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SHAYNA BASZLER: "THEY CAN'T KEEP PROTECTING HER"

By Percy Crawford | June 06, 2008
SHAYNA BASZLER:

"I want that fight and like I said, they can't keep protecting her. If I just do my job, people are going to ask for it and win or lose, she's going to know what fighting a top level female is really like...I will say this much, I will be on weight and I will be ready to go 3 hard rounds. I'd like to see what happens if she gasses in the beginning of the 2nd round against me," stated EliteXC female mixed martial artist Shayna Baszler as she talked about her desire to challenge Gina Carano. You don't want to miss what else she he had to say as she shared her thoughts on the CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights card, Carano's win over Kaitlin Young, Josh Barnett's upcoming clash with Pedro Rizzo and much more. Check it out!

PC: How have you been doing Shayna?

SB: Not too bad I guess.

PC: Have you heard anything on your next fight yet?

SB: They're in talks right now about a few dates, but nothing is set in stone. I think they've been kind of wrapped up with the CBS thing so I think in the next few days, we should hear something.

PC: What did you think of the CBS card overall?

SB: Here's the deal with the CBS card. As a MMA card, it wasn't that great, but I don't agree with people on the internet saying it set MMA back years. I really don't think it was anything but good, as bad as it was. My opinion is this…there's not anybody who was an MMA fan already that watched the show and said, "Screw MMA," but I guarantee you there was someone out there that didn't know that much about it who thought it was kind of interesting and will tune in again next time. I think it was good for MMA. It could have been done better, true, and there was some questionable calls, but overall, I think it was good for MMA.

PC: I know Gina not making weight is something that bothers you. Did you think she wouldn't make it going in or did you give her the benefit of the doubt?

SB: I went up to Minneapolis to help Kaitlin a little bit to get ready for this fight and we were having a conversation and I was telling her to expect Gina to be overweight. She was like, "Yeah, we already planned on it," but for some reason, I was still surprised and upset when it happened. I guess I had some kind of hope. It wasn't really a surprise, but there was a side of me that was still giving her the benefit of the doubt and I don't know why.

PC: Do you think it was that she was 4.5 pounds over and that's what bothers you?

SB: I mean, you come in overweight for a fight…okay…two fights, it's getting serious, but she's never made weight for a fight ever! For people to say, "She's fighting out of her weight class," well, when she tried to fight at 135, she made 139 and when she tried to fight at 140, she made 144.5 so I don't think it has anything to do with her fighting out of her weight class. It's her not having what it takes to get down there and it sucks because it kind of traps people because it's like, okay, you can not take the fight, but everybody knows you have sponsorship deals and you don't get the win bonus. You just get the show money and a lot of times, fighters are making more money on sponsorship deals than the actual fight. You're kind of stuck taking the fight anyway so for her to get on interviews and say, "I've never had anyone back out so it's not a issue." Well, it is an issue because I think it's seriously disrespectful. I spent the time to diet down and cut weight and I expect my opponent to respect the fact that I suffered. You think it's easy for me? It's not! I hate it! I'm sitting in the sauna before every fight going, "This sucks. I hate fighting and I'm never fighting again." So I mean, if she wants to be the professional representation of me, then that sucks.

PC: So you think her not making weight and the fact that it was repeated throughout the fight that she didn't make weight didn't springboard the women?

SB: I heard Dana White on an interview one time say, "The reason we'll never have women on the card is because their number 1 girl can't make weight," and that sucks. She is…whether she chose to or not and whether the rest of us believe she should be there or not, that isn't the issue. The issue is that she is, whether she asked to be or not. She is the face. She is the one everyone recognizes. She's on TV and she's the one they're pushing and with that comes a professional responsibility to make weight. If it was anybody else, I mean, 6 fights in a row she didn't make weight; come on!

PC: So the situation you have with Gina isn't a personal problem?

SB: I don't have a problem with Gina being the girl they're pushing. I understand business and I understand promoting. She looks good on TV and let's be honest, she can throw down, but there is no reason she should be the world's only example. They called her a pioneer. I'm not even a pioneer and I've been doing it longer than her. Maybe she's a pioneer as far as mainstreaming and everything. I don't have a problem with that and I will even go so far as to say I'm thankful for everything that Gina has done that has trickled down to me. I'm in EliteXC, I'm getting a lot of exposure and I'm making the money I am because she's putting it out there, but there is no reason they shouldn't be pushing…I mean, she's the only one they push. Her and whoever she happens to be fighting and as soon as she is finished fighting them…look what happened as soon as the fight was over. Have you heard anything about Kaitlin? Nothing! Her and her opponent and when the fight is over, you don't hear anything about her opponent anymore. That's what I don't like. I've gone in there and wrecked 3 opponents and I'm still on ShoXC.

PC: Do you think the size difference played a major part in that fight?

SB: I don't know because when I went out there and saw Kaitlin…I mean, the Kaitlin on CBS didn't look anything like the Kaitlin I had seen. I don't want to speculate and assume she trained wrong or her cardio…maybe it was the big CBS thing, but something happened. Maybe she got rocked. I don't want to sound like everybody else, but whatever Kaitlin has going on and once she figures it out, watch out for her. I've seen what she can do in the gym and as soon as she figures out how to piece that together and bring it to the cage, watch out.

PC: What did you think of Kimbo Slice's performance?

SB: I think the women's fight was more exciting than the main event. I think it clearly exposed Kimbo's weakness on the ground. I wouldn't put Thompson as a top level ground fighter either. I've only watched it once so I don't know about him tapping or anything, but I know there are a lot of questions there.

PC: I know the LaRosa rematch is something you've been wanting. Do you think the fight can still be made with her recent signing with the AFL?

SB: She tells me, and I guess I don't know for sure, but I heard she's not exclusive with them. I think when the time is right, we could drum up enough noise to where that fight has to happen. I think we could drum up so much hype for that fight it would have to happen. The thing that would be crazy about that fight is that there will be skill.

PC: Were you impressed with Carano? I know you said you were not basing your career on whether or not you fight her, but watching her performance against Kaitlin, are you confident that you can beat her?

SB: I have no doubt in my mind. I'm not going to lie, she's a better stand-up fighter than me, but I have confidence enough in my stand-up to do what I have to do. The holes in my game towards her are different from the holes in her game towards me. I've never seen Gina knock someone out in MMA. She's rocked some people, but here is the thing, she can find holes in my stand-up and she'll punch me and that sucks, but I'll find holes in her ground and finish her and that's the difference. I want that fight and like I said, they can't keep protecting her. If I just do my job, people are going to ask for it and win or lose, she's going to know what fighting a top level female is really like. That will be the test and if she beats me or whatever and it's legit, I'll be the first one to say it. I'm not going to make excuses, but I will say this much, I will be on weight and I will be ready to go 3 hard rounds. I'd like to see what happens if she gasses in the beginning of the 2nd round against me. The other thing is in every one of her MMA fights, she's ended up on the ground. I don't want to be like cockin' off or anything, but she's never been on the ground with someone like me. And another thing is if she thinks all I want to do is take her down, then she has another thing coming. Kevin Randleman knocked out Cro Cop having him think about the ground too much.

PC: Josh Barnett gets his rematch with Pedro Rizzo at the Affliction "Banned" card. How has he been looking and what do you think about that card?

SB: I'm so excited for that. That's going to be a huge card. I'm going to be at that show. Josh is looking as blood thirsty and devastating as ever. This is a fight that is important to him because it is his very first loss. It's one that he would like to have back. I think Pedro Rizzo is a very game opponent so people can't complain that it's not a great opponent. Pedro Rizzo is known as one of the best strikers, but I think Josh is hungry. He's going to come in with a good gameplan and he's a thousand times the fighter he was back then. He has me beating the crap out of him so what's worst than that, right?

PC: Thanks for the interview and the honesty as always. I hope to see you at the Affliction show. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

SB: For sure, I'll be there. I just want to thank my sponsors as always; Sinful, ESP, Cryogel, Room 101 Silver, Bolt Thrower, and if you guys don't know who they are, they're a really bad ass metal band from the UK, and the Sioux Falls Roller Dolls. Thanks Percy. You're always good to me.



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]

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