Big Purse Up for Grabs in Girl Fight - NBC Bay Area

Big Purse Up for Grabs in Girl Fight

Women's MMA makes history in northern California



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    MMA Superstar Gina Carano is seen during the Workout/Media Day with Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano at the Legends Mixed Martial Arts Training Center on September 17, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Punches, kicks and chokeholds are encouraged this weekend in San Jose as two women duke it out, all for a purse.

    But this purse doesn't have Louis Vuitton, Coach, or even Gucci all over it. And while all those brands come with hefty price tags, the purse up for grabs at the HP Pavilion Saturday night is in the hundred-thousand dollar range.

    Female mixed martial artists are headlining the first women's title fight in the sport's 16-year history this weekend in San Jose.

    Gina "Conviction" Carano will fight Cris "Cyborg" Santos at the HP Pavilion on Saturday night in a fight sponsored by promoter Strikeforce, which will also be broadcast on Showtime.

    Although male fighters will also compete in two men's title bouts that night, the 145-pound title fight between Carano and Cyborg is the main event. Promoters say this could be the biggest fight in the history of women's combat.

    "They're going to earn a combined couple hundred thousand dollars," Strikeforce spokesman Mike Afromowitz said."This is definitely a large payday for women's martial arts. It could be the biggest."

    Afromowitz said he can't reveal the purses for Carano vs. Cyborg or the men fighting Saturday night, but the California Athletic Commission will release the numbers soon.

    Competitors try to knock out their opponents or put them in a submission hold, such as an arm bar or chokehold. The recipient of a submission hold taps out and forfeits the fight to prevent serious bodily injury, such as a broken bone.

    Carano and Cyborg will fight five rounds, according to Strikeforce, and if neither competitor is knocked out or taps out, the judges  decide who won based on a points system.

    Carano and Cyborg have the best professional records in women's mixed martial arts, at 7-0 and 7-1 respectively, according to Strikeforce. Carano, 27, has been called the face of female MMA after being featured on TV and in magazine stories during the past year.

    Her fights have been broadcast on CBS and Showtime.

    Cyborg, 23, is a member of Brazil's Chute Boxe fight squad and married to another Strikeforce competitor, Evangelista Santos, according to Strikeforce.

    "I think the one who makes fewer mistakes will win this fight," Cyborg said in a statement released by Strikeforce. "I am expecting a war."

    Bay City News