UFC 157's Ronda Rousey: 'Thank God for Gina Carano'

Photo courtesy of GQ.com

History will be made this Saturday night at UFC 157 in Anaheim, where Ronda Rousey defends her 135-pound title against Liz Carmouche in the main event. But would any of it have been possible without the efforts of former Strikeforce headliner Gina Carano?

Today's female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters thank undefeated submission sensation Ronda Rousey for blazing a path to the Octagon. But who does the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Women's Bantamweight Champion thank?

Gina Carano.

Rousey (6-0) will make history at UFC 157 this Saturday night (Feb. 23, 2013) in Anaheim by taking on Liz Carmouche in the promotion's first-ever female pay-per-view (PPV) headliner. But "Rowdy" acknowledges she probably wouldn't have enjoyed this opportunity if not for the former "face of women's MMA."

From the NY Post:

"I would never be an MMA fighter if it wasn't for [Carano]. I'm not dumb enough to not be grateful. ... I just say thank God for Gina Carano. I really think what she's doing with films is just as much an influence on women's MMA as her fighting again. She's continuing to represent us very well, bringing women's MMA to an audience that doesn't know MMA really at all. Of course I would [fight her]. I would just hope that she'd be OK. Obviously, I'd want to win. What she did before me has radically changed my life."

Carano (7-1) made some history of her own, headlining the Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg" event back in August 2009 on the Showtime network. She was pounded out by Cristiane Santos in the opening frame, but that win lost some of its luster when "Cyborg" was popped for steroids a few years later.

Since that lost, "Conviction" has graduated to Hollywood starlet and her latest role, as Superman's girlfriend (see it here), may be her biggest to date.

Actually, I'd like to thank Gina too. For this.

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