The thought of Gina Carano returning to mixed martial arts seemed farfetched just a couple of months ago, but after a meeting with UFC president Dana White, the brash UFC exec is confident that the former “Face of Women’s MMA” wants to fight.
Carano walked away from fighting in 2009 after losing for the first time in her career to Cris “Cyborg” Justino to pursue an acting career. She’s stared in several movies, but the desire to compete stayed with her.
“I love it (fighting). It’s something that I can do that makes everything else disappear. I dream about it. I just didn’t’ know if I was ever going to get placed with the opportunity to make a comeback,” said Carano during a recent appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show to promote her film “In The Blood.” “So I’m either going to do it now, or I’m going to retire and say, okay, I’m never going to do it. So now is the moment I feel.”
Carano (7-1) recently met with White to discuss a possible return and White says the meeting went well.
“It went good. She wants to fight. We don’t have a deal, but she wants to fight,” said the UFC president on Thursday following the UFC on FOX 11 pre-fight press conference in Orlando.
Carano has four fights left on her Strikeforce contract. Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC, purchased Strikeforce in early 2011, including Carano’s contract. But if Carano is going to come back and fight in the UFC, she’ll have to negotiate a new deal because her Strikeforce deal is set to expire this summer.
“She’s under contract, but that doesn’t mean anything. Her contract with Strikeforce actually expires in June,” explained White.
UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has expressed interest in a bout with Carano. Rousey is scheduled to face Alexis Davis on July 5 at UFC 175. Despite rumors that were swirling, Carano was not offered a fight with Rousey during her meeting with White.