On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews the historic fight between Gina Carano and Cris "Cyborg" Santos, which headlines a Strikeforce mixed martial arts card at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., this Saturday, August 15. This fight, which will be for the new Strikeforce145-pound women’s title, will mark the first time a women’s fight has been the main event of a major mixed martial arts card featuring male fighters. This card will be televised live in the U.S. on Showtime.
We begin by discussing some of the slow but steady gains for women in the combat sports of boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, grappling, and mixed martial arts. We note the historical importance that two of the most prestigious teams in mixed martial arts, Xtreme Couture with Gina Carano and the Chute Boxe Academy with Cris "Cyborg" Santos, will be represented in this historic fight. And we also note the continued misogyny of those in the combat sports like UFC and HBO who still prevent the participation of women fighters on their shows.
At a New York news conference at Madison Square Garden for the August 15 card, we had a chance, along with our colleague, television host Kristal Hart, to speak with Gina Carano and Cris "Cyborg" Santos. We also discussed with Kristal Hart what to expect in this fight. And we spoke with Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker about this card as well. And, on a media conference call this week, we spoke with Jay Hieron, a late addition to the card, who will be facing Jesse Taylor.
In addition, we discuss the prevailing drug culture in the mixed martial arts, as evidenced once again by the failure of fighter Nick Diaz to appear for a prefight doping test. Diaz had to be scratched from this card. And we relate this to the woefully ineffective regulation of international combat sports like mixed martial arts and boxing by the various state athletic commissions in the U.S.
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