Girls are supposed to be sugar and spice and a bunch of other sweet things -- but don't tell that to Gina Carano. The 27-year-old Texas native is an elite mixed martial arts fighter, possessing one of the best records in the field. Why We Love Her:
After a stint as a fighter on "American Gladiators" Carano became the "face of female MMA" -- a sport known for its violent, no-holds-barred fighting style. (It's not uncommon for fighters to win by putting a choke hold on their opponents.) For three years, she held an undefeated record -- facing off against a small pool of female competitors.
Earlier this month, she went head-to-head against Brazilian fighter Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in the first-ever major MMA event to feature a women's fight as the headline event. And while Carano lost the match, the face-off was a big win for female MMA fighters -- more people tuned in
to watch the Carano/Santos match than any of the male fights on the same day.
Stil, Carano's dedication to the sport is undeterred -- even if the male-dominated Ultimate Fighting Championship doesn't yet fully support women in the sport.