team Bison MMA with Mike Reilly, who also manages and trains EliteXC heavyweight prospect Brett Rogers. Kobold is the more experienced MMA competitor in the fight, having fought in nineteen MMA bouts against the best women in the business, including bouts against Shayna Baszler, Tara LaRosa, and Julie Kedzie. She’s been training with Team Bison since she was 18 years old and has racked up a 17-2 record during the time she’s been in the game. A lot of people, including myself, thought that Kaitlin Young was Carano’s toughest test to date. Kobold is all of that and more. She brings a ton of experience and an all around MMA game to the table. She will be an absolute handful for Carano to handle.

Kobold has been absent from the cage for a year. She is coming off two losses in a row, first to Tara LaRosa and then to Julie Kedzie, both coming within a two month span in the summer of last year. This will be her first fight in over a year and from everything she’s said she sounds absolutely prepared to go to war with Carano. She’s no pushover. She took Tara LaRosa into the fourth round before succumbing to an armbar. She’s beaten Shayna Baszler. But can she take beat Gina Carano?

My gut tells me no. Although Kobold is a very game competitor and more than likely the biggest threat to Carano that we’ve seen her face yet, I don’t think Kobold has what it takes to beat Carano. Carano beat Kaitlin Young handily during their fight in June with very little time spent training. She trained for the fight but not as much as she’s been training for this fight. American Gladiators isn’t taping right now and she has upped her training regimen and has spent a ton of time preparing for this fight.

As long as making weight isn’t an issue and her conditioning is where it needs to be I don’t see Carano losing this fight. She should be the bigger, stronger competitor and she should be able to keep the fight standing, which is where she wants to keep it in order to come out on top. Kobold will give Carano a very tough fight, there’s no doubt about that, but I don’t see Kobold having enough firepower to contend with Carano, especially when Gina turns it on. I’ll take Carano via unanimous decision. Kobold will have enough to go all three rounds with Gina but Carano should be able to outlast her.

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