Gina Carano isn't going to ride in and save the day, it's time for Showtime and Strikeforce to come to terms with that.
After Cristiane Santos tested positive for steroids following her last fight, Dana White went on ESPN Radio and suggested that the women's 145 pound division may be done. Strikeforce's Scott Coker isn't quite on the same page and seems set on trying to keep the division around.
"I don't think it's time to throw [the division] out to the garbage. I still think we have some great fighters at 145 and a lot of girls that maybe haven't been around for a while ... I believe they're going to be motivated to come back because Cyborg won't be there," Coker told the media at the Strikeforce postfight press conference.
"I think Gina Carano is definitely somebody who'd like to fight again, but she's got a big movie guys. I'm not sure if you seen the commercials, it's everywhere," Coker said. "And Steven Soderbergh is gonna be behind her. When that happens, great things are going to happen for her. She might get another picture deal."
There are a few takeaways here.
First, there has to stop being a reliance on Gina coming back. Scott brings her up here, Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza brought up her return on the media call to announce the new deal, she just keeps being brought up. It's already been two and a half years since she last fought and given the positive things reviewers are saying about her performance in Haywire? It's unlikely she does come back. And even if she did, it's hard to see it as more of a special event than a long-term return. Is that a reason to keep an entire division around? Just have a one-off fight at whatever weight she wants in that situation.
Second, how does this make your current crop of 145'ers look good? Coker is essentially saying that there are all these women who weren't around but now will want to come back because Cyborg is gone. They were afraid of her? But now that things are easier they'll come back? Oh, well I totally want to see them, they sound fantastic.
I'm still pretty firmly behind blowing up 145 and trying to make one solid division with good depth. That doesn't even require cutting down on the number of female fights, just hopefully building to more fights that people actually want to see.