Gina Carano hasn’t fought competitively in over five years, and has spent most of that time away working on her acting career. But if Dana White has his way, Carano will soon once again slide on the gloves and enter the octagon to fight for the UFC.
Reports say that White is telling associates within the UFC that he hopes to have Gina Carano under contract within a week with hopes of bolstering the women’s side of the UFC locker room. White signed the undefeated Holly Holm earlier this week to give current women’s champion Ronda Rousey some competition after Rousey’s last match went for all of 16 seconds at UFC 175. Rousey reportedly hurt herself and will require some time off, meaning that the women’s division is wide open. Enter: Gina Carano.
Carano had a successful career as a MMA striker in Strikeforce where she was women’s champion before losing her title. She then left to pursue acting. Most recently, Carano starred in Fast and the Furious 6. Carano has expressed interest in signing with UFC to take on Rousey, and she and White have been talking since April. Carano’s last professional fight was in August of 2009 when she lost by TKO to Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.
ESPN is reporting that White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta are scheduled to meet with Carano next week in Los Angles, and White hopes to sign her then.
White said regarding Holm’s recent signing:
“One down, one to go. I’m going to meet with Gina next week and get that f**king thing done. Next week, man. It’s just a matter of me and Lorenzo going to jump on a plane to Los Angeles, get in a room with her and her lawyer and get this thing done.”
Rousey reportedly looks forward to fighting Carano. In a recent interview, Rousey spoke of her admiration of Carano.
“Not only did I admire what Carano was doing, but also I was blown away by the reaction all the guys were giving them. Whether she ever wants again or not is entirely up to her, but ever since that day when I had that first taste of women’s MMA, she’s the fight I wanted.”
The door has always been open for Gina Carano to return to competitive fighting. And Carano was the one holding it open.
“‘For some reason, a part of me has always kept it open,’ said Carano. However, she made it clear that she will fight only without letting go of the acting career that she has kept herself busy with in the last five years. ‘There’s a certain part of me that thinks if circumstances were right, and I could keep doing what I’m trying to make my future into, that’s an ideal world.'”
Carano’s return to the ring has been accompanied by questions whether she was even fit enough to compete with the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Carano herself understands what goes into fight preparation, and if Dana White is to be believed, Gina Carano better hit the gym as her signing is only days away.
[Image Courtesy of Gina-Carano.org]