Gina Carano was one of the first ever bonafide MMA stars. Carano started in Muay thai and went on to be the star of one of the first ever major events featuring female participants.
Back in the day, John Brenkus was the host of the TV show ‘Sport Science’. He would end up being one of the first to donate his neck in the name of science.
Brenkus pleaded to Carano that she demonstrate a submission hold on him. He appeared to be having second thoughts about the whole thing as he paced nervously back and forth in the studio, but the prospect of being put to sleep by mixed martial arts star turned Hollywood actress Gina Carano made it oddly appealing.
Carano originally began training in Muay Thai and eventually crossed over to mixed martial arts where she became the face of women’s MMA several years before Ronda Rousey. She competed in front of millions on CBS and NBC for the Elite XC and Strikeforce promotions, compiling a 7-1 career record along the way.
Carano has had several television and film appearances throughout the years, including American Gladiators, Fast & Furious 6, Mandalorian and more. Her breakthrough role came in 2011 when she landed the lead in the spy thriller Haywire. However, the film was not a commercial success, and the director decided to redub all of Carano’s role and replace her voice with another actress.
Carano’s biggest acting role to date came in 2018 when she was cast in The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm’s first live-action Star Wars television series. Carano played the role of Cara Dune in seasons 1 and 2. However, in February 2021, Lucasfilm announced that Carano would not appear in future Star Wars projects following controversial social media posts.
Despite her success in the entertainment industry, Carano’s submission skills are still highly impressive. She agreed to demonstrate a submission hold on Brenkus for the purposes of the TV show. Brenkus, who was initially hesitant, was encouraged by Carano, who motioned for him to sit down with her on the mat. After some weak protesting and the oddball request, “don’t go fast,” Carano was soon getting down to business.
Carano slid an arm underneath Brenkus’ chin, locked in a RNC, and sent the TV host off to sleep town. After a few seconds of nap time, Brenkus’ lights switched back on. However, he still had a glazed look in his eyes and apparently wasn’t altogether sure what had just happened.
She recently turned 41 and to celebrate we compiled a gallery overview of her life and storied career from early days through MMA and eventually Hollywood.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.