Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobald
Everyone was saying
that Gina Carano (6-0) and Cris Cyborg would be the next fight to happen,
but after Cyborg’s devastating victory
over Shayna Baszler, I’m not surprised that EliteXC has decided
to have Carano fight someone else instead. After all, why risk one of
their biggest draws? Carano will be facing Kelly Kobald (16-2), who is
very tough and by no means a “tomato can,” but just isn’t
on the same level as Carano.
Kobald trains at
Minnesota Martial Arts Academy (MMAA) alongside Sean Sherk, Brock Lesnar,
and Kaitlin Young. The gym is famous for its “caveman
workout,” and the fighters it produces have excellent cardio. However,
it seems like MMAA just does not focus on technique enough. Reviewing
the tape, Kobald’s standup is a brawling style consisting of looping
hooks. That is just not going to cut it against Carano’s crisp,
technical standup. On the feet, Carano will make Kobald look like an
The best chance Kobald
has in this fight is if she takes it to the ground. With eight of Kobald’s 16 wins coming by submission, Carano will
have to bring her A-game if this fight hits the mat. A closer inspection
of Kobald’s record reveals that four of those eight submission
wins were submissions due to strikes, a.k.a. ground and pound. Carano’s
ground game has improved by leaps and bounds every time we have seen
her in the cage. Training at Xtreme Couture is paying off big time. From
what I’ve seen of Kobald, I don’t think her jiu-jitsu is
crisp enough to submit Carano, but if Kobald can secure a dominant position
and rain down blows, Carano could be in trouble.
Carano has looked impressive in all of her fights, and I expect her
to continue that trend in this fight. If Kobald gets top position on
the ground, I think Gina will surprise us by pulling something out and
escaping. After all, she was able to not just escape, but reverse Tonya
Evinger, who is an excellent wrestler and has much more sophisticated
top control than Kobald. I think Gina will showcase her striking skills
against Kobald, with Kobald being tough enough to make it to a decision.
by Unanimous Decision.
Cris Cyborg vs.
EliteXC told MMAjunkie.com
that they are postponing the fight between Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano
so that the two fighters can build up their
fan bases. Correct me if I’m wrong, but pretty much everyone knows
Gina Carano. And if they’re trying to build up Cyborg, why are
they putting her against an unknown opponent in a fight that won’t
be aired on CBS? On October 4, Cris Cyborg (5-1) will be fighting Japan’s
Yoko Takahashi (13-9) in what I think will be a very one-sided fight.
I watched some tape
of Takahashi, and her standup is practically non-existent. Coupled
with the fact that nine of her 13 wins are by submission, Takahashi
will definitely be looking to take this fight to the ground. The world
witnessed Cyborg’s devastating standup when she TKO’d Shayna
Baszler twice in one fight. If Takahashi gets stuck standing with Cyborg,
it’ll be a very short night for the Japanese fighter.
To get this fight
to the ground, Takahashi will try to get to the clinch for a judo or
Greco-Roman type takedown. About half of Takahashi’s
submissions come from leg locks, which could pose problems for Cyborg.
Baszler came very close to catching Cyborg in a leg lock. However, Baszler
is a top-notch submission artist and the fact that Cyborg was able to
escape says a lot. If this fight gets to the ground, I expect Cyborg
to weather the storm and get the fight back to the feet where she can
I think that this
is a “gimme” fight for Cyborg. I don’t
see Takahashi pulling of a spectacular upset here. Cyborg will keep the
fight standing and overwhelm Takahashi. Takahashi has been described
as a “jobber” and is going to get a quick paycheck when Cyborg
knocks her out in the first round. Hopefully she won’t get seriously
injured in the process.
Cyborg wins by First Round KO/TKO.