Gina Carano's career has undergone many changes since her debut fight for EliteXC against Julie Kedzie in February 2007. She is now considered one of the top female fighters in the sport, she found a second job as "Crush" on the NBC series American Gladiators, and she is probably one of the most well-known mixed martial arts fighters, regardless of gender.
But with all the newfound fame and all the attention, Carano remains focused on her goals as a fighter and she understands better than anyone that she has room to grow.
"I feel like I have a long way to go," Carano said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. "I just feel like there is so much I want to learn. Every single day at practice I learn something different. There's so many things you can learn, so many things you can learn about your body, and how it works and you know situations you're good in, situations you're bad in."
Working with coaches at Xtreme Couture, including close friend Kim Couture, Carano is focused on the next task at hand, which is Kelly Kobald in a match-up on Oct. 4 in Florida.
The first opponent that Carano will face though will be constant enemy of making weight, something she has struggled with in the past, but feels like now she is ready to win the war.
"I think more than anything making weight this time is going to be for myself," she commented. "I really want to do this because I want to feel good going into the fight. I've got a nutritionist this time and I'm listening to her, and I've kind of gone about the whole weight-cutting thing completely wrong.
"Because that last week you look at you're weight and you start doing all these wrong things thinking they're going to help and it doesn't help it just exhausts you. By the time you're trying to cut those last pounds of water you're just depleted."
Past making weight, Carano also fields a lot of questions about the fight with Kobald as opposed to Christiane Cyborg, who made an impressive debut back in July for EliteXC. While Carano has no say in who EliteXC assigns as her opponent, she knows that Kobald presents her own tough matchup.
"I'm actually really happy with the Kelly fight, because I think that she's a brawler, she's going to come at me like a Cyborg would," Carano stated. "I'm going to be straight, I don't mind having to see Cyborg fight again and I look forward to fighting her, but it might even be good for me to kind of scout her out for another fight."
Ultimately, Carano knows she has a tough fight against Kobald, but if all things go right she seems to be on a collision course with Cyborg and possibly even a title shot, as the EliteXC women's title will be introduced in 2009.
"I'm not looking past Kelly and I know this is going to be another tough fight for me," said Carano. "Now hopefully, God willing, I do good in this fight and I'm stoked on the whole Cyborg fight and it will be something that will stick in my mind."