Strikeforce Is Hoping Gina Carano Will Return in 2011

via img.izismile.com

Scott Coker spoke to Ariel Helwani yesterday and revealed that he's still pining for the return of his biggest star Gina Carano:

"I believe she'll be back in the cage this year," Coker said Monday confidently.

"From what I know of her, she is a competitor at heart; she's going to want to fight. She's not going to want to end her career the way it ended. So, I think she'll be back."

Carano hasn't competed since losing the Strikeforce 145-pound title fight to Cris Cyborg in August 2009. Since then, she has embarked on a movie career, with her first major motion picture, Haywire, directed by Steven Soderbergh and also starring Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas and Ewan McGregor, expected to be released in theaters on April 22, 2011.

There's an obvious reason Coker wants her back: people tune in to watch Gina fight whether it's on Showtime or CBS, Gina has delivered every time she's been on a fight card. From wikipedia:

Carano vs. Cyborg averaged 576,000 viewers on the Showtime cable network. It peaked with 856,000 viewers for the night's main event between Carano and Santos. The Carano vs. Cyborg event set a new MMA ratings record for Showtime, eclipsing a card headlined with Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbot, which averaged 522,000 viewers. It also more than doubled Strikeforce's previous offering, Lawler vs. Shields, an event that averaged 275,000 viewers.

Strikeforce has made some major moves in their men's heavyweight division but little has been said lately of their plans for women's MMA. 

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