Gina Carano Comeback is Long Overdue, Perhaps Retirement from Fighting a Better Option
Nearly two years have passed since Gina Carano’s defeat at the hands of Cris “Cyborg” Santos. She abruptly disappeared from the MMA scene following that loss, the first of her MMA career.
Since then, Carano has surfaced in the public eye only a handful of times during the last two years. Speculation has run rampant on the internet, trying to make excuses for her disappearance. Many fans believe she was traumatized from her loss to Santos, is afraid she would have to face Santos again, is more concerned with a Hollywood career than with MMA; blah, blah, blah.
My sixth sense has told me that the reasoning behind her departure from the MMA spotlight was largely due to the enormous pressure that was put on her. This was a chief contributor to her loss to Santos, as Randy Couture stated following the loss that she didn’t get enough fight training. She was extremely busy giving interviews and making promotional appearances.
Of all the assumptions that have been made to explain her squashed defeat, and her subsequent disappearance, I have a theory that may explain it all. It is my “educated belief” that the pressures of being in the spotlight were too much for her and she knew it wouldn’t stop unless she lost. She had very little, if any, desire to win that night.
A bold statement to make? Yes. Could I be wrong? Yes. However, the evidence points squarely at my theory. I recall viewing a video of the fight the day after it happened. Something was wrong. I viewed it twice. Something still was wrong. As talented a fighter as she was, she should not have performed so sloppy on that history making night.
Case in point: Early in the melee, Carano was able to mount Santos. She peppered Santos with several strikes, which didn’t have much power behind them. She then stood up from the mount, a rarity in any fight. It still bothers me to this day as to why she chose not to try and end the fight at that point.
Moving forward: Carano attempts what appears to be a rolling kneebar as they struggle near the cage. She did not come close to grabbing Santos’ leg. Perhaps she was dazed. Perhaps it was an honest mistake. It looked very awkward nonetheless.
Moving forward still: Carano is clearly not as aggressive as Santos. She was covering up quite a bit, and was not throwing as many strikes as Santos. Carano would eventually stop fighting altogether in the closing seconds of the first round as she covered her head while Santos rained power punches down on her. Gina was not mentally herself that night.
Less than two weeks after the loss, it was reported by the website gina-carano.org (which is a website constructed by Gina’s fans, and is not associated with Gina Carano) that Gina posted an entry on Yardbarker concerning her loss. The following is an excerpt from that entry:
“I know I am a better fighter than the way I performed that night and was heartbroken to not give more to those who have been inspired. However, I find some relief in knowing that this has never been only about me, and now more than ever I feel freedom to learn and grow at my own pace.
I make it a point to constantly remind myself throughout this journey who I am, what I am doing, and why. Life is the most amazing gift and I want to live it for the right reasons…
Congratulations to Cris Cyborg and the women of MMA who have a great platform to shine. I am more excited than ever for female fighters and this amazing sport which has transformed my life. God Bless.”
This statement by Gina confirms my theory. Too much pressure was on her as the sole female MMA representative. She wanted to grow at her own pace. She also put over Cris Santos and the other female MMA fighters. She did leave the door open for a possible future return by expressing that MMA has changed her life.
Gina’s return to the cage was finally announced in April 2011. Her opponent was to be Sarah D'Alelio, and the fight would take place during the Overeem vs. Werdum Strikeforce event in Dallas, Texas on June 18, 2011. Much to the disappointment of her fans, Gina was forced to pull out of the fight allegedly for not getting medically cleared.
The throngs of Gina fanatics would have to wait for her long-awaited return. A two year sabbatical is quite lengthy, and without a reasonable explanation to justify it. Despite the fact that she has been filming and promoting her first feature film Haywire, it is becoming more obvious that her heart may not be into competing in the cage any more.
Perhaps Gina really does not feel, in her heart of hearts, the burning passion to compete at this point. She may very well have experienced burnout in the spotlight during the couple of years that she was generating headlines on a daily basis.
I can say this regarding her MMA career: Gina, if you feel any kind of shame, embarrassment, or disappoint in yourself, you shouldn’t. You did a great job as an ambassador for the female version of MMA. Ultimately, you must do what is best for you. No one can fulfill your destiny but yourself.
Her life will never be the same as it was before her newfound fame. She will forever be labeled as “that hot fighter chick from Vegas.” Maybe an acting career would be more suitable for her now. The stunts performed in the filming of movies are much less painful than being punched in the face repeatedly.