NEW YORK --
Just two weeks prior at
Just a day prior, Carano was placed among female sports legends when she attended the Women's Sports Foundation's 2008 Salute to Women awards show.
And on this day, she was enjoying just her second trip to New York City -- a thrill she didn't even try to contain.
But it wasn't her past accomplishments that caused Carano to really light up. In February 2009, she's tentatively scheduled to fight
You could tell she really wasn't into all the MMA stuff, but she watched my fights.I get almost as nervous as the people that come up to me because I'm not used to it yet.
It's been a hard battle to get to here, but I'm thankful for it. I'm just so blessed to have gone through the things I have up until this point. It's all happening for a reason.
So if you hang in there for those first couple of whoopins, you earn this weird sort of respect from these guys who change their minds. It's a cool thing when a guy does a complete 180 and realizes that you're in there and you're trying and you got some skills, though you may not be as strong as them. You may not have their knock-out power, but you may learn technique faster.
But on the flip side, there are guys who are completely supportive of [women fighting] and those who are just craving a different kind of woman. They're tired of seeing the
I'm not perfect, I've had mistakes in my career, but at least I'm out there and I'm trying to do something with myself. I'm giving little tomboys like me some to look up to.
People don't want to accept our sport and don't want to follow it for whatever reason, and it kind of hurt. I don't care if it's me up there, but I want someone from our sport. I take a lot of pride in our sport, so it charged me to do more.
In February I'll be fighting for a title belt, which will be the first for females in EliteXC. I'm fighting Cyborg, an amazing opponent, to have a title bout with. People are looking at me like, 'She's gonna get killed.'
Eventually I want to see my sport right up there at these events and award ceremonies. In every single household, I doubt there isn't one person who doesn't know what jiu-jitsu or muay thai or boxing is. It's everywhere, and it's helping people to improve their lives whether they fight or not. And to have it not be considered a sport in America is a big fault in the country.
But I've never been so pumped for a fight. It's given me this amazing focus right now that I don't usually have two weeks after a fight. I'm relaxed a little bit and I'm going to jump back into training and try to learn as much as I can. I'm on a good, healthy path right now. After my last fight, I feel really good about where I'm at.