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The Aftermath: “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg”

Mousasi pounding out Sobral

Mousasi pounding out Sobral

If anything, Gina Carano’s loss to Cyborg last night will do nothing but help further the development of female MMA. I mean seriously you guys, last night’s main event was nothing short of awesome in terms of the excitement it delivered. It seemed to put that special raw something in this sport we have grown accustomed to. I can honestly say that the five minutes of battle waged between Carano and Cyborg on Saturday night was five of the most exhilarating and satisfying minutes I have ever spent watching MMA. Made me feel like a teenager again, tuning in to the UFC for the very first time.

Who doesn’t want to see Gina work her way back up to the top for her chance at revenge. The storyline will guarantee a much bigger fight in the rematch than in the original. Mark my words. Just watch how much attention the rematch gets. If Gina had won it would have dampened the interest on a sport that would seem completely dominated by one person. While it may seem as if that is the case right now, this writer doesn’t believe so. I think Carano fought a bad fight and was overwhelmed by the she-beast that is Cyborg. I’d expect for her to be much more prepared in the next go around.

Women’s MMA can thank Cyborg for finishing the fight in the first round. Let’s be real folks, if the fight made it to the second round it was setting up to get really ugly. A blind man could see that both women were winded at the end of the first round, in what was scheduled to be a five round contest. Now, granted these two were going at it at a pace that was far above average, but both were going to be suffering in the cardio department if it had gone any further. Carano was tired from being beaten, and Cyborg was exhausted from keeping up a pace as vigorous as she did.

No more headlocks Gina. Can we please fix those bad habits. I don’t know how many times Carano resorted to the old school headlock out of desperation of being assaulted. A natural human reaction to being attacked, but it shouldn’t be a fighters reaction. Let’s focus on the clinch, takedowns and positioning, positioning, positioning in the future. No more head locks, and no more giving your opponent your back while standing. You’re better than that.

Female MMA is about five years behind male MMA at this point, but don’t worry, it’s evolving. Five years from now a wild-woman like Cyborg will likely be exposed. Much like Wanderlei Silva did after ruling his division in the sport with the same level of intimidation and aggression. I feel like the sport will catch up with Santos in due time, but not before she establishes her legacy as the first dominant champion in the history of female mixed martial arts.

Gegard Mousasi just proved what I have been saying all along: “The Dreamcatcher” is the future. It was some nine months ago that the 5 Oz’s fighter of the year poll came up and I had my back against the wall as I pleaded my case for Mousasi to be honored with the title. Out of eight other staff writers I was the only guy to put my name on the line for the Dutch-Armenian phenom by the name of Gegard. Of course the sexy choice at the time was either Rashad Evans or Miguel Torres, but I remained adamant. I just couldn’t rationalize giving the title to a man who won two or three big fights over the space of a year, over a man that had come out victorious against six dangerous fighters, and additionally competed in his first professional kickboxing match where he obliterated an insanely more experienced veteran of the game.

I had heard the argument before, ‘He hasn’t beaten anyone that’s top level yet’, ‘Everyone he has face has been one-dimensional’. I swear, some people can convince themselves of anything if they wanted to. I believe in reading between the lines, and instead of “studying” fighters on fight data-bases, I actually prefer watching tape. Anyone that has had the opportunity to view four or five of Mousasi’s fights would agree in saying that he didn’t have as much left to prove as many had claimed. The twenty four year old prodigy is the complete package; slick submissions, top level striking, and a mind-set that just can not be taught.

I firmly believe, and have believed that Mousasi is among the best fighters in the world. Not a question in my mind. I also feel strongly that, at just 24, Mousasi could very well be the man to carry the torch for Fedor Emelianenko when “The Last Emperor” ultimately decides he has fought his last fight.

Strikeforce’s heavyweight division just got a little more interesting with the impressive return of Fabricio Werdum. Slow down before you point pout the fact that Mike Kyle is not considered to be a top rated heavyweight, I understand this, what made me a believer out of the new Werdum was the amazing physical shape he came into the fight in. I have never seen a Werdum as lean and fit as the one that made short work of Kyle last evening, and a motivated Fabricio is a scary thing. It was a far cry from the flabby shell of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt that showed up to get knocked senseless at the hands of Junior dos Santos in his last bout with the UFC. Welcome back Fabricio!

Just one bout left to avenge for Gilbert Melendez. The rematch between Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson and interim champ Gibert Melendez for all of the marbles was further promoted by a brilliant performance on the side of Melendez last evening. Just like Gilbert explained in his post-fight interview, Ishida is an extremely strategic fighter and you can’t just go in there trying to clobber the guy. Melendez displayed the type of resolve and focus in the bout with Mitsuhiro that he had never shown before. The rematch between Thomson and Melendez definitely became a little more intriguing in the wake of last night.

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