Over at Five Ounces of Pain, Sam Caplan speaks with Tara LaRosa, arguably the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world. There's lots to read, but the best stuff comes when LaRosa absolutely hammers EliteXC's Gina Carano for what she believes is preferential treatment and an overall lack of professionalism. Notable quote:
Tara LaRosa: I know I'm supposed to respond a certain way professionally and politically, but how can she be number one or even the face of (women's MMA) when she's been in the sport for less than two years? And she's only got five fights against girls that are not top tier women in the world. No offense to her opponents; they are all great and they are making their way up through the ranks but they're still not top caliber yet -- not to say that they won't be in the future.
I think EliteXC may be realizing their mistake as having promoted Gina as such (as the face of women's MMA) because now that she's sort of drifting off into other professions such as TV and movies and other things outside of the sport, she doesn't seem to be taking MMA as a full-time job or as seriously as the rest of us have, as a career.
I'm disappointed that she hasn't taken it more seriously as to be our representative.
Sam Caplan: You briefly touched on 140 not being an official weight class for women and she's had trouble making 140, which was setup especially for her. Do you feel like maybe EliteXC is at fault for asking her to cut all the way to 140 or do you feel it's on her to get down to that weight?
Tara LaRosa: It's on her to get down to that weight. If she wants to be a professional fighter then she needs to treat this as a professional sport. The rest of us have all cut weight. Everybody from Randy Couture to Tito Ortiz to everyone down into the amateur divisions. Everybody cuts weight. Especially as a professional, it's your professional obligation to make your contractual weight (the) same as everyone else, she's nobody special.
I don't begrudge Carano for using her pretty face and assests to open new career options and collect a check. Use what the good lord gave you, no? But LaRosa's criticisms hit at the central problem with Carano: she is the Roger Huerta of female MMA, except that Roger Huerta has proven himself. Until Carano blends more amicably into the existing MMA business and fight framework - that means no special weight classes, that means tougher opponents, that means making weight - she will remain the target of various firing squads.