Monday, February 5, 2007

As pioneer, Carano just getting started

Gina Carano is still getting comfortable with the pioneer label, but it's a role she is willing to embrace.

With cover-girl looks and a disarming personality, Carano has that "it" quality that is almost single-handedly taking women's mixed martial arts from the fringe to the main stage.

Carano, 24, fought in the first sanctioned female MMA bout in Nevada last year. She also was featured in a Strikeforce promotion in December that drew nearly 9,000 fans in California.

Saturday night, Carano and opponent Julie Kedzie will become the first women to exchange blows of the MMA variety live on premium cable television as part of Elite Extreme Combat's inaugural event on Showtime (9 p.m.).

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