When Strikeforce rolls into San Jose on August 15th, the company’s card will feature a number of highly-skilled, widely-respected PRIDE and UFC veterans such as Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz, Fabricio Werdum, and Josh Thomson. However, if the media turnout yesterday in New York City was any indication of things, the world will have its collective eyes set on two individuals who have never stepped inside the Octagon or been introduced via the scratchy stylings of Lenne Hardt.
Headliners Gina “Conviction” Carano and Cris “Cyborg” Santos participated in an open workout and meet-and-greet for fans at Madison Square Garden while later offering thoughts in a press conference about their upcoming clash on Showtime. While appreciative of the attention the event’s spotlight has brought them, both women seemed to be focused on the task at hand.
“I have the ultimate, utmost respect for Cyborg,” said Carano. “This is the toughest fight of my life. I am not into public speaking, but I am so humbled and blessed by this unbelievable turnout of media and fans. It feels so great the support that you have given Cyborg and I. (But) It is not just us. There are four title fights on this great card.”
Santos seemed to echo the always-humble postergirl’s sentiments, responding, “Like Gina, I am not into public speaking. I prefer to fight. I want to thank the media, Strikeforce, Showtime, and my fans. This is a great opportunity and this will be a very good fight for the fans and media.”
On the subject of preparation, Carano confirmed that she was again training with UFC Hall of Famer and multi-time champion Randy “The Natural” Couture in Las Vegas.
“Cyborg is very strong. That’s why I have reached out to (Couture) to support me. He has been a mentor to me. I need somebody like him to get me mentally and physically ready for the biggest fight of my career. He is a great backboard for me. Randy is training me to get ready for the toughest fight of my career. He is my head trainer and he will be in my corner.”
Also keeping things on the West Coast, the hard-hitting Brazilian stated she had been training in Huntington Beach with her husband and fellow MMA practitioner Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.
“I think the one who makes the fewer mistakes will win this fight,” explained Cyborg. “I am expecting a war. I have been training a lot since my last fight. I am ready and very excited.”
Carano avoided predictions and concluded things by expressing her appreciation towards those who had made this opportunity possible.
“I have to thank all my trainers,”said Gina. “All of Las Vegas has come to my support. This has been an amazing journey. I am blessed and humbled at the same time. I want to thank Strikeforce and Showtime. It takes a lot of (guts) to put this on.”
Will Gina Carano suffer the first loss of her career or end up with her hand raised when things are said and done? Who will walk away the winner of this landmark main event bout as the first Women’s 145-Pound Champion in Strikeforce history? Tune in August 15th and find out!