Carano vs. Santos Odds

Mixed Martial Arts will showcase a marquee fight in the sport on Saturday when Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos compete for the Strikeforce Women’s Championship.

Women’s MMA has a chance to make its mark in North American with this mega-fight between the two most recognized female fighters in the world, which will air on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET.  This is the first time a female fight has headlined a MMA card on television.

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Santos enters the fight as the favorite with a line of -175 compared to Carano with a line of +145 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this championship bout.

Gina Carano (7-0 MMA Record):

Strengths: Carano has become the face and the “sex symbol” for mixed martial arts, but make no mistake, she can fight. Carano mixes her striking with forward kicks, precision punches, and dangerous elbows. Carano is light on her feet and always moving while still applying pressure to her opponents. Carano’s ground game hasn’t been seen, but training with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas has to help. In this fight, Carano may have to go to the ground to pull out the win against the more powerful Santos.

Weaknesses: Making weight has always been a problem for Carano, and the 145-pound weight limit has to be met in a title fight. If Carano hasn’t had a successful weight cutting program set up, it could drain her the night prior to the fight as she attempts to hit 145. Carano has been tested on her chin, but she hasn’t fought someone as powerful as Santos. This fight will truly show what Carano is made of as a fighter.

Last Five Fights:

Unanimous decision win over Kelly Kobold at EliteXC: Heat on Oct. 4, 2008

Second round TKO win over Kaitlin Young at EliteXC: Primetime on May 31, 2008

First round submission win over Tonya Evinger at EliteXC: Uprising on Sept. 15, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Julie Kedzie at EliteXC: Destiny on Feb. 10, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Elaina Maxwell at Strikeforce: Triple Threat on Dec. 8, 2006

Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (7-1 MMA Record):

Strengths: Santos is a physical specimen that has the mindset of a fighter. Santos fights at a furious pace that looks to tire her opponents and force them into defending instead of fighting. Santos’ power is as strong as any 145-pound fighter, man or woman.

Weaknesses: Santos has the strength, but not quite the accuracy of Carano. If Santos is wild, it could leave her open to takedowns or counter punches from Carano. Santos, like Carano, has also struggled with making the 145-pound weight limit. Fatigue could be a factor in this fight if the weight cut doesn’t go smoothly.

Last Five Fights:

Third round TKO win over Hitomi Akano at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz on April 11, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Yoko Takahashi at EliteXC: Heat on Oct. 4, 2008

Second round TKO win over Shayna Baszler at EliteXC: Unfinished Business on July 26, 2008

First round TKO win over Marise Vitoria at Storm Samurai 12 on Nov. 25, 2006

First round TKO win over Elaine Santiago at Storm Samurai 11 on May 21, 2006

Who will win: This is the toughest test for both fighters in their careers. Santos appears to be the stronger fighter in look and size, but this fight is a chance for Carano to prove she is the real deal. I think training partners and strategy will be the key factor in this fight and I see Carano being surrounded by a better supporting cast. There is no doubt she will face adversity in the fight, but I think she will persevere and score a decision victory over Santos in a classic fight.

Additional Line: Over/Under 9 minutes for fight length.

Strikeforce takes place from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 15.

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Posted: 8/13/09 8:32PM ET

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