MMANews.com's own Luis Cruz recently spoke with top female MMA fighter Gina Carano regarding her upcoming Elite XC debut on SHOWTIME on February 10th, among other subjects. Below is a complete transcript of the interview. If you would rather listen to the interview, you can download it in MP3 format (approx. 6MB) by clicking here.
MMANews.com: This is Luis Cruz and this is the first part of a special Elite XC week here at MMANews.com. My first guest is a very dangerous Muay Thai fighter who sports a 12-1 record in Muay Thai competition, currently undefeated in MMA at 3-0 with all 3 being [T]KO's. This person is also dropping down in weight to compete in the most stacked division in MMA, is an owner of two pitbulls, and is beautiful. Of course I'm talking about none other than Gina Carano of Elite XC. Gina how are you?
Gina Carano: Good, thank you. How are you?
MMANews.com: I'm doing alright. I'm sure most people would be thrown off thinking I was talking about a male [when explaining resume]. Gina will be competing on Saturday February 10th in Southaven, MS. for Elite XC's debut show on Showtime, at what time 10pm [ET/PT] Gina?
Gina Carano: Yea 10pm, yea.
MMANews.com: OK, you're facing Julie Kedzie. But before we talk about her, how are you feeling and how's your training going?
Gina Carano: It's going really well for me, it's all day long and it can be exhausting, but it's going really well.
*Host hears a beeping sound*
MMANews.com: What was that?
Gina Carano: [Laughs] I'm running out of gas.
MMANews.com: Oh, don't do that. [Laughs]
Gina Carano: In my car not in…. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: [Laughs] You don't have to drive around.
Gina Carano: Yea I'm driving right now.
MMANews.com: OK, so what got you into combative sports like Muay Thai and MMA?
Gina Carano: I walked into Master Toddy's Muay Thai here in Las Vegas and I was going to watch an ex-boyfriend of mine, you know, show off and do some Thai work for me or whatever. He was begging me at the time so I finally went. The third time I walked in there, a trainer of Master Toddy's, Master Chan walked up to me and said “oh babym baby you fat, you need to lose weight”. [Laughs] I was “damn alright….”
MMANews.com: OK hold on, what exactly is fat, how much did you weigh?
Gina Carano: I was a 175lbs. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: And you're 5'8?
Gina Carano: Yea I'm 5'8 and I was 175lbs. and now I fight at 140lbs, so.
MMANews.com: Yea I guess you could've been a little chubby. [Laughs]
Gina Carano: Yea I was a big girl. I think I carried it pretty well though. At least I'm sure I did. I tell people that weight and they wouldn't believe it. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: I'll keep my comments. [Laughs]
Gina Carano: [Laughs] I went to my mom, after that, for some money so I can start training with Master Chan and four months later I was fighting. I really didn't know I was going to be into it, I just went to get in shape and then I don't know. I picked it up pretty quick from being athletic and then they had me fighting in four months, it's pretty funny. I got tricked into fighting though.
MMANews.com: Your first fight?
Gina Carano: No, I'm just kidding. People come into the gym and see who's a prospect fighter or not and I didn't know I was just working out.
MMANews.com: Oh OK, I thought you meant they actually tricked you. Like they told you, hey we're going to go train here and it was actually a fight.
Gina Carano: No no, I knew my first fight was actually a fight.
MMANews.com: So you're fighting around 145lbs?
Gina Carano: 140lbs.
MMANews.com: And you want to drop to 135lbs?
Gina Carano: Yea. She's [Julie] actually the one who wanted to keep it at 140lbs for this fight. I was actually going to come all the way down but she didn't want to, so that's cool.
MMANews.com: Now that [135lbs] is the most stacked division in female MMA right now correct?
Gina Carano: Yea 135-140lbs is one of the more popular divisions.
MMANews.com: Do you have any problems reaching 135lbs?
Gina Carano: Yea in the past I did. But I'm on a new program, a new diet now. I got some help from some outside people helping me out. Ideally I wanted to be walking around at 140lbs and fight at 135lbs but, you know, over the holidays and everything I had to lose some weight. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: [Laughs] Thanksgiving and Christmas huh?
Gina Carano: Yea, they both killed me. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: What's your heritage?
Gina Carano: I'm Italian, well Italian American. My family throws an Italian festival every year and we grew up on raviolis and that stuff.
MMANews.com: So you're 100% Italian?
Gina Carano: No just a small percentage of Italian. But that's just where my family came from. I'm a fourth generation or something like that.
MMANews.com: Fourth generation Italian American?
Gina Carano: Yea so I'm American.
MMANews.com: Well I don't think anyone is 100% American, I don't even think there's a such thing as that. Now let's talk about Julie [Kedzie], your opponent on February 10th. She has a Muay Thai background, a pretty good jiu jitsu game, and she's going to have a big experience advantage on you. What are your thoughts?
Gina Carano: Um, my thoughts are this is going to be a tough fight. I'm really looking forward to being introduced to true MMA, so, you know she's got what 7-4 or 7-3 record in the cage so she definitely will have a lot more experience than me. I heard she's just an all out brawler but I think I'm bringing a new game to female MMA with my Muay Thai and stand up and just the way I fight so I feel real confident to what I'm bringing.
MMANews.com: I actually thought she had more fights than that but I could be wrong.
Gina Carano: Maybe, I don't know, she probably does.
Gina Carano debuts for Elite XC on SHOWTIME February 10th
MMANews.com: So now what are your main concerns facing her, is it the ground game?
Gina Carano: No, you know I started working on my ground game a lot and I know I started later than the average female in MMA but I'm not afraid to go there. I love training jiu jitsu, I love learning, and going in there to apply what I've learned. I know not to freak out and enjoy it when I'm there and I just think she's just another a female, another person. It's just gonna be a scramble.
MMANews.com: What's the main thing giving you confidence that you're gonna win?
Gina Carano: It's just me, I know I'm a good all around fighter and always have been. I feel confident just being me.
MMANews.com: OK, do you see this fight staying on it's feet or do you think she'll try and take it to the ground after standing with you for a couple minutes?
Gina Carano: I think she'll try to stand with me for a little bit and then try and take me down but I'm going to try and keep the fight standing for as long as possible.
MMANews.com: Alright, now shifting gears a little bit, you were in a film called 'Ring Girls' is that correct?
Gina Carano: [Laughs] Yea, it was a little independent film called 'Ring Girls', it's showing in different countries right now like Australia, it's funny I get myspace messages all the time with people saying “hey I seen your movie”. I'm like really, wow cause it's not even out in America. It was one of the best experiences I ever had, it was amazing. My first time in Thai land, fighting in Thailand, and we had cameras in our faces the whole time, I don't know it was really fun.
MMANews.com: There was a spin off called 'Fight Girls'?
Gina Carano: Yea it was a reality show, kind of like a female version of the Ultimate Fighter reality show, something like that except for Muay Thai. That was fun too, I got to be with other girls that I get to help train even though we got squashed, I mean we just got smashed.
Gina Carano: Yea. We're going to start filming for the second season of 'Fight Girls' in March.
MMANews.com: You also made an appearance on ESPN's show 'I'd do anything'.
Gina Carano: Yea that's where everything started. That's where we met the people from 'Fight Girls' and 'Ring Girls'. That's where everything started.
MMANews.com: How much do you like doing stuff like that? Would you ever consider doing that stuff over fighting?
Gina Carano: Um, not over it. I love doing that stuff, I mean I'm open to everything. I like music, movies, everything.
MMANews.com: You said music?
Gina Carano: Yea music.
MMANews.com: Like you sing?
Gina Carano: No! [Laughs] No not sing, just like, I don't know, to have a part in it. Even in movies, I don't care what side of the camera I'm on, I just like being a part of it. It's really interesting to me. I just like to see how people express themselves to the art, I think it's fascinating.
MMANews.com: But you'd never give up fighting?
Gina Carano: Well I'll have to give up fighting eventually, a fighting career doesn't last that long. Fighters are lasting longer and longer, just look at Randy Couture, how old is he? So I'm going to keep fighting, I'm not going to give it up anytime soon.
MMANews.com: You'd fit well in Hollywood, you have the looks and an athletic background. It's a nice start.
Gina Carano: Yea we'll see what the future holds, who knows.
MMANews.com: Now you just need to know how to act.
Gina Carano: Yea, maybe if they have a mute part for me. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: Now your father had a bit of a career himself, playing for the Dallas Cowboys, then in the USFL, and then he was apart of the NSAC. How much of his career affected your decisions?
Gina Carano: You know I only went to like two boxing matches when he was on the NSAC, and I wasn't even that interested in it. I mean I liked the fights and it was fun but he wasn't that much apart of it, he was in Reno so he'd stop by to watch the fights or B.S.. I got into it, ironically, after he got out of that position. I mean he was an athletic person so he helped me out genetically. My interest in fighting didn't come until I walked into the gym and said hey this is fun.
MMANews.com: Did you do anything in school, like play sports?
Gina Carano: Yes, I played Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball for a small little single A school in the ghetto down in Las Vegas. It was called Trinity Christian High School. It was a little private school, I graduated with about twenty-five people. It's a cute little school, you drive past it and it's not a ghetto ghetto but it's like five minutes away from the strip and it's funny they'd put this little christian school so close to it. I played Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball and I played on the Varsity from freshman through senior because you know it was a pretty small school so I was team captain and everything. I was very active in my sports.
MMANews.com: You never thought about pursuing any of them?
Gina Carano: Well I did get offers to play for some small christian schools in California, Basketball because that was my favorite. But we were going through a bit of a family crisis at the time so I wanted to stay home and help out. But it all worked out good because if I had went to do that I probably would've never gotten into Muay Thai and this [MMA]. Everything works out for a reason.
MMANews.com: I suppose it does. Now your father actually had a big part of how the UFC came to Nevada and he's actually a person we should be thanking for helping to bring us MMA.
Gina Carano: I know, he told me how he went I don't even remember when they were but the first UFC's. When there was no weight classes. Him and Marc [Ratner] were saying how they weren't going to bring it until there were weight classes and they fixed some of their rules were not good like the stomping on the ground.
MMANews.com: Yea they cleaned it up a lot. That's actually good because it wouldn't be where it's at today if it weren't for that.
Gina Carano: Yea and that's really cool, because he did have a part in that.
MMANews.com: OK, where do you see yourself in five years Gina, in this sport?
Gina Carano: In five years, I hope to have made a pretty decent impact. I don't know I've just been really blessed being able to be in that movie [Ring Girls] and that Oxygen channel reality show [Fight Girls] and of course with this Elite XC thing, Gary Shaw is giving me an opportunity to be apart of it and I really don't know how I get so blessed but if it keeps going like this, in five years it's going to be insane. There's always going to be a bigger promotion so I'm just going to keep bettering myself as a person and that's all I can do.
MMANews.com: Alright getting away from MMA for a little, what's your life like without MMA involved, like what are some of your hobbies?
Gina Carano: I don't have none, I'm just a fighter, I'm pretty boring. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: Are you serious?
Gina Carano: No, there's things I like to do. I like to travel, just relax. I'm a home body. When I'm training, that's what I do all the time.
MMANews.com: No clubbing or nothing?
Gina Carano: Well, um, shopping makes me tired. I love clothes but not shopping. I like going to the movies! [Laughs]
MMANews.com: There you go, there's something. [Laughs]
Gina Carano: I wanted to get into rock climbing. Rock climbing sounds like so much fun for some reason even though I'm afraid of heights. I mean in the summer I like to, it kind of sucks because fighting is year round there's no off season. Other sports, people can take the off season and go to Lake Tahoe and go wake boarding or Brian Head to go snowboarding which is what I use to do all the time but I haven't been in forever. I don't even know if I can it's been so long.
MMANews.com: So it's always gotta be something physical for you huh?
Gina Carano: Yea I love that stuff and Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places. I haven't gotten to do any fun stuff in the last couple years, I've been so busy. But if I sacrifice now I'll be good later.
MMANews.com: Yea that's true. If everything goes well maybe you could be retired in five years, you seem to have some nice connections. [Laughs] OK now I'm gonna ask a question for the guys. What's your ideal man?
Gina Carano: [Laughs] My ideal man, oh gosh. This is a good question, I think about this a lot.
Gina Carano: Well you run into so many guys out there that are so damn insecure and just like drama you know and sensitive. So I think a good one would be someone who's confident in themselves but, I don't know.
MMANews.com: Also humble?
Gina Carano: Yea and humble. Also take care of themselves. Like well I don't know, I've kind of given up on that for a while. [Laughs]
Gina Carano: Nah, I don't like to talk pessimistic but they're so much work [relationships].
MMANews.com: It is, it is. Now before I let you go is there any sponsors you want to mention, anything you want to say to your fans and the fans you're going to have after this show?
Gina Carano: Yea Xyience actually picked me up for a sponsorship, which is great and amazing because I know they were letting some people go. That's going to be really awesome for me, I really appreciate them being there for me. And we're actually going to be coming out with a new women's supplement called 'Seven' and I'm going to be doing some before and after pictures for that so you're going to see me directly after the holidays after stuffing my face with pie and then you're going to see me after. That's probably going to be out in a month. It's going to be really really cool.
MMANews.com: Now what is that, just a weight loss supplement?
Gina Carano: Yea it's a weight loss supplement called 'Seven'. It's also for women that are like me, moody. I'm just kidding. [Laughs] But it controls your mood, it controls weight loss, bloating, and cramping. It's actually the perfect supplement for me.
MMANews.com: Why, are you moody?
Gina Carano: Nah I'm not moody, I'm not moody but everyone around me might think so. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: Well they must be all wrong. [Laughs]
Gina Carano: My family might think so but that's about it. [Laughs] But for all the people that just have been showing me so much love lately, I can't even tell you. If I'm having a bad day and I go on my myspace or I get a phone call just randomly, it just touches my heart. It means so much that people can just take a little time out and just so some love to me. Just to have all these people say their fans, I never thought I'd ever have a fan but like it's really cool and I appreciate it. So thank you all.
MMANews.com: You're obviously going to be more well known after this show. The other shows you weren't on this level as far as pay cable.
Gina Carano: Yea I know, I've been like fighting in Thailand where people don't even speak english and have no clue who we are. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: I'm sure you'll be known after this.
Gina Carano: Yea this is definitely a step up, I'm excited.
MMANews.com: I actually caught the countdown [Elite XC], I believe it still comes on [Showtime replays]. It was a good piece.
Gina Carano: Yea it was really good, I enjoyed that. The camera guys were really good to me with that because I was just starting to lose weight then so they kept showing me from the neck up. [Laughs]
MMANews.com: OK Gina well I know you took a break from training to do this for me so I appreciate that.
Gina Carano: No it's no problem, I'm sorry I'm a little tired right now.
MMANews.com: You don't seem tired.
Gina Carano: Well I really appreciate it too.
MMANews.com: I want to wish you luck in your fight with Julie.
Gina Carano: Thank you.
MMANews.com: I guess I will see and talk to you there.
Gina Carano: OK, you're gonna be there?
MMANews.com: Yes I will be there.
Gina Carano: OK cool, I'll definitely talk to you there.
MMANews.com: Take care Gina.
Don't forget to check out Gina Carano in action live on February 10th, for Elite XC's “Destiny” event airing on SHOWTIME with a 10:00PM ET. start-time. For more information on Gina and Elite XC, visit EliteXC.com.