Carano And Maxwell Meet In First Strikeforce Women’s Fight

December 3, 2006; New York, NY….Kickboxing standouts Gina Carano (2-0) and Elaina Maxwell (1-0) will make history when the two square off with each other in the first-ever Strikeforce women’s mixed martial arts bout that will take place on the promotion’s “Triple Threat” world championship fight card being presented by BodogFIGHT at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on Friday.

The meeting between the 24-year-old Carano of Las Vegas, Nevada and the 27-year-old Maxwell, who hails from San Jose, will serve as a rematch to their kickboxing bout that took place on the K-1 “Mayhem At Mirage” card at Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel and Casino on August 14th of last year. Carano controlled much of the action during the first matchup before earning a victory by way of unanimous judges’ decision.

Carano has since been in effective in pioneering a place for women in the sport of mixed martial arts. Six months ago, she made another mark by facing Leiticia Pestova in the first-ever women’s mixed martial arts contest in the state of Nevada.

In the early seconds of the fight that was staged at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas, Pestova shot in and took Carano down. Carano quickly gained top position and mounted Pestova before unleashing a barrage that prompted the referee to stop the fight at the 39 second mark and award Carano the victory by way of technical knockout.

A long-time student of Muay Thai trainer, Master Toddy, Carano holds an outstanding 12-2-1 record in the sport of kickboxing. Of late, she has also been working with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach, Scott Berrie.

Carano’s athletic talent runs deep in her blood. Her father, Glenn, is a former backup quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. A second round pick in the 1977 NFL draft, he played 36 games for the Cowboys over the course of his professional career that spanned seven seasons.

Maxwell is a protégé of world San Shou kickboxing champion, Cung Le, who will also see action on the Strikeforce card. Like her mentor, she has added Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to her weekly training menu in order to make herself a mixed martial artist, capable of handling her opponents on the mat as well as on her feet.

In 2005, Maxwell, a world San Shou champion and two-time national champion, was named “Competitor Of The Year” by Inside Kung-Fu, the number two selling martial arts magazine in North America. Maxwell’s record in the sport of kickboxing stands at a near-perfect 17-1.

Tickets for Strikeforce “Triple Threat” are on sale at Ticketmaster (408-998-TIXS) and Ticketmaster online ( as well as at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070). Tickets are priced at $200.00, $150.00, $100.00, $75.00, $50.00, and $40.00, and $30.00.

The December 8th card will feature Strikeforce’s first-ever 205 pound light heavyweight championship bout. Bobby Southworth, a veteran of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, will face off with hard-hitting road warrior and K-1 and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, Vernon “Tiger” White, for the vacant crown.

Making his third-career mixed martial arts start, undefeated world San Shou kickboxing champion, Cung Le, will face his toughest test to date in Jason “Live Wire” Von Flue, a contestant on season two of The Ultimate Fighter.

Off the heels of his victory on October 7th, lightweight sensation, Josh “The Punk” Thomson, will be challenged by another dangerous adversary in 23-year-old rising star, Nam Phan.

World Muay Thai champion and UFC and K-1 Max veteran, Duane “Bang” Ludwig, will move up to the 170 pound weight class to meet hard-nosed battler, Tony “The Freak” Fryklund.

Old rivals Eugene “The Wolf” Jackson and Ronald “The Machine Gun” Jhun will collide for the second time in their careers. Jhun is looking for payback eight years after Jackson submitted him with a forearm choke during a contest in Hawaii.

Former WWE star, Daniel Puder, will face fellow unbeaten heavyweight contender, Mike Cook. Heavyweight contender, Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello, who stopped UFC legend David “Tank” Abbott on Strikeforce’s October 7th card, will return to action.

Professional football player and undefeated mixed martial arts super heavyweight contender, Rex Richards, will make his Strikeforce debut on the card. The 6 foot 5 inch, 300 pound Richards, a lineman for the San Jose Sabrecats, will battle another giant in 6 foot 8 inch, 290 pound Kyle Leviton.

The Strikeforce mixed martial arts event is being produced by Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment (SVS&E,, a leading producer of major sporting and entertainment events and the exclusive producer of such events for San Jose, California’s largest entertainment venue, HP Pavilion. SVS&E’s many properties include “Fight Night at the Tank” professional boxing; the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks; and the annual ATP men’s professional tennis “SAP Open” event.

Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion that, on Friday, March 10th, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to 18,265 fans, the largest-ever attendance at a mixed martial arts fight card held in North America.

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Michael Afromowitz