Friday, Aug. 14, 2009 | 6 p.m.
- What: First-ever female MMA title fight at 145 pounds between Gina Carano (7-0) vs. Christiane “Cyborg” Santos (7-1); Light heavyweight title fight: Renato Sobral (35-8) vs. Gegard Mousasi (25-2-1); Lightweight Interim title fight: Gilbert Melendez (15-2) vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida (18-5-1).
- When: Saturday
- Where: HP Pavilion, San Jose, Calif.
- TV: Showtime (Main card starts at 7:30 p.m. PT)
- Carano-‘Cyborg’ set to make history (8-13-2009)
- UFC to counter-program Strikeforce event (8-12-2009)
- Latest Strikeforce fight goes up in smoke (8-11-2009)
- Even in Philly, UFC's White still talking about Fedor, Strikeforce (8-7-2009)
- Fedor signs with Strikeforce, M-1 to co-promote (8-3-2009)
- Xtreme Couture's Hieron to face Nick Diaz at Strikeforce show (7-30-2009)
- Female fighters a big hit in Big Apple (7-16-2009)
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The hard part is over … both Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos made the 145-pound weight limit today for tomorrow’s historical first-ever female mixed martial arts championship bout, the main event of Strikeforce’s show at the HP Pavilion.
“A definite sigh of relief,” said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker after Santos tipped the scale first at 144.5-pounds and Carano came in second at 143.
“I’m very excited to see what plays out tomorrow night,” Coker said. “It’s the biggest fight not only in female MMA history but female fight history period.”
Both fighters have had trouble reaching the weight limit in the past — including both missing the mark during their last bouts.
Neither fighter publicly addressed the large contingent of media members and fans who packed themselves into the San Jose Marriott Hotel Friday for Saturday’s Showtime-televised card, but both played to the crowd during their portion of the weigh-in and signed plenty of autographs while Showtime cameras and fans’ handheld cameras and phones captured the last emotions leading up to the date.
“I think both girls are dealing with the pressure in their own weigh. It’s a tremendous level that even a year ago, no one could have expected,” said Carano’s trainer Shawn Tompkins. “Gina’s a cool customer, she’s excited and so are we.
“She’s leaning to us (members of Xtreme Couture gym and UFC legend Randy Couture, who will be in Carano’s corner) to be kind of her backbone and there to see her through all the hoopla and keep her focused. We’ve been here before, but not with her, so it’s a very exciting time for all of us.”
Tomorrow’s 7:30 p.m. Vegas time event features two more championship fights with a light heavyweight title fight between current champ Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Gegard Mousasi as well as an interim lightweight title tilt between current belt holder Gilbert Melendez and Mitsuhiro Ishida. All four competitors made weight.
Unfortunately for fellow Couture teammate Jay Hieron, his already up-and-down emotions took another spin on what has been a roller-coaster journey for the former International Fighting League welterweight champ since Affliction’s folding two weeks ago.
Last minute replacement Jesse Taylor — filling in for Nick Diaz, who failed to pass a California State Athletic Commission drug test on Monday — weighed in 2 pounds over the 170-pound welterweight limit.
However, “The Ultimate Fighter” season No. 7 participant came back 45 minutes later and registered 169.5 on the scale.
Official weigh-in results:
Gina Carano (143) vs. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (144.5)
Light heavyweight champ Renato "Babalu" Sobral (201) vs. Gegard Mousasi (204)
Lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez (155) vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida (155)
Mike Kyle (219) vs. Fabricio Werdum (228)
Jay Hieron (169) vs. Jesse Taylor (169.5)*
Mike Cook (205) vs. Scott Lighty (202)
David "Tarzan" Douglas (156) vs. Justin Wilcox (154)
Zak Bucia (170) vs. James Terry (169)
Isaiah Hill (156) vs. Alex Trevino (156)