Sherdog.com recently spoke to dozens of professional fighters and trainers and found out where they stood on this historic five-round title fight.
Erik Paulson: The fight between Gina and Cyborg will go to Gina because she is as strong as a guy. She has solid striking, and Cyborg won’t be able to bully her around like she’s used to with others. Plus, Gina is the poster girl for Strikeforce; she is the main event on a big card with great fights. She has to win.
Micah Miller: Carano -- by hotness.
Brodie Farber: I have absolutely no interest in watching women fight. I’ll be sure to tune into a different channel during that time.
Guy Mezger: Cyborg is technically a better MMA fighter and very strong, but I feel Gina is too large and strong and [has] superior striking for her. Gina can make up for not having the same ground game on sheer size and strength.
Scott Bieri: Big night for women and MMA, in general. It’s also nice to see women fighting under the unified five-minute rounds for this title bout. I think the majority of this contest is played out on the feet, with both girls having a muay Thai background. Cris Santos will come forward with her dangerous Chute Boxe style, which she has been mowing down opponents with, but it won’t work on Carano. Gina will use movement, precision striking and takedown defense to thwart Cyborg. Carano by TKO in the championship rounds.
Eddy Millis: I’m not gonna analyze this one too much. I’m worried if it gets to the ground Cyborg will have the advantage. However, with that being said, Carano is my friend, and I’m pulling for her to KO Cyborg, round one. Boot to the head.
Scott Lighty: I pick Gina to win for sure. She is an American Gladiator.
Rory Markham: It’s a toss up for me. Both are very talented. I have Gina a bit more in this one.
Pete Sell: Cyborg is a beast. I think her power could win her this fight. Carano looks more technical; she will have to out-slick Cyborg. Cyborg turns this into a brawl and wins by KO.
Jaime Fletcher: The first time I saw Gina fight was in K-1. I wasn’t familiar with her, but I thought to myself, “This chick fights like a dude.” People get it confused … like if you’re attractive, you can’t fight. Make no mistake, Carano is a fighter, has heart and has beaten everyone that has been put in front of her. On the other side, you have Cyborg, whose veins and muscle striations in her shoulders make you want to put on a long sleeve or hit some flies and take some Creatine. She has a lot of explosiveness, power muay Thai and an underrated ground game. I think the difference in this fight will be technique on the stand-up and gas tank. Santos has yet to be pushed or made uncomfortable and looked fatigued against smaller competition that offered little or no offense on the feet. Carano by TKO or submission in the second round.
Melvin Guillard: Cyborg by KO in the second.
Kevin Burns: I think this will be a great fight for the fans. I believe Cyborg will be a little more hungry, though, which will give her the edge overall.
John Hackleman: Gina [will win by] using her muay Thai skills and her natural speed, timing and power. I see Gina pulling out a victory.
Cung Le: I’m going with Gina by decision.
Dewey Cooper: This is a monumental fight for women’s MMA and all women’s sports abroad. Every lady athlete on the planet should tune in and celebrate the progress they have made in the sports world. Women’s boxing had the chance to have a fight as big with Laila Ali vs. Anne Wolfe, but it never materialized. This will be a great war between two of the best lady fighters in the world of MMA. I think Cyborg is very strong and will pose many problems for Gina early, but the striking skills of Carano should and will prevail late in the fight. I say fourth- or fifth-round KO win for Gina Carano. Her right hand is powerful and accurate and will find its mark.
Robert Drysdale: Gina by decision.
Randy Couture: I believe Gina Carano will take this fight over by the third round, using solid footwork and punching combinations to frustrate Cyborg and wear her down. I’m sure I’m a little biased, but she looks great and has had a very good camp. It should be a monumental fight for women’s MMA.
Ricardo Liborio: Carano by decision.
Jake Shields: I see it being a very close fight, with Gina being more technical and Cyborg being the stronger of the two, but I see conditioning being the deciding factor. With this being their first title fight and jumping from three- to five-minute rounds, it is gonna be a big change for both. But with Gina having a more experienced camp, I will pick her because they should be aware of this and have spent adequate time conditioning her.